A compelling force for education in Sonoma County, ECE unveils arts programs for the 2022-23 school year

There is a quiet revolution going on in Sonoma County, one that has energized our children’s classrooms, elevated teachers’ skills, stimulated employment for local artists, connected talented students with mentoring masters, amplified our local culture scene, and invigorated cultural exchange with neighbors. With such pronounced gains enriching our North Bay communities, what makes this force such a quiet one?

If you drive past our highway sign or observe our advertisements in the media, you’re likely as dazzled by their public prominence as the world-class entertainment they promote. That would be the extroverted side of LBC. Less flashy but just as impressive in its impact on the North Bay are LBC’s Education and Community Engagement (ECE) programs. Like most introverts, ECE programs shine less for their on-stage presence and more for what they quietly create back stage: enriched, inspired, and motivated students, teachers, families, and community members.

That’s what makes us proud to unveil a new slate of ECE programs for the 2022-23 school year.  To help teachers and schools incorporate these programs into their back-to-school planning, the new 2022 fall edition of the ECE brochure, Education Through the Arts, offers a catalog of information needed to select the in-school and after-school programs available. A spring edition comes out toward the end of the year. Here are some highlights of the new ECE programs this year:

Professional Development

Thanks to the Farley Family Foundation, this fall, LBC is offering three programs that help teachers and artists sharpen instruction skills and learn about advances in teaching methods. This year’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access in the Classroom (IDEA) program introduces a series on ableism, or discrimination in favor of able bodied people. The series will help teachers foster a culture of belonging in the classroom.

Artists in the Schools

Two six-week artist residencies are available to bring teaching artists into Sonoma County classrooms. New in 2022, Arts for All Residencies expand our arts instruction program from music and dance to also include drama and visual arts, allowing teachers to offer more diverse arts instruction to their students.

Beyond the Classroom

Opportunities to pursue arts enrichment outside the classroom include our growing Music for Schools instrument lending library, which last year lent a record 912 instruments to students, giving them the opportunity to participate in their school band or orchestra program.  In other good news, the renowned after-school Mariachi Ensemble has enrolled more than 100 students from 3rd to 12th grade this year, up from 93 last year and just 32 in 2018-19!

School Shows and Supplemental Resources

Sixteen live performances are scheduled for schools this year, demonstrating a robust rebound from the days of virtual shows during the pandemic. Thanks to the Ernest L. and Ruth W. Finley Foundation and Exchange Bank, students can look forward to fun with science, cultural dance, mind-bending acrobatics, comical high jinks, and dramatic mysteries in this year’s program. Evert Person’s ArtReach and the Evert Person Youth Accessibility Fund continue to make sure all students and schools have access to these enriching arts experiences.

Several featured community events are included in the Education through the Arts brochure, however our community connections web pages are the go-to source for the full roster of classes, public events, family shows and after-school programs.

The brochure is sharable as a PDF, easily forwarded as a link to schools and instructors who might be interested. For more information, visit lutherburbankcenter.org/education.

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