CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) receives AmeriCorps’ first-ever grant to a college-level arts institution for the CAP Citizen Artist AmeriCorps Scholars and Fellows Program.
In a region where one in every eight jobs is in creative industries, this innovative program will help fill the arts education gap in low income neighborhoods.
Valencia, CA, September 6—Last year, the Los Angeles Times analyzed data from the Los Angeles Unified School District and concluded that “arts programs at a vast majority of schools are inadequate.” Now, AmeriCorps has awarded CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) over $1 million to provide arts instruction to underserved youth in Los Angeles County. Helping to fill the arts education gap between high-and low-income neighborhoods, the CAP Citizen Artist AmeriCorps Scholars and Fellows Program will receive $336,000 per year for three years. Funds will support arts programs at CAP partner organizations and provide teaching fellowships to students and alumni of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).
For more than 25 years, CAP has provided arts education, free of charge, to youth throughout Los Angeles County. “Developing an ability to innovate is essential for participation in Los Angeles’creative economy,” said CAP Managing Director, Nadine Rambeau. “This grant is helping Los Angeles stay on track by allowing CAP to reach young people in neighborhoods most in need of arts education and, at the same time, training the city’s arts educators of the future.”
The CAP/AmeriCorps collaboration brings sophisticated and individually calibrated arts training to students, in grades 5 through 12, and mentors them in professional practices and college preparation. Youth participants study a range of disciplines including animation, creative writing, dance, film/video, music, theater, visual arts, photography and graphic design. Monthly family workshops will deepen the program’s engagement within communities.
Since its inception, CAP has pioneered new approaches to arts education and prepared teaching artists to be leaders and innovators in the field. Along with teaching and mentoring the program’s youth participants, The CAP/AmeriCorps fellows will be trained to teach in high-need urban contexts and work with educational mentors throughout their fellowships. They will receive a living allowance from AmeriCorps and are eligible for Segal AmeriCorps Educational Awards upon completing their fellowships, which may be utilized to cover the cost of tuition or student loans.
The grant is administered by CaliforniaVolunteers. “We are excited to have CAP Citizen Artist AmeriCorps Scholars and Fellows as our only arts education program," said Karen Baker, Chief Service Officer of CaliforniaVolunteers. "Their compelling program design will ensure that arts education has a farther reach in Los Angeles." Classes will be held at CAP partner organizations in high-need neighborhoods where public schools score beneath the statewide average for arts instruction. Organizations include Self Help Graphics, the Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory and the Watts Towers Arts Center.
The grant from AmeriCorps supporting the CAP Citizen Artist AmeriCorps Scholars and Fellows Program is administered by CaliforniaVolunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations at 21,000 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. Since 1994, more than 980,000 Americans have provided more than 1.3 billion hours of service to their communities and country through AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.
CaliforniaVolunteers is the state office that manages programs and initiatives aimed at increasing the number of Californians engaged in service and volunteering. CaliforniaVolunteers is led by the state's Chief Service Officer, Karen Baker. The office is comprised of four departments: AmeriCorps, Disaster Volunteering and Preparedness, External Affairs and Finance & Administration.
CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) is a co-curricular program of CalArts. The award-winning program offers free after-school, school-based and summer arts programs for youth ages 6-18 in every discipline taught at CalArts. Programs are offered at public schools, community centers and social service agencies, covering a thousand square mile radius across Los Angeles County. Now in its 26th year, CAP serves as a local and national model for arts education organizations.