Warm and cool calavera project at Ladd Lane

Information provided by the San Benito County Arts Council


The San Benito County Arts Council and the Hollister School District (HSD) announced the expansion of its 2022-2023 Arts in Education Program.

According to the news release, the Arts Council’s Arts in Education Program is built on the belief that every child deserves access to an arts education. It added the council has been working closely with the school district over the last 12 years to expand art programs, opportunities and services to local students.

In the 2021-2022 school year the program served Hollister School District students in third through seventh grades. It added the Arts Council has been contracted to expand the program to provide art services to all students in transition kindergarten through eight grade at the nine elementary sites for the 2022-2023 school year.

“When students have artistic opportunities, they can come to see the world through a different lens. But perhaps, more importantly, they can come to see themselves through a different lens,” said Colleen Myers, HSD Director of Educational Services. “It is this sort of heightened sense of self that, we as educators, should offer to students every day. This is one of the many reasons why Hollister School District is thrilled to collaborate with the Arts Council to launch our Arts Education Program.”

According to the release, every week, 12 professional teaching artists in all media are deployed to over 185 art classes, instructing students in drawing, painting, ceramics, multi-media, ukulele, singing and more. It added students receive 45 minutes of arts instruction based on the state-adopted arts education curriculum, the Art of Education University, which is aligned to the California Department of Education’s Visual and Performing Arts Standards.

“Sample lessons include empowering identity in art using mixed media, storytelling through heroes, and exploring architecture and community through building clay houses,” the release said. “While students build their technical skills and creativity, they are also exploring a variety of broader themes and concepts that address identity, conflict and adversity, and transformation.”

This year’s program also incorporates a targeted focus on art and healing and student well-being, the release said, as students continue to recover from the emotional trauma and learning loss as a result of the COVID pandemic.

“Our diverse teaching artist team is a powerhouse of knowledge and skill with a commitment to building relationships with students to improve their well-being. Teaching artists took part in UCLA’s Art and Healing intensive training over the summer, and are currently embedding those practices into their lessons,” said Arts Council’s Director of Arts Education, Amanda Chiado.

The District also contracted the Arts Council to expand its third grade Ukulele Program, providing a 12-week artist-in-residency with ukulele instructor, Bruce Gilsenan, to all HSD third graders, and has also included a musical Voice Program for all second graders, taught by San Benito Stage Company veteran, Olivia Loupe, the release said.

“This year’s Art in Education program is the most comprehensive yet, and we are eager to continue to work together on adopting the HSD Strategic Arts Plan which will create the infrastructure to sustain equitable arts programming for all students as part of their core curriculum, as well as per ed. code Cal. Ed. Code § 51210,” said Chiado. “Our partnership with HSD is vital to growing and implementing child-centered curriculum.”

According to the release, the San Benito County Arts Council’s Arts in Education Program is made possible through partnerships with the San Benito County Office of Education, Hollister, Aromas-San Juan and Tres Pinos school districts, as well as with funding support from the United Way for San Benito County, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and California Arts Council.

For questions or more information please contact the Arts Council at info@sanbenitoarts.org or call at 636-2787 or visit www.sanbenitoarts.org