Starting Arts, a nonprofit organization, depends entirely on community support to pursue our mission: promoting arts education in public schools.
In the year 2000, an individual benefactor approached Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) with a vision: to revive arts education in local public schools. Starting Arts was created to make this vision a reality. Over the past twelve years Starting Arts has far exceeded expectations. Our organization has gone from piloting classes at a single elementary school, to running visual and performing arts programs, before, during, and after school, at seventy five schools in twelve Bay Area school districts, including: Campbell, Evergreen, Moreland, San Jose Unified, Santa Clara Unified, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Cambrian, Union, Fremont, and Ravenswood.
Starting Arts programs are hosted by school districts. Classes are offered to students on their own campus both during and after school. The district provides physical facilities and available arts production equipment at no cost. When needed, cities have also provided free use of park buildings adjacent to schools. The generosity of these public organizations has greatly reduced operating costs of our visual and performing arts programs.
Starting Arts, in collaboration with its partners, has also been awarded grants totaling more than 1 million dollars from regional and local foundations, including Cultural Initiatives Silicon Valley, Community Foundation Silicon Valley, The Intero Foundation, Flora Family Foundation, and the Delta Kappa Gamma Society. This grant money has funded curriculum development, district-wide during school arts programs, classroom teacher professional development, after school arts programs and student scholarships.
We support and are supported by the local arts community. Since the initial pilot program, our list of affiliated artists has grown from three to forty-five. These artists are working professionals with a desire to pass on their skills to the next generation. They are drawn to Starting Arts by our commitment to arts education and quality arts productions.
Corporate sponsorship is essential to the future viability of Starting Arts. It is our goal to engage local industry in creating a cultural and educational environment that attracts high quality employees – and keeps them in our community. We seek broader exposure through sponsorship by corporations with interests nationwide. We believe Starting Arts is creating a model for public school arts education that will work not only in the San Francisco Bay Area, but in communities across America.