Those who can — teach. Teaching is an art form. Thanks to a progressive program called the Visual and Performing Arts Education Program (VAPAE), undergraduate students at UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture can earn a minor as they are learning to become better artists, performers, and designers while other students from across campus also have the opportunity to learn and practice the art of arts education. And those opportunities will grow thanks to Monica and Philip Rosenthal’s support of the program, including their recent $200,000 contribution.
Gaining and Giving Experience
VAPAE offers interdisciplinary coursework and programs that introduce students to key issues and methodologies in the field of arts education while providing much needed arts education to children in under-resourced communities around Los Angeles. Initial teaching experiences take place in K–12 classrooms, but additional courses offer students the chance to teach in an array of settings, including afterschool programs, community centers, and museums. A classroom-in-residence program at the Hammer Museum at UCLA brings elementary-school students from Los Angeles Unified School District schools to experience and reflect on original art.
Lily Raven Leon, a VAPAE participant, reflected on her experiences. “This course was outstanding. It provided me with tools to use to teach students how to think and engage critically with the arts. I learned that you can teach children to be active agents in the production of art and in their futures.”
Advocates for Arts Education
Philip Rosenthal is a writer and producer best known for Everybody Loves Raymond. Monica Rosenthal is an acclaimed actress, and along with her husband, is a true advocate for the value of arts education.
“So many of our L.A. schools have cut funding, abandoning the mandate that art be taught as a core subject. As a result, thousands of students aren’t receiving the same ‘complete education’ that students living in other zip codes receive as a matter of course. Phil and I believe it is essential that we help create a pipeline of trained teaching artists in an effort to begin closing that education gap. Every child in Los Angeles is entitled to a complete education, regardless of their zip code,” says Monica Rosenthal.
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Published December 2015