Arts Education Program

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The School’s Arts Education Program (AEP) enhances the education of underserved, low-income children and youth in East San José through culturally specific arts engagement activities and instruction.

Annually, the School serves 875 students (ages 6-18) through our AEP who would not otherwise have access to high-quality arts education, helping them to not only learn about a craft or instrument, but to also connect them to their peers, their families, their neighborhood, and their heritage.

Our AEP implements two channels of delivery: Summer Programs (including a Mariachi Conservatory), and the School-Year Program. In alignment with best practices outlined by the California Department of Education, the School has evolved its Arts Education Program to include a “developmental pathway” to learning approach. The School now concentrates school-year programming on Mariachi music and Mexican folkloric dance, while Summer Camps provide offerings across the arts disciplines:

  1. The Summer Program includes two, 2-week Summer Day Camps, and one, 2-week Mariachi Conservatory. The Summer Day Camp provides 9 daily hours of arts engagement opportunities for youth ages 6 to 12 over a two-week period. Students explore offerings across the arts spectrum. For a more intensive arts experience, the Mariachi Conservatory allows students to focus on skill-building with a chosen instrument, as well as a concentrated study of the elements and principles of music through the unique genre of Mariachi music.

  2. The School-Year Program aligns with the academic year, divided into Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. Classes meet weekly over the course of ten consecutive weeks and engage students in a longer-term progressive skill-building experience, culminating in a demonstration at the close of each quarter. Courses include instruction in violin, trumpet, guitar, percussion, and traditional mariachi instruments such as vihuela and guitarron. Classes in Mexican folkloric dance includes a long-term partnership with Cashion Cultural Legacy (CCL).

To address the barriers that may prevent some of our families from taking advantage of our AEP, the School offers needs-based financial aid, and an affordable instrument loan program. In addition, our School-Year Program classes meet in the evening to address limited transportation challenges during the workday.