VAPA Arts in Action header art
May 14, 2021
I hope you all had a great Teacher Appreciation Week and received messages of love and gratitude for all you do each day. I would encourage you to save all of those messages from your students, families, school, and district for the days when you can use a bit of encouragement. I have always kept both paper and virtual folders of these messages and refer to them when I’m having a tough day. 
Last spring, I asked you to remember why you became a teacher. I heard from many of you who shared what inspired you to take this rewarding and challenging career path. While the past year has been full of change, what moments of joy have you experienced with your students and colleagues? I have developed closer bonds with my colleagues as we started collaborating in new ways. I have experimented with new means of communicating and delivering professional learning. While every attempt has not been successful (I recently closed all the breakout rooms in Zoom when I was trying to move one person into a breakout room), I continue to remind myself that it is OK to experience failure, be kind to myself, laugh when appropriate, and use the feedback to adapt and improve. I have found new strategies and tools that I will continue to use beyond the pandemic and hope you have as well. One particular experience that stands out is the student panelist who spoke at the Arts Empower Mega Rally in March.
As this school year nears an end and you are planning how you will spend your summer, please remember to take time to rest and do things that bring you joy. This past year hasn't been easy, and taking care of yourself should be a priority; that may look different for everyone. If you've been learning to paint or dance or play the ukulele or cook, that's great! If you've been learning how to set boundaries with others because you needed more rest, that's great too! And if your focus is on doing the best you can from one hour to the next, that's great too, and I'm rooting for you! 
I have a card on my night stand with this quote from Brené Brown: “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.” Regardless of how you have been navigating the pandemic, please know that you are enough as you are today. If you are struggling, it's OK to take up space and ask people for help or just share how you're feeling with others. You are not alone. I have a group of peers from around the state who share questions, ideas, jokes, and sometimes tears on a daily basis. I would encourage you to find similar ways to connect with people. It can take courage to reach out to others, but it is so important to do. 

If you’re on Twitter, connect with me @PCrooks_VAPA and others passionate about arts education on our weekly #CaArtsEdChat chats every Wednesday from 4 to 4:30 p.m. Whether you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat before or are an expert, use this link to see the questions and learn how to join the conversation.

I can't wait to share more with you about the September 2021 Arts Empower San Diego Mega Conference! Look for an email soon with details on the event as well as other ways to build and maintain connections.

VAPA Coordinator, San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)
VAPA arts in action professional learning subhead
Introduction to Arts Integration
Build awareness of how integrating theatre strategies can activate your curriculum in any content area. This online, asynchronous course developed by the La Jolla Playhouse will guide educators through a deep understanding of the value of standards-based arts integration, how to develop an ensemble mindset in the classroom, assessment through the arts, and ways to connect community arts organizations to schools. The course includes example lesson plans, teacher testimony, and resources to guide arts integration into standards-based curriculum. 

This course was designed in collaboration with the Kennedy Center Partners in Education partnership between the La Jolla Playhouse, the Chula Vista Elementary School District, and SDCOE with funding provided by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Arts Initiative.
California Arts Standards Introduction
The California Arts Standards Introduction professional learning is designed for arts educators, multiple subject teachers, school and district administrators, and teaching artists to deepen their understanding of the 2019 California Arts Standards for Public Schools and explore strategies for implementation. This professional learning is offered by Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, San Diego, Stanislaus, and Tulare county offices of education as part of the collective work of CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative Creativity at the Core Module 22. This two-hour professional learning will be offered six times this summer.
San Diego Area Arts Leadership Community
SDCOE and the Southern Counties California Arts Project are facilitating the San Diego Area Arts Leadership Community. This community of TK-12 school district arts leaders investigate arts education topics and current research, to maintain awareness of issues and policies impacting arts education in California. The community provides a system of support for arts leaders to share, reflect, problem-solve, and learn from each other, especially in our current circumstances with shifting contexts in face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid models of instruction. Sessions will continue May 14 and June 4.
TCAP's Latin Music Webinars
The California Arts Project (TCAP) Latin Music Initiative is a free resource for teachers in support of the California Music Standards and broadening the scope of musical traditions studied in educational settings. The TCAP Latin Music webinar series explores the intersection and relationships between Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro-Cuban music; the African diaspora's influence on contemporary Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro-Cuban music and culture; and culturally relevant instructional teaching practices. Registration is available here. For questions or more information, email
SouthCAP Arts Education Network
In a time of unprecedented challenges, it's important to connect and network with other arts educators throughout San Diego, Orange, and Imperial counties. Join the SouthCAP Arts Education Network online from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on the last Thursday of every month to share experiences, exchange ideas, and stay informed in arts education statewide updates. For TK-12 and post-secondary educators in dance; media arts; music; theatre; visual arts; and career technical education arts, media, and entertainment.
  • The next session is May 27.
  • Register using this form and a Zoom link will be emailed to you.
View the latest VAPA professional learning opportunities on the SDCOE Visual and Performing Arts website.
VAPA arts in action news and resources subhead
Arts Education Curriculum Units
The SDCOE Curriculum and Instruction, Multilingual Education and Global Achievement, and Innovation teams collaborated to design distance learning units of study in grades K-12 that are focused on grade-level essential learning in each content area. These units were purposefully designed to integrate content (including the arts) and provide flexibility and choice. The units of study connect content in the following areas: English language arts, English language development, mathematics, science, history/social science, arts, computer science, and physical education through integrated study in K-5 and thematic units in grades 6-12. Assessment opportunities (formative and summative) and student feedback are embedded and intentionally developed. These open-source units are being developed in Google to ensure maximum flexibility for teachers to use them with their district’s preferred distance learning instructional platform.
VAPA arts in action spotlight section header
Thank You to all of the teachers who submitted selfies for the Arts Empower San Diego: Teacher Spotlight! Your selfies are being featured on Twitter throughout the month, and a video is being put together using all of the photos and messages. You can find the selfies on Twitter by following @ArtsEmpowerSD and the video will be shared on social media and posted on the Arts Empower website before the end of the month. 

We look forward to celebrating with you at the 2021 Arts Empower Mega Conference on Saturday, Sept 18. While the planning is still in progress for this hybrid event, attendees will have the option of attending virtually or in person. We also plan to make video content from the sessions available following the conference. Watch for more information through this newsletter, the Arts Empower website and the SDCOE VAPA webpage.
Hope and Justice #MoreThanOne Monthly Contest
Directing Change is excited to announce May’s prompt for its monthly Hope and Justice contest is #MoreThanOne.
Students can express themselves in any art form suitable for sharing via social media: original music, dance, spoken word, art, poetry, a speech, anything! This is your chance to tell your story and be creative. The prompt for May is More Than One, and some ideas to get you started include How does your identity and being more than one help you to feel strong, empowered, inspired, or connected to others? How are you defying limiting labels? What does representation mean to you?
Participants are eligible to submit one entry per month. Prizes include $300, $150, $100, and $25 in Amazon gift cards. Directing Change is part of statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students.
Teaching Guitars Workshop
The Teaching Guitar Workshop will return from July 5 to 9 at El Cajon Valley High School. The Teaching Guitar Workshops were started by members of music industry and arts educator organizations in 1995. The objective: help school music educators start or enhance classroom guitar programs and deliver more music making opportunities to children. Participants will receive 40 hours of professional development, sheet music, method books, accessories worth more than $500, and the chance to network with fellow guitar teachers on best practices.
Shadows Across the Globe
On the weekend of July 10 and 11, Twisted Heart Puppetworks will be hosting San Diego’s first online international shadow puppetry festival, lovingly titled Shadows Across The Globe. This festival is a grassroots endeavor spearheaded by Tania Yager and sponsored by the San Diego Guild Of Puppetry and Backfence Society of Vista. The goal is to bring this unique artistic medium right into people's homes for free and introduce people from all over the globe to the fascinating and ancient world of shadow puppetry. The festival will feature a free, livestreaming, family-friendly category called Shadow Play on both Saturday and Sunday morning as well as offering ticketed Zoom classes for folks of all ages and skill levels. Live Zoom artist talks from industry leaders will be available through the weekend.
NAMM Advocacy Summit
National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) members, music educators, administrators, college music faculty and students, music and cultural organization staff, parents, teachers, and community members are invited to gather online May 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for advocacy briefing and training to continue shared work as music education champions. The next generation of music makers is counting on us! Register for the NAMM Advocacy Summit.
20th iVIE Student Film Awards and Film Festival
Media Arts Center San Diego is excited to announce its 20th Innovative Video in Education Awards and Student Film Festival. This has been a challenging year, but the festival provides an opportunity to celebrate all the successes this past year (small and large). Student film festival and awards event will take place June 12 at Reading Town Square Claremont. It's free for all students, families, and teachers.
Virtual Encounters: The Traditional Music and Dance of Maguindanao, Philippines
This hosted music and dance presentation will be live on YouTube at 2 p.m. June 6 and feature musicians and dancers from the Samahan Filipino American Performing Arts and Education Center and ethnomusicologist Dr. Bernard Ellorin will explore the rich cultural context of the performing arts of Maguindanao, Philippines. It will also feature Kim Kalanduyan-Villanueva, granddaughter of the late great kulintang master Danongan “Danny” Kalanduyan; and Nicholas Delmundo-Benton, field researcher of cultural dances from the Muslim societies of the Southern Philippines and Eastern Sabah, Malaysia. They will explore the significance, purpose, and intention of select music and dance pieces, and address audience questions. They will also speak to how the continuation of these art forms in the U.S. play an important role in the preservation of the traditional performing arts in the Philippines and for the Filipino diaspora.

Registration is free. A link to the live stream will be provided in your confirmation email.
Student Mentoring Coalition
Help students in your class become a positive influencer, gain leadership skills, community service hours, and experience for college applications through a new Student Mentoring Coalition. Young people ages 14 to 18 are invited to join and help their friends and peers quit vaping and smoking. Students can learn how to improve health in their community while making a real difference in San Diego by emailing Cynthia Knapp for more information about the coalition.
Catapult Shadow Dance Virtual Field Trip
In Poway OnStage’s Virtual Field Trip, Catapult Shadow Dance will perform stories inspired by Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and transport you into fantastical worlds made simply out of light and the human body. The performance features incredible dancers who work behind a screen to create shadow silhouettes of shapes. Catapult’s dancers stretch their bodies and your imaginations, telling stories with humor and delight by transforming magically from one shape to another.
Introduction to Instruments Virtual Field Trip
In Introduction to Instruments: Virtual Field Trip students will enjoy lively and engaging activities and performances designed to teach them all about the world of band and orchestra instruments. From challenging games, and online demonstrations, our Introduction to Instruments field trip gives 4th and 5th graders all the information they need to choose the band or orchestra instrument that excites them the most. Music educators have called the program “essential” to the health of their band and orchestra programs.

Virtual field trips are interactive, turn-key, self-paced, and aligned with VAPA standards. Each field trip includes a tour of the Poway Center for Performing Arts, a pre-recorded performance, and VAPA extension activities.
La Jolla Playhouse POP Tour: Pick Me Last
The La Jolla Playhouse Performance Outreach Program (POP) Tour will be available to all schools, organizations, and families at no cost. Please visit the POP Tour website to book a digital performance for your school. 

The year’s POP Tour, Pick Me Last, is written by Idris Goodwin and directed by Jacole Kitchen. It will highlight the importance of inclusivity at school. It is recommended for students in elementary through 6th grade.

Since 1987, the La Jolla Playhouse has commissioned and developed new plays each year for young people that tour schools, community centers, and libraries throughout San Diego County. A typical year includes a live 45-minute in-school performance and classroom curriculum. There is a virtual option to stream the POP Tour (in chapters if needed) and curriculum lessons and videos featuring teaching artists on the La Jolla Playhouse website.
Classics 4 Kids Meet and Greet
Available to all elementary students within San Diego County, this free 25-minute live meet and greet features an interactive musical performance by a Classics 4 Kids musician or our conductor, an explanation of their instrument, and time for the students to ask questions and share comments with the musician. This program can be utilized for students in the classroom or learning from home. 

Each meet and greet is tailored to the grade level of the students in attendance and includes social and emotional learning components and diverse music selections featuring Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and female composers.

Availability is limited. This program is offered Tuesdays to Fridays with start times in the morning at 9:15, 10, and 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. For more information or to book a virtual visit, email and include the grade level of students, school name, contact phone number, and three preferred dates and times. Zoom platform is preferred. Spanish program available by request.
Music Teaching Videos for Virtual Classroom
Advocates For Classical Music invites all elementary and middle school teachers and parents who are home schooling to utilize two newly created videos to help students better understand the various instruments of the symphony orchestra. These videos are about 10 minutes long, engaging, and fun to watch.

Perhaps, with the start of this new semester, your students need to select an instrument they want to learn to play. These videos (Making Music 1 and 2) will help them decide. One video demonstrates strings and woodwinds while the other covers brass and percussion. They are also helpful if you are teaching about the symphony orchestra. These videos are free and readily available to view anytime on the Advocates for Classical Music YouTube Channel.

Advocates For Classical Music, an all-volunteer organization, has been introducing kids to great music for the past 25 years through its music docent visits to the classroom. It is continually developing a variety of musical teaching resources to assist teachers and home-schoolers with music education.
Safa's Story Virtual Theatre Program
Safa’s Story, a virtual theatre-based program for students in grades 3 to 7, is designed to create dialogue about cultural sensitivity, diversity, and accepting difference. The play is based on a true story of a Zimbabwean-American 5th-grade girl from San Diego. The program centers around a rare type of interactive performance called forum theatre that empowers students to stand up for themselves and their peers when they experience discrimination or bullying. You can learn more about the show and watch a promo on the Safa's Story website. You can book now to schedule the virtual program anytime between now and June 15. Contact for more information.
Get up-to-the-minute information about what's happening at SDCOE and in our districts across the county.