Since our founding 10 years ago in 2006, Burbank Arts for All Foundation has given over $380,000 in supplemental funds to 228 grants in support of our mission to ensure every student in Burbank public schools receives a quality arts education as part of their core curriculum. 

The results of the many projects and programs the Foundation has supported can be seen throughout the Burbank Unified School District. Below, please enjoy just a few stories of the recent impact our funds have had on students in their academic, social and emotional growth.

To learn more about our impact over the years, visit our Impact Page for stories, videos, and testimonials from students and teachers!


Burbank Unified School District | Funded Fall 2014

Elementary General Music Instruction

Burbank Unified School District (BUSD) employs five Elementary Music Teachers that provide weekly general music instruction for 2nd-5th graders at each of BUSD’s eleven elementary schools. In order to help them make better use of their time with each class of students, the District applied for a Foundation grant to match District funds and provide these teachers with iPads to use during their instruction. In the past, the teachers were tethered to a laptop that kept them in one spot, not allowing them to give as much support to their students.

Thanks to this partnership in funding,  iPads are now “able to design and deliver more interactive general music lessons that allow for greater student participation and enthusiasm. Teachers are able to use interactive music, rhythm, and orchestra apps, as well as Adobe and PowerPoint programs that increase the level of student engagement. Teachers are now able to easily move around the classroom while providing whole and small instruction and supporting individual students as needed. This has provided teachers the ability to maximize their instructional minutes and with greater opportunities to check for understanding and assess student learning.”


Bret Harte Elementary School | Funded Fall 2015

In order to continue integrating ceramics into the curriculum, Bret Harte Elementary was in need of supplies, such as new glazes and additional storage space. A grant from Burbank Arts for All Foundation helped them purchase these supplies and a shelving unit for their kiln room. This ongoing program “has impacted the school by reinvigorating the love of ceramics integrated with core curriculum” for both teachers and students.

“Using clay in the classroom allows an additional modality for self-expression and creativity for students. It is also an opportunity for students to demonstrate an understanding of subject matter. In Kindergarten, clay is an excellent way for students to exercise and develop small muscles while demonstrating an understanding or practice of essential Standards.”
-Sue Casella, Kindergarten Teacher

Bret Harte Clay Collage2


Walt Disney Elementary School | Funded Spring 2014

In the Spring of the 2014-2015 school year, Disney Elementary worked with Garri Dance Studio to implement a school-wide dance program. Funding for the program was supported by the school’s booster association, Burbank Arts for All Foundation and BUSD Arts for All. To begin the program, teachers participated in a professional development session with the dance teaching artist, where teachers were given “specific instructions and music so that they could use the skills and knowledge learned to continue teaching the students.” Students in all grade levels K-5 were then given weekly dance instruction over a 6-week period, culminating in a Dance Festival where all dances learned were showcased for the Disney Elementary community. The program had a positive impact on the entire school, with 100% of students and teachers participating and gaining an appreciation of dance as an artform and as a type of physical fitness. Students’ Physical Education attendance and participation even increased during the dance residency!



John Burroughs High School | Funded Spring 2013

In order to “provide teachers with basic art making tools, materials and supplies to support the Visual Arts integration across all disciplines,” Visual Arts Teacher Beth Morrison applied for funding to create art kits to be used by all departments throughout John Burroughs High School. With funding from Burbank Arts for All Foundation, she was able to purchase the necessary art materials needed, and with a donation of carts and containers from IKEA, she was able to create easily transportable “cARTS” for each department. According to Ms. Morrison, “Students are happy and enthusiastic to leverage and incorporate creative skills and exercise other means of communication and problem-solving” and “Teachers are thrilled to have class sets of supplies available and ready to use.”



David Starr Jordan Middle School | Funded Spring 2014

Thanks to the grant provided by the Foundation, cupcake decorating was added to the Culinary Arts class curriculum. Students were taught how to make frosting and then use decorator bags and a variety of fitted tips to create designs on their cupcakes. The students were given templates to practice on, learning how to use the equipment in a variety of ways to create different shapes and textures to use in their designs. Teacher Doreen Wydra shared that “Because of the practice days, the students designs were beyond my expectations. The designs were so original, especially when the students were asked to make sure their creations contained all four different tips and frosting colors.”


Bret Harte Elementary School | Funded Spring 2015

“Bret Harte implemented the theater program beginning 2013-14 and the response from teachers and students was overwhelming. As we decided to further pursue the program, we knew that Burbank Arts for All Foundation would be able to help match PTA funds and continue this program. We worked closely with 24th Street Theater to make an adjustment to the program, including the integration of Common Core Standards; particularly English Language Arts with subject matter coming from all content areas. We also moved the program from late Spring to early Fall in order to give students the full impact of the program from the beginning of the school year since it involved Common Core Standards. The impact has been profound. Teachers and students have received exposure to the Reading literature standards and integration with other content areas mixed with the performing arts. It’s the perfect combination and we are so proud of how this program evolved from simply “theater classes” into a full on integration project combining the best of all areas! Students could not wait for their day every week to go to theater.”
-Jill Johnson, Curriculum Specialist

BH Theatre Collage


John Muir Middle School | Funded Fall 2012, Spring 2015

In 2012, John Muir Middle School applied for seed funding to begin a Digital Media Lab for their students. According to Muir Principal Greg Miller, “This was a program that we were starting from scratch. With the help of Burbank Arts for All Foundation, we were able to have professional development with four staff members. From there, we selected a teacher to lead and develop the class. The course has evolved over the last three years from a semester class to a yearlong class so that students can go deeper into the content.” Since then, the school also developed a partnership with Nickelodeon Studios, who helped them determine which types of equipment to purchase and provided master class sessions with professionals from the Studio to teach the Digital Media students about storyboarding, editing, directing, and filming.

The Foundation has continued to invest in the development of this program by providing an additional matching grant in 2015 to support more media equipment  – increasing the camera per student ratio from 6:30 to 15:30.

Thank You Letter



Burbank High School | Funded Fall 2013

Burbank High’s sculpture students were given the opportunity to create permanent, multi-dimensional art installations in two abandoned telephone nooks and above two drinking fountains in the BHS Performing Arts Center, near the Wolfson Auditorium. The students used a variety of materials, including a selection of old instruments donated by CSUN, to create their mosaics and work as a team to design, plan, and implement the projects. According to Animation & Sculpture Instructor, Jonelle Pickett, “the use of repurposed and custom made pieces, strong design decisions and personal effort the team put into what they knew would be an inspirational and very permanent signature project for their school” was the project’s most successful aspect.

“All students really enjoyed the concept that their artwork would be permanent, and rose to the challenge of making it a high level result. They would check on the progress of the murals everyday when they came into class. Students who had their designs chosen were excited to participate further in taking photographs and/or colorizing their design in Photoshop. Students found they had skills and value in different roles in the project. Some were good at sorting and organizing tiles, others enjoyed clipping in bulk, figuring out the best colors for the sections, and some were so devoted to the process of laying the tile into the design that they spent hours on tiny detailed sections. Some students were excited to take apart the musical instrument donations, and others like the engineering challenges of the installation pieces. The team learned to make decisions and communicate them to those who needed to cut or prepare materials for them. Overall the students’ behavior mirrored a studio-like atmosphere where everyone used their talents and interests while working toward one goal.”
-Jonelle Pickett, Visual Arts Teacher



John Muir Middle School | Funded Spring 2015, Fall 2013, Fall 2012

For the past four school years, teaching artist Kate Randolph has partnered with John Muir Middle School ELD (English Language Development) teachers, Jessica Wertlieb and Jim Koontz, to incorporate theatre techniques into the English classroom. The program began as an artist in residency initiative funded by The Walt Disney Company. Students have been taught to perform the poetry they are studying, learning to convey the meaning of the words of famous poets clearly and with feeling. In its growth, Burbank Arts for All Foundation has supported the program with matching funds in three grant cycles. This year, the project has taken the program one step further by having the students write their own poems about their various homelands. Ms. Randolph then took the students’ original poetry and combined them with famous poems to create a script for the students to perform for their parents and invited guests.

“Thank you again for your commitment to bringing arts education to our ELD students. The production gave our students an opportunity to be in the community spotlight. They developed academically, but at the same time they grew socially. They were empowered and had a sense of belonging while being able to share their lives on the stage. This project gave the students the opportunity, if you will allow me to quote Ms. Kate, ‘Be seen, be felt, be heard, and be understood.’”
-Jim Koontz and Jessica Wertlieb

Read more about the story at KPCC by clicking this link.

courtesy of The LA Times