Sunday, March 02, 2014


By Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Daily News |

Jennifer Elrod sings with the Verdugo Hills High

School Chorus after school on Tuesday, February 26, 2014. The group will be one of the LAUSD groups to perform at the Arts Fest at Grand Park in Los Angeles on March 15th. (Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News)

Posted: 02/26/14, 6:10 PM PST ::  Dozens of Los Angeles-area schools are opening their doors to showcase student films, dance recitals and art exhibits.

Seeking to spark creativity among its students, Los Angeles Unified School District’s “Arts Fest” kicks off Saturday and will feature events at about 30 schools over a two-week period.

Steven McCarthy, Los Angeles Unified’s arts coordinator for kindergarten through 12th grades, said Arts Fest will be unique because the programs are open to the public.

“They are going to see a wide array of talent,” McCarthy said of attendees.

Some of the events are free, while others cost from $1 to $7.

Visitors at Esteban Torres High School in East Los Angeles, for example, can watch two dance teams perform. Over at the Woodland Hills’ Hale Charter Academy, the academy’s jazz ensembles will play a few sets. At T.S King Middle School in Los Feliz, ceramics and other students’ artwork will be on display.

The program concludes March 15 with a free event in downtown’s Grand Park, which will include about 2,000 students performing on the main stage or showcasing their work, McCarthy said.

The idea for Arts Fest arose from a district-wide contest. In 2012, Los Angeles Unified officials asked students, employees and parents to submit ideas for programs they would like to see that would promote positivity. The district offered $3,000 towards supplies at whichever school provided the winning idea.

Jordyn Sacino, then at Palms Gifted Magnet but now a freshman at Hamilton High School, supplied just that: A district-wide arts program.

“Why don’t we use art to save art? We can have an art show!” Sacino wrote in her entry.

The festival kicks off as Los Angeles Unified is reportedly weighing cuts to its music program. The district wants to cut in half the time that elementary school students are taught orchestra, according to a report by KPCC.

District spokeswoman Shannon Haber didn’t respond to a request for comment about Los Angeles Unified’s arts funding or the reported cuts. McCarthy said he was unable to easily detail the amount that the district budgets for arts programs.

In a statement, Superintendent John Deasy called arts a “powerful catalyst for learning and achieving.”


from lausd: LAUSD Arts Fest: Home Page

Home Page Logo

Message from the Superintendent

“The arts are a powerful catalyst for learning and achieving; when students engage in creative problem-solving and artistic expression they develop their own voice and sense of agency.

Students need access to multiple pathways that engage 21st century habits and skills; with one out of every six jobs in the Los Angeles region linked to the creative economy, one of these pathways needs to be in the arts.

This isn’t just a pathway—it is their right.”


Welcome: Join LAUSD March 1-15, 2014, as students across the District showcase their artistic talents during LAUSD Arts Fest 2014


March 1-14, 2014

School-Site/Regional Events

Event listing available in February

Traditional dance, media arts, music, theater and visual arts showcases at LAUSD school sites

March 15, 2014

Arts Fest in the Park

Grand Park, Downtown Los Angeles

At Arts Fest in the Park, you will find...

  • Live stages with musical, dance and acting performances
  • Artist market showcasing student paintings and drawings, photographs and crafts
  • Video showcase featuring student film shorts and videos
  • Creativity zone with arts and crafts activities
  • Silent auction
  • Celebrity appearances
  • Vendor booths
  • Food trucks
  • Giveaways

100% of the proceeds from all school-site events will be retained by the hosting school to support their Arts Program 

Proceeds from the Arts Fest in the Park will be redirected to support the instructional needs of the District’s Arts Program

For more information, visit or email

Promotional Flyer English, Promotional Flyer Spanish and Sponsorship Flyer

in-partnership_logos.jpg2cents smf

  • This program is not an effort of Beyond the Bell, traditional sponsor of after-school programs .
  • This program is not a an initiative of the District Arts Program.
  • This program is not an effort of LAUSD’s traditional arts sponsors or labor partners.
  • This program is an outcome of LAUSD’s My Bright Idea Contest – which was intended to address the District’s $377 million deficit. Congrats to Jordyn Sacino , 7th Grade Student, Palms Gifted Magnet of Palms Gifted Magnet, now a freshman at Hamilton High School for this idea.

Jordyn’s Bright Idea: a District-wide Art Show


“Why don't we use art to save art?

“We can have an art show! With not just visual arts, but performing and music! People can come enjoy the show, and see what talent students from LAUSD will be losing at the same time. This will encourage donations such as money and supplies.”

The student winner, Jordyn Sacino, from the Gifted Magnet at Palms Middle School, proposed a District-wide art show, featuring student performances and artworks. Attendees would be asked for donations that support the arts education programs.  She chose her school, the Gifted Magnet at Palms, to receive the $3000 donation that will purchase art supplies and materials.  “We are thrilled with your idea. It’s rock star material”, Deasy said. The District will sponsor a two-week art festival based on Sacino’s idea next March. Board Member Marguerite LaMotte mentioned a fundraiser from decades ago, but said Sacino’s idea carries the idea “to another dimension.” She joked: “We could have been making money all these years,” while praising her creativity.

●● it’s going to take a lot more than a talent show fundraiser to pay down the deficit or save Arts+Music Ed in LAUSD.

Ultimately this program is an effort of the Office of the Superintendent and costs, budgeting and accountability come from that office.

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