The Castaic Union School District has scheduled artist residencies at all three of its elementary schools for the 10-11 school year. The residencies are the direct result of a fruitful partnership with the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons, without whom they may not have been financially feasible.
Fall begins with a series of workshops at Northlake Hills Elementary involving the L.A. Opera Company and two classes of fourth grade students. Classroom teachers will begin their initiation into the world of opera on September 15 when they will attend an in-service with L.A. Opera at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center. Student workshops will begin in October and culminate in a student performance of the opera, “The Prospector”, based on Puccini’s “The Girl of the Golden West”.
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The Lula Washington Dance Theater will begin a 12-week residency at Castaic Elementary and Live Oak Elementary schools after winter break. Lula Washington Dance Theater is one of the most admired African-American contemporary dance companies in the West – known for powerful, high-energy dancing, unique choreography, and exceptional educational residencies. The Castaic Union School District is delighted to have them working with our students as part of the district’s visual and performing arts curriculum.
The Castaic Union School District has always held the visual and performing arts in high esteem with arts education playing a prominent role in daily curriculum. In 2004, the district became one of the first 11 districts chosen to participate in “Arts for All: The Los Angeles County Blueprint for Arts Education.” The stategic plan that evolved as a result of this initiative brought to light the fact that although the district had strong music and visual arts programs at all grade levels, dance and theater programs lagged behind.
Residencies such as those scheduled for this school year address the district’s goal of enriching the visual and performing arts curriculum and bolstering student exposure to theater and dance as significant components of the state’s visual and performing arts standards. Additionally, this year, Castaic Middle School is expanding its visual and performing arts curriculum to include a Theater Arts strand. The Theater Arts program rounds out Castaic Middle School’s already strong arts education programming that currently includes award-winning visual arts, music and video production classes taught by certificated specialists.