The Artists in the Schools program works in partnership with the California Arts Council to provide teaching artists to local schools at a discounted rate.
The Arcata Playhouse is currently in its fourth season of offering Artist in the Schools programs in six local elementary schools: Redwood Coast Montessori, Fieldbrook School, Arcata Elementary, Pacific Union Elementary, Cutten School and Blue Lake Union Elementary School. Students receive eight weeks of instruction in mask making with Janarie Ricchio, Mask Performance with Sarah McKinney and Anson Smith, and Shadow Puppetry.
The classes focus on offering artistic skills which foster the creativity and original ideas of each student. Sometimes the schools choose to have the classes offer final presentations to the whole school or public at the end of their eight week block. The presentations give the students a chance to share their work with others and serves as an opportunity to build confidence and self esteem in the the young artists.