Program Design

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We have rigorous, high quality arts programming where public high school students can dive deeply into one discipline or survey several to get a truly multidisciplinary experience. Youth from schools across San Francisco participate in the programs together, building a collaborative, creative community.

As an organization that has a sole focus on youth arts education, we hold up best practices in youth development and arts education. Our evidence-based programs are developed from research in both fields, focusing on continuous quality improvement and emerging trends.

Our methodology, developed in partnership with consultant Trena Noval, a faculty member from California College of the Arts, is aligned with California State Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) standards and University of California A-G program requirements. The methodology also implements elements of The Buck Institute’s Project-based Learning model and Harvard University’s Project Zero. The development of the methodology was funded by the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation.

Our faculty members are all working professional artists who connect their own practice to their high school students. A strong bond and mentorship exists in this environment that allows students to have role models in the creative sector and to build a reciprocal learning environment. Additionally, our dedicated Program Director supports faculty program planning, implementation, and evaluation.

We assess student progress throughout each session. Students completed pre- and post-surveys to demonstrated increased knowledge and perceptions. Faculty conduct student evaluations mid- and post- session to provide individualized feedback for each students. At the end of the program, students also complete a Department of Children, Youth, and their Families survey to evaluate the program as a whole. We use the survey results to adjust program implementation as needed and to determine new program offerings.