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Art worth celebrating Carl Robinette | Thu, Jan 30 2014 02:23 PM

The South Bay will have a chance to show its support for youth arts as the South Bay Alliance for Arts in Education will host a symposium on artistic learning and its impact on youth development at Chula Vista High’s Jack Tygett Performing Arts Center Wednesday, Feb. 5.

The symposium, called a Celebration of the Arts in Education, will include performances by Community Opus Project, the Chula Vista Middle School Cavalier String Orchestra and Eastlake High School’s Advanced Strings. It will also feature panel discussions and guest speakers, all in support of helping young people in South Bay develop through artistic expression.

“Student involvement in the arts helps increase test scores, promotes civic engagement and lowers dropout rates,” said Keith Davis, coordinator of the Alliance. “There is community enrichment with the opportunity to attend these many events. The arts in education help to better prepare our 21st century workforce and it helps kids develop leadership skills which strengthens the community.”

The event is co-produced by the Sweetwater Union High School District Visual and Performing Arts Department. The Alliance is a private organization that is supported through collaboration with the school districts of South County.
“The arts in South Bay and Chula Vista are leading the nation, and one of the cool things about it is that it is a collaboration of public and private,” said Jason Paguio, a member of the Alliance’s leadership team. “As a community we’re investing in our youth and thinking long-term and that’s setting a president for the rest of the nation.”

While the California Alliance for Arts in Education, the parent of organization of the local chapter, has hosted similar symposiums around the state, this will be South Bay’s first.

“The celebration is more than just visual and performing arts,” Paguio said. “It’s one of those things that allows people to work and come together and it transcends gender, race, ethnicity and upbringing, and the result is a sum that is greater than any individual and that’s very powerful.”

“The celebration is especially meaningful to me because I’m a product of South Bay arts. And that’s opened up a lot of opportunities for me,” he added.

The celebration, which is free and open to the public, will give the Alliance valuable insight that will help them improve future events. They will look at what works well and what does not, and hope to make the event an annual or bi-annual one, Davis said.

While the Alliance supports all genres of art, this first event will focus on music and demonstrate how students progress from elementary through college, learning through an artistic medium.

“One of the main things we really hope to be able to demonstrate with this event is to enrich people’s understanding of why arts in education is so important to developing students in our community,” said Davis. 

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