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On Wednesday, September 6th, Burbank Arts for All Foundation hosted its first Community Exchange of the 2017-18 school year at The Colony Theatre.

At this gathering, guests were able to mix and mingle and became inspired by the dialogue focused on BUSD’s recent accomplishments in arts education as well as the work of just two of BUSD’s Gold Ribbon and Exemplary Arts Schools.

The Foundation’s Executive Director, Trena Pitchford, facilitated the dialogue that welcomed a diverse group of panelists from BUSD, including:

  • Steve Frintner, Board of Education Member
  • Matt Hill, Superintendent
  • Peggy Flynn, Arts & Career Technical Education Coordinator
  • Judy Hession, Joaquin Miller Elementary School Principal
  • Stacy Cashman, David Starr Jordan Middle School Principal

“You can’t have the arts as an afterthought in funding.”
-Superintendent Matt Hill

Highlights from the conversation included:

  • The BUSD Board of Education approved the 3-year priorities for the BUSD Arts for All plan in June 2017! Click here to read the plan, and keep an eye out on BUSD’s website for further updates.
  • Goal #4 of BUSD’s District-Wide Goals for 2017-18 focuses on arts education and continuing the work of BUSD’s Arts for All plan. To learn about all of the District’s goals for this year, click here.
  • Superintendent Matt Hill put out a challenge to become involved in BUSD’s LCAP meetings. Find more information here. 
  • A LOT has been accomplished already to forward arts education in our District since May, including:

Thanks to seed grants from Burbank Arts for All Foundation and other funding sources, there will be a new strings program at Luther Middle School.

A digital inventory system was purchased to track all of the musical instruments in our District in one central place.

Over the summer, PE teachers received Professional Development to learn how to teach dance in their curriculum, which will be evaluated this year.

The SEEDS and FACTS students will be getting an artist in residency program, supported by funds from the LA County Arts Commission.

Beginning this year, all three middle schools now have theatre education classes, although each site has a slightly different model.

  • There is so much BUSD would like to accomplish in arts education, but there are still several challenges that they are working to overcome. The biggest challenges are in facilities, personnel, and funding.
  • Last school year, four of BUSD’s secondary schools were honored as Exemplary Arts Schools by the State of California. These schools were: David Starr Jordan Middle School, John Muir Middle School, Luther Burbank Middle School, and Burbank High School. Only 17 schools in the state received this designation!

Visit our Community Page for more info and join us at D’Argenzio’s Wine Enoteca for our next Community Exchange on Wednesday, October 11th at 6:30pm!

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