DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE AND KCET DEBUT NEW 'ARTBOUND' DOCUMENTARY ON ARTS EDUCATION IN LA COUNTY, AND A CALL FOR MORE EQUITY AND ACCESS FOR YOUTH

The Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, coordinated by the Department of Arts and Culture, and KCET have joined forces to create a new documentary that explores the value of arts education for the youth, communities, and creative economy of LA County. KCET ARTBOUND: Arts Education features stories from the young poets of LA-based organization Get Lit, students, policymakers, educators, and artists including Catherine Opie, Vijay Gupta, Hector Tobar, Debbie Allen, and Chloe Arnold.

"Putting arts and arts education at the center of a child’s education is vital, not only to the development of the child, but to the economic growth and health of our state," said PBS SoCal and KCET Chief Creative Officer Juan Devis. "We need to bring attention to the critical value of arts education, spearhead the resurgence and expansion of arts instruction as well as celebrate the practices and the people that make it happen."

"Listening to—and investing in—the creative voice of our youth is one of the most important things we can do for our collective future," said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the LA County Department of Arts and Culture. "This documentary is a calling card for the teaching artists, educators, advocates, parents, funders, schools, and arts organizations that make up the Arts Ed Collective and our ongoing work to increase awareness of the value of arts education for young people throughout LA County. It also amplifies the goals of the new Arts for All Children, Youth, and Families: Los Angeles County’s New Regional Blueprint for Arts Education adopted by the Board of Supervisors in fall 2020. As we look to build a sustainable recovery for the region and the next decade of arts education, the Department of Arts and Culture is hyper-focused on expanding cultural and racial equity in arts learning both in and outside of school, in communities, and in juvenile justice, foster youth, and workforce development systems."

"The local stories that the Department of Arts and Culture and KCET shine a light on only reiterate what research has long told us—that the arts provide young people with a pathway to discovery, self-expression, achievement, and connection to community. The arts also pave the way for success in our young people’s continued education and careers," said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. "We see in this documentary that arts education nurtures future generations of artists and cultural workers, as we would expect. What is remarkable is that arts education is also recognized by our scientists, entrepreneurs, and leaders as a crucial part of their development."

"Arts education will play a critical role in shaping our post-pandemic world and in ensuring that LA County’s diverse communities share in its benefits equitably," said Second District Supervisor, Holly J. Mitchell. "ARTBOUND’s stories demonstrate the power of creative expression in supporting youth in their development by fostering a healthy sense of self-identity and building the resilience skills needed to overcome barriers that underserved youth face every day."

Reinforcing KCET’s commitment to sharing diverse and inclusive stories, additional ARTBOUND content will explore the impact of arts education in America. Related articles include:

  • Reimagining Futures Through Arts Education: Reimagining and reinvesting in public education is critical for any society to move forward. Writer Amy Shimson-Santo connects how arts education can help teach a new generation to face the challenges of their present and futures creatively to build a better world. 
  • Arts Education is a Civil Right Inseparable from Freedom: An integrated arts education program is an important part of our next-generation learner's experience, but unfortunately, not everyone has access to it. This op-ed by Amir Whitaker breaks down the challenges (both systemic and psychological) that bars our children from achieving the kind of education they deserve.
  • Julio Salgado - Undocu-Queer Artist Using Creativity to Resist Oppression: Julio Salgado is an undocumented queer artist who is using the power of storytelling and art to create awareness for intersectional issues. He grew up around Long Beach and attended public schools. This article, written by Ivan Fernandez, profiles his journey into the arts, and their role in helping him cope with the stress of his situation, as well as how he’s using them for change through the pro-immigrant arts platform Culture Strike and media platform Dreamers Adrift.
  • The Education of Chloe Arnold: Chloe Arnold is an Emmy-nominated choreographer, performer, tap dancer, educator. She runs a nonprofit called the Chloe and Maud Foundation. Writer Nadra Nittle profiles Chloe's journey in arts education where, at 6 years old, she learned to dance at a strip mall and only through her mother's persistence that she found the programs she needed to continue dancing. The two pivotal aspects of her career were Debbie Allen and the arts instruction she received in school. Allen nudged her to sing, dance, produce. Her public-school education helped enhance that mentorship by exposing her to music and dance, but also being this incredible ground where she would create and explore and be vulnerable. The arts gave her the discipline to be a top scholar getting offers from Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia. This laid the foundation for starting Syncopated Ladies, one of the few all-female dancing bands that empower people to use their voice and bodies to express themselves, not waiting for men to greenlight their vision.
  • Greetings from South L.A.: Los Angeles has dozens of arts-based educational organizations, but there are deeply inequitable disparities for students of color, for low-income students, and English language learners. Writer Eva Recinos speaks about the origins and future of Greetings from South L.A., a resource where families in the neighborhood can turn to for arts resources in areas of low income and people of color.

ARTBOUND: Arts Education is a project of the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, developed by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture in partnership with KCET. Funding for this project was generously provided by the Stuart Foundation, the Moss Foundation, and the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective Funders Council.

 

About the Partners

About the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture
The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture advances arts, culture, and creativity throughout LA County. The department leads coordination of the Arts Ed Collective, a public-private arts education collective impact initiative dedicated to advancing equity and access in arts learning for all youth in LA County. The department also provides leadership, services, and support in areas including grants and technical assistance for nonprofit organizations, commissioning and care for civic art collections, research, and evaluation, access to creative careers, professional development, free community programs, and cross-sector creative strategies that address civic issues. All of this work is framed by its longstanding commitment to fostering access to the arts, and LA County’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative.

About ARTBOUND
The critically acclaimed weekly television series and online destination ARTBOUND captures the spirit of the burgeoning arts and culture community in California and explores how it's shaping California as the creative capital of the world. The KCET Original series explores and illuminates the cultural issues of our times, providing critical in-depth analysis of how arts and culture affect society. The series and the online stories that are found at kcet.org/artbound are the result of cultural tastemakers throughout the region and collaborations with LA’s top cultural institutions. Since its inception in 2012, the series has earned high industry praise including several Emmy® Awards, LA Press Club awards, Golden Mike awards and a National Entertainment Journalism award, among others. ARTBOUND has been recognized with the prestigious ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor / Virgil Thomson Multimedia Award for outstanding music.

About KCET
KCET is s part of the donor-supported community institution, the Public Media Group of Southern California, which was formed by the merger of PBS SoCal and KCETLink Media Group. As one of Southern California’s two flagship PBS stations, KCET is on-air, online as well as in the community, and plays a vital role in the cultural enrichment of Southern California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 55-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions and its website, kcet.org. For additional information about KCET’s original productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. KCET Originals and PBS programming are available to stream on the FREE PBS App on iOS and Android devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, and Chromecast. KCET is also available to watch live on YouTube TV.