News Release

San Benito Arts Council launches 111 weekly art classes

Weekly classes will be held in 12 elementry schools and will serve over 2,000 students.
Drawing Hands. Photo courtesy of San Benito Arts Council.
HDLA_Mural_Students Photo courtesy of San Benito Arts Council.

Information provided by the San Benito County Arts Council


The San Benito County Arts Council announced the launch of its 2021-2022 Arts in Education Program during the week of October 4, bringing weekly classes in the visual and performing arts to over 2,800 students throughout San Benito County.

“Now in its 11th year, our Arts in Education Program is built on the belief that every child deserves equitable access to the arts, and places professional teaching artists in local classrooms to teach students drawing, painting, ceramics, multi-media, ukulele, singing and more,” the release states.

This year’s program includes 111 art classes per week at 12 local elementary schools, serving over 2,800 students in grades TK-7th grade.

“When I calculated the number of classes per week, and saw the number 111, I was moved and motivated. It takes tremendous dedication, time, energy, advocacy, belief, collaboration, communication and talent to make this good work happen!” San Benito County Arts Council’s Director of Arts Education Amanda Chiado said. “I feel honored and grateful to be a part of our incredible shared success, and am steadfast in continuing to work toward arts equity for all students in San Benito County.”

According to the release, Twelve Arts Council teaching artists, all of whom taught in the Arts Council’s Summer School Mural Program with the Hollister School District, spent the end of summer analyzing last year’s survey data, attending trainings, exploring and creating new curriculum, developing strategic plans for addressing social-emotional learning, organizing art supplies, and connecting with art teachers across the region.

These teaching artists will be deployed at 8 sites within the Hollister School District, teaching visual art to grades 3-7, starting the first week of October.

“I’m looking forward to reconnecting with the students in person again, and I am also excited to see what our new teaching artists bring to the program,” teaching artist Clay Peer said. Peer taught virtually during the 2020-2021 school year and is slated to teach at the Hollister Dual Language Academy and Rancho Santana for 2021-2022 stated,

The Arts Council will partner with the California Academy of Novel and Traditional Arts (CANTA), based in downtown Hollister, who will be the lead teaching artists in the 3rd Grade Ukulele Program and 2nd Grade Voice Program, with the Aromas-San Juan School District, as well as Terra Cultura who will be the lead teaching artists in the 3rd-5th Grade Visual Art Program at Aromas and San Juan schools.

All students in this program will receive a free ukulele, which arrived in a variety of colors.

“The students’ excitement when they receive their own musical instrument or a bag of new and colorful art supplies is palpable. It’s like Christmas!” Arts Council Executive Director Jennifer Laine said. “We could not be prouder of all the dedicated people and partners that make this program possible.  It’s like preparing for an art invasion – we have our artists, our partners, our students, our art supplies and plans- let’s go!”

The San Benito County Arts Council said the 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 Community Foundation for San Benito County, United Way, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and California Arts Council.

For questions or more information please contact the Arts Council at [email protected] or call at 636-2787 or visit


BenitoLink Staff