Starting Arts is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is the promotion and preservation of quality arts education in public and private schools, preschools and home school groups.
Since 2000, Starting Arts has partnered with school communities and districts in the San Francisco Bay area to provide both during and after school programs in visual and performing arts for children in grades K through 12.
Unlike many arts education providers, Starting Arts actively promotes all four arts disciplines: Dance, Theatre, Music and Visual Arts. We recruit skilled professional artists eager to share their knowledge and passion with children. Classes are standards-based, offered in both independent (art alone) and integrated subject formats. Our instructional focus includes performance/exhibition as well as art knowledge and appreciation. Starting Arts is all about “doing it”!
Tremendous abilities are fostered by arts education. Studies have shown time and again that arts education improves overall academic performance. Acknowledging this, federal, state and local agencies have adopted comprehensive arts education standards in an attempt to plant arts solidly into the core curricula of public schools. Despite this support, budget shortfalls dating back to the 1980′s have resulted in the steady disappearance of arts education from schools nationwide.
Starting Arts’ vision is to bring financially sustainable arts education back into our schools. By creating partnerships between the general education and arts communities, quality arts instruction can be affordable and accessible. During school arts programs become viable when districts are freed from large administrative costs associated with permanent staff and curricula development. After school programs become more accessible to students (and parents) when rent-free use of school facilities reduces class fees and eliminates transportation issues. These collaborations work – and Starting Arts is helping make them happen.
Starting Arts receives and solicits operating funds from individuals, corporations, foundations and government agencies. We believe financially supporting arts education is a low-cost, high-return investment in community. Contributors not only help educate the next generation of artists and audiences – they help teach creative thinking skills to the future innovators and leaders of our world.
“Art teaches children to see with a critical eye, create something new, or incorporate old ideas into a new vision. Arts instruction focuses most directly on creative thinking skills – the source of innovation and invention in the world today.”
- Ann Watts, Executive Director