Organizational and Leadership Reports:  Phase 2 of the Listening Campaign

Advisory Board, Hayward Promise Neighborhood

Name of Facilitator:  Eric Engdahl

Date:  2/11/2017              Location:   Cal State East Bay

Children want to go to school because of:

·       Feelings of being welcomed – a warm teacher and environment

·       See their friends

·       “To learn stories of our past.”

·       For a better life and more opportunities

·       Social interaction through events and activities

·       Sports

·       Food

·       They like art the best

Art is:  Painting, drawing, “doing something with their hands” (from Spanish speaker, the gesture indicated kneading clay), music, dance, performing arts, poetry.

The arts give confidence, pride, “poetry and song – enjoyment” to students.

“Everyone is creative.”

1.     What schools can do to (better) inspire creativity

·      Arts needs to be required in schools

·      Teachers need to be trained in the arts

·      It needs to be in the whole school

·      There need to be non-traditional spaces for art, so that it can happen at any time

·      “Let the children lead [in art], don’t tell them what to do.”  This was strongly reiterated, give the students voice, don’t impose art but give students agency in the art they want to create.

·      “Let students learn through play.” 

·      “Give students the power of choice.”

·      Create a structure for arts to happen.

·       “There is tremendous art on students’ binders, that’s where the art is.  Build on where students are already making art.”  (This comment was referring to drawing that students do on their binders).  “Utilize who they [students] are!”

·      Use art to deal with social and emotional issues, to let students heal.

·      Bring arts into special education.

·      Teachers need to understand that doodling and drawing is how some students learn, they need to honor that and not punish it.

·      Let students learn through poetry and song.

·      Train staff, classified employees, para-educators, counselors, administration in arts so that any in the school can support students making art.

·      Train teachers to know that in art activities there must be talk and movement.

·      Teaching in schools does not align with how students best learn.  Has to change.

·      Look at Southgate Elementary as model.  All students have arts binder for individual work but there are also annual “house” projects, that is, whole grade level collaborative art projects around a theme (e.g., the environment).  This teaches socialization skills.

·      Create gallery spaces in all schools and around the city for student art (e.g., Tennyson HS).  Sell student art. 

2.     The role of arts and parents

·      Parents must be educated in the arts.  There is a split between how arts are recognized in elementary versus secondary grades.  Parent enthusiasm about the arts fades in secondary school because they have the perception that it does not lead to jobs.

·      Make parents value and advocate for the arts.

·      Bring arts classes to parents at school parent centers (such as those found in HPN schools).  Educate the parents.

·      If you educate the parents and provide opportunities for them to be creative and make art then they can model the importance of art for their children and support them in the arts.

·      Have art classes available in non-school settings (such as HARD- Hayward Area Recreation District).  They must be non-fee classes because parents do not have the money for arts classes.

·      Encourage arts to occur anywhere, in parks.

·      Bring experts from industry to talk at career nights about arts and creative careers.  (The commenter referred to a wide range of industries that require creative talent.)  Educate parents and students that arts education leads to employment opportunities. 

·      Educate parents that the arts build critical thinking skills.

3.                 Anything you want to add, that’s not captured by above prompts?

The HPN Advisory Board officially requests that the Alliance keep them informed of the work and share arts plans with them.  They would like periodic reports at their meetings on the work of the Alliance.  They would like to know how they can be directly involved in the process. 

They were an extremely engaged and wise group.  I read the introduction (they clapped at the Alliance’s vision) and asked the first question and they pretty much took it from there.  The group is primarily women from the Jackson Triangle in Hayward.  There were about five monolingual Spanish speakers and there was simultaneous translation provided.

Destiny Arts Group Conversation - about 10 high school aged students of color, 1 white student, and 1 African American teacher. 2 male and the rest are female.


Tassiana Willis, Facilitator

1.     What inspires creativity: passion, experience, dreams, music, seeing people dance

2.     What schools can do to better inspire creativity:

a.     More art classes

b.     Allow space for creativity. Make time for it. Not just history, math PE.

c.     We learn other people’s history, but if you don’t allow us how to be creative, how can we make history?

d.     Nowadays, a lot of schools are taking out art programs, music and dance. Only focusing on science, math history. If we don’t have some way to express ourselves, we’re going to be looking for a way to get it out.

e.     School is the only place we can be ourselves. If they take that out…

f.      When you get your teaching credential, you learn what to teach, not how to teach.

3.     The role of arts in educating young people:

a.     If art is what you want to do, you shouldn’t be boxed in by “education”

b.     It’s important to know things like reading, writing, basic math. But other things could be replaced

c.     Art plays a role by letting you express yourself. If we are bottling a lot of things inside, when people do art, it’s a time of release. There might be something going on at home, and if there’ no art, anything to take that trouble that’s been troubling them, that’s why a lot of children commit suicide, hurt themselves, start cutting.

d.     Art is a way to release a lot of things

e.     Art plays a big role in society. Without art, it would be a dull world. We’re not put on earth to survive; we’re put on earth to LIVE. A life that is fulfilling.

f.      IF you don’t engage me, I’m not going to remember anything you said.

4.     Schools preparing you for adulthood

a.     Yes sand no. High school, they cut all the dance, drama and band.

b.     Socially – some, not really. You get to know how to interact with some people.

c.     It’s important to know how to read, write, basic math skills, history – what happened before you were around. But the textbooks aren’t teaching history. They’re teaching history of white people.

d.     I want to learn how to be financially stable. How to pay bills. They need to teach us things that we actually need. You get out other, they never taught us how to manage your money, buy a house. Society expects us to know these things, but doesn’t teach us how to do these things.

e.     School doesn’t teach people how to be a real person, like, social skills. If it didn’t’ go to an art school, my voice wouldn’t be as out there as it is now, it would be dimmed down, dumbed down.

f.      They produce students, not people.

5.     Arts prepare students for a brighter future

a.     Arts prepare you to determine. Arts give you freedom to express yourself.

6.     Anything you want to add

a.     Doodling in math refreshes my brain so I can focus.

b.     Hard work and dedication is what gets people motivated to do things.

c.     If everyone gave themselves a chance to so do some art, that will help you in the long run. Art teaches you to try.

d.     Shorter school day, starting later

e.     At school, if you do art, people think you aren’t smart. Mostly minority kids in art and white kids in the academies. As if some kids don’t need arts. To me art is just tapping into yourself.

f.      It’s weird how we are forced to choose at our young age. Schools force you to choose at a young age. When you don’t become that, they almost shame you.

g.     Engineers are artists. People who build bridges are artists. We disconnect from the arts. If you look around, what would we have without art? We can bring arts and academics together – it’s complex as an educator, but if art is infused in academics, then we not only make it more interesting, but help people know that arts exists on all levels. – Sarah Crowell, Artistic Director of Destiny Arts

Berkeley Rep School of Theatre 

3/27/17 - Facilitators Anthony Jackson and Michael Curry

1. What inspires creativity?

"Injustice!  Things that need changing!" - OSA

"Solitude but also positive environments!" - LPS Hayward

2. What can schools do to better inspire creativity?

"Pay more attention to the performing arts. The performing arts classes can also come together more and collaborate." - Skyline HS

"Encourage it more." -Berkeley HS

3. The role of arts in educating young people

"Important! Wonderful! Fundamental! Neglected!" - OSA

"For me, arts education brings to mind community building, making close friends, and having memorable experiences." - Berkeley HS

4. How are arts already integrated into their schools?

"Yes, however I find that other programs, such as sports, are funded more and paid more attention to." -Skyline

"Yes, singing class/groups, acting class, visual arts (2D and 3D)." -Piedmont HS

5. Schools preparing students for adulthood

"If there were less grade influencing activities I would look forward to class more." -Berkeley High

"I would enjoy going if I could take more electives or take intellectually challenging classes without a crushing workload." -Berkeley High

6. Arts preparing students for a better future

"I think about how arts education is necessary for schools because it promotes creativity and provides a creative outlet and helps children in their passion." -Skyline HS

Art Education Leaders - Members of the Alliance Teaching & Learning Oversight Group

2.23.17 at the Museum of Children’s Art 

·      Dominique Enriquez / Studio Director, Richmond Arts Center; POC, F, 30’s, Oakland

·      Marilyn Koral / Arts Educator & Consultant; White, 60’s, F, San Francisco

·      Roxanne Padgett, Executive Director, MOCHA; White, 50’s, F, Hayward

·      Carolyn Carr, ACOE/Alliance staff; White, 70, F, Oakland

·      Ann Wettrich, ACOE/Alliance consultant; White, 69, F, Oakland

1.  What inspired creativity?

·      Abstract thinking(MK)

·      When you have an open disposition to creativity, it can be stimulated anywhere—even a grocery store, etc.  (RP)

·      It can be an inherently visceral or a jarring personal encounter... a connection made to the play of light, movement, music, or even a conversation.  (DE)

·      Problem solving.... told a story re first time she realized she was creative—washing dishes on a camping trip and there was no place to put the soap, so she went into the woods found sticks and made a tripod holder for the soap.  (CC)

·      Reframing problems as opportunities (AW)

2.  What schools can do to (better) inspire creativity?

·      “Honor the individual [student] as a learner” Feed this approach into classroom culture.  (DE)

·      Getting input from students to create curricula...allowing time for teachers to do this.  (RP)

·      Pre-service programs need to focus on educating teachers to be facilitators of information, rather than deliverers of subject matter.  Lots needs to happen to support this—restructuring schedule, adding more periods to the day for electives.  (MK)

3.  Role of arts in education young people?

·      Bridge 

·      Starting point and gateway to other subject areas.  Inquiry based approach supports this. 

·      Builds confidence in learning(RP)

·      Engages learning styles

·      Art is structured to open more opportunities for socialized ways of learning...tribe feeling...

·      Tool for “learning the language of the self” Discovering your voice and body as a tool.  The social component of the arts increases relationship building capacity.  Brings students into dialogue with their self.  (DE)

·      Identity development (CC)

4.  How are arts already integrated into schools?

·      Hit and miss.  It depends on the school.  Wide range.  Noticing that in recent years, “I struggle less with convincing people that art is a tool for learning.”  People are getting more familiar with this concept(RP)

·      It is easier to see [arts integration] in elementary schools where they flow through subject matters and there is not a strict, rigid division in the schedule.  You see this subject area division in middle and high schools, where teachers are

considered disciplinary experts and walls are put around subjects.  (MK)

·      In Berkeley High’s IB program, art teacher Kimberly D’Adamo is operating at the highest level of arts integration—using an inquiry based approach—where student identify a large question of interest and then conduct research and make a series of art works that investigate their question—leading to learning across subject areas.  (AW)

5.  How are the schools preparing students for adulthood? 

·      Depressing—students are put in rigid boxes.  They are constantly under pressure to catch up with technology that changes quickly.  Learning gets funneled to areas like coding.  Students need divergent thinking and creativity skills [to succeed in adulthood] and schools are not set up this way.  (RP)

·      Millennial—it’s a generational thing—the ways we inhabit and interact with each other [through technology].  They need to learn how to collaborate and work as a team.  This is not learned in schools.  (DE)

·      Yes, they say if they need to know something they’ll ask Alexa.  A creative approach is needed to using technology, not just interacting with a product. 

·      Media literacy is more important now that ever.  Students need to learn this.  KQED has good resource materials on their site about this.  (AW)

·      Kids who are loved at home come to school to learn and kids who are not loved at home come to school for....   We need a humanity based approach in our schools.  (CC)

·      OUSD has Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies PD for teachers.  Neuroscience shows the effect of repeated episodes of daily trauma on students living with the challenges of poverty and how it impacts one’s state of mind and physical health.  They need supportive, nurturing school environments.  Instead of being called out for disruptive behavior, teachers are learning to set up peace corners in their classrooms where students can go to chill out.  These are not spaces for punishment, but for restoration.  Students are learning to self-identify their emotional state and take time out as needed.   (AW)

6.  How can the arts prepare students for a better future?   

·      Critical thinking and problem to figure a way through a challenge.

·      Understanding self as learner and social agent.  Apply knowledge and thinking skills learned in the arts to other contexts in life.  Art helps to connect the dots. 

·      “I had no idea I was smart till I started making art.” (DE)

·      Collaborative art – learning teamwork and communication skills.  (MK)

·      I had Dyslexia and the only time I felt smart in school was in art class. Creative process is core...making, thinking, connecting is the important part. (RP)

·      Passion/human language...find voice through some channel in the arts. Spirituality associated with the arts is important but can be taboo to speak about in education settings. (CC)

7.  Anything you want to add, that’s not captured by above prompts?

·      Community building through the arts—in schools.  Shifting the culture of a school.  Idea of poetry as a way to surface and reveal interior voices--to forge personal, subconscious and universal areas of connection.  Poetry epidemic--story of poetry readings at school parent meetings that helped to spread the writing of poetry throughout the school—from students to parents, to teachers and the principal...building relationships and deepening sense of community.  (AW)