I know many of you are looking for ways to support creating the kind of world you want to live in. Building community. Giving young people the opportunity to build the world they want to live in. Me too.
I don't know if you know that I'm musician. A singer. A pianist. Even earned a bachelor's degree in piano pedagogy. While I don't get to spend as much time as I'd like playing these days, I give credit to my music education in high school as really empowering me to express myself in ways that words often come up short. It was my incredible music teachers who showed me the way. It was part of my identity and a place I often turn to when I just had FEELINGS. You know, when I just needed to get something out. When I was growing up it was always a place where I was part of something bigger. Where I had to collaborate with others to make something truly magical.
I believe that giving our financial support to arts education is an incredible investment in creating a world we want to live in.
I am very fortunate to be the Vice-President of the Board of Directors for Performing Arts Workshop - a truly unique arts education organization serving students all over the Bay Area. We hire performing artists, give them extensive teacher training and professional development, then place them in classrooms, after-school programs, and juvenile detention centers to give children the tools they need for critical thinking, healthy self-expression, self-confidence, team work, and leadership skills. All through the performing arts. We teach world music, world dance, theater, and creative writing. We've been recognized by top education leaders as having a very effective, and dare I say magical, approach.
I hope you'll join me by donating to Performing Arts Workshop this fall to make sure more than 4,000 Bay Area students can continue to receive this incredible experience with the arts. Why does this work matter? Here is one example.
Performing Arts Workshop teaching artist Chinchin Hsu taught creative movement at St. Joseph’s Family Center, a shelter for families here in San Francisco. It was there that she met Serena, a shy student, recovering from early trauma, uncomfortable with physical contact, and reluctant to participate in classroom activities. However, with Chinchin as her teacher and the Workshop methodology as their guide, Serena became comfortable enough to dance with Chinchin as partners. In Chinchin’s words:
“Serena shared with me that the one space she felt safe and free was when she was imagining; dance created a bridge between imagination and the physical world, a bridge she was able to cross.
“Serena has continued to bravely dance her way into the world; this year she plans to join the Carnaval Festival performance in school. I am so glad we were there at St Joseph’s Family Center when Serena needed us.”
Chinchin’s words above explain why your contribution to Performing Arts Workshop means so much. With the rising cost of living, widening income disparity, and endangerment for those students experiencing discrimination based on race, documentation status, and family income level, Bay Area students have never needed or deserved our investment more. Your gift will change lives today, and will contribute to shaping bright futures for tomorrow.
Will you give today? (If you’re still wondering, read below.)
1. Data analysis by our outside evaluator confirms that after a Performing Arts Workshop residency, students show statistically relevant gains in:
+ Independent thinking
+ Ability to reflect and evaluate
+ Engagement in the classroom
+ Clear communication of thoughts and feelings
2. Almost a third of schools in California have no music, dance, theatre, media arts or visual arts available whatsoever, which is a travesty.
3. Performing Arts Workshop prioritizes working with students with less access to arts education. Workshop residencies are placed in schools, afterschool centers, homeless shelters, and juvenile halls to serve the students who need and deserve it most.
Interested in learning more? Visit http://performingartsworkshop.org/.