Monday, October 3, 2016

NEWS RELEASE - New Arts Plan ‘Will Change Young People’s Lives’; Board of Education to vote on proposal at Tuesday’s Board meeting

News Release from the San Diego Unified School District, Oct. 3, 2016


New Arts Plan 'Will Change Young People's Lives'; Board of Education to vote on proposal at Tuesday's Board meeting


SAN DIEGO - Already in the middle of an increased focus on the arts, the San Diego Unified School District has released a dramatic new plan that promises to transform young lives through the arts.


The just-released Strategic Arts Education Plan calls for expanded access to dance, music, theatre, and visual arts across San Diego Unified, including new collaborations with city arts institutions and allowing more students to attend arts magnet schools. City cultural leaders stood with San Diego Unified Visual and Performing Art Director Russ Sperling to unveil the plan, October 3, as 4th grade students performed on newly-purchased violins at the Rosa Parks Elementary School.


"The new instruments, band uniforms and sheet music arriving in our schools this year are really only the beginning," said Sperling. "Over the next five years, we plan to promote literacy, innovation, creativity, and excellence in the arts to change the lives of our students. It is a citywide effort, and we are grateful to have the planning participation of every leading arts institution in the city."


The San Diego Unified Strategic Arts Education Plan (SAEP) was more than seven months in the making and included teachers, parents, students, and representatives from city arts organizations, including the San Diego Opera, Symphony, Ballet, Art Museum, the La Jolla Playhouse, the Old Globe Theatre and many others. Among the key elements of the plan are:


•           Increased access to dance, music, theatre and visual arts for all students

•           An updated arts education curriculum

•           Expanded partnerships with the city's leading cultural institutions

•           Allowing more students to attend arts magnet schools


The Board of Education has scheduled a vote on the new Strategic Arts Education Plan (SAEP) for Tuesday, and Trustee Sharon Whitehurst-Payne is predicting passage.


"Communities across San Diego are hungry for more arts programming," said Whitehurst-Payne. "That is why we voted to provide students with more than 900 new instruments, new band uniforms and visiting artist teachers in the budget we passed this year. I am confident we will do even more to bring high quality arts programs to every school in every neighborhood."


San Diego Unified has a history of leadership in the arts and recently lobbied successfully for the passage of AB 2862. Signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown last month, the law recognizes the arts as central to a well-rounded education and provides for an updated

curriculum in the arts.


Contact: Jennifer Rodriguez, Communications, 619-847-6029