The Artists in Schools program celebrates the importance of early exposure to all aspects of performance art – both on stage and behind the scenes – for students from kindergarten to 8th grade. It’s well documented that students who engage in artistic pursuits grow into more rounded adults, and programs like Artists in Schools can prevent more vulnerable children from falling through the cracks.
“We are so thankful for the incredible year-long program that Arcata Playhouse offers and our students look forward to participating in it every year!” -Sarah Hughes, Pacific Union, School 4th grade
How the program works
The Arcata Playhouse contracts with local elementary schools to place teaching artists in those schools for eight weeks, culminating in performances devised and produced by the students. Our partnership with the California Arts Council, in conjunction with local community support and donations, minimizes the schools’ financial outlay and maximizes the support materials provided to the schools.
Students receive instruction in Mask Making, Mask Performance, and Shadow Puppetry from experienced professional theatre artists in these disciplines and engage students of all abilities in creativity and the development of original ideas. The performances may be offered to the entire school or extend to the public, giving the students the opportunity to share and get feedback on their work.
The program is a great leveler, providing an opportunity to build confidence and self-esteem for the students regardless of race, gender identity, or economic circumstances.
Schools currently involved with the program include:
Blue Lake Elementary, Cutten Elementary, Fieldbrook Elementary, Redwood Coast Montessori and Pacific Union Elementary.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Artists in Schools program or would like to donate money or materials to the program, contact:
Sarah McKinney, Education Director
email@example.com or 707-822-1575
Redheaded Blackbelt published an article about Playhouse Artist in Schools Program during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Read the full article here.