CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) celebrated its 25th anniversary at CalArts Alumni and Family Weekend, held on Oct. 16-17. Six talented alumni who taught in CAP during the program’s first 20 years participated in an insightful panel discussion moderated by CAP’s Managing Director Nadine Rambeau and Artistic Director Glenna Avila. After the panel, CalArts President Steven Lavine and his wife Janet Sternburg were among the guests at a reception attended by CAP alumni, youth participants, their parents and families, current CalArts students teaching in CAP, and prominent arts professionals.
Panelists responded to questions: “What values, learned at CAP, did you take forward into your art career?” “What impact did CAP have on your professional choices?” “What kind of skills did you gain from teaching in CAP?”
Sandy Rodriguez (Art BFA 97), now a museum educator at the J. Paul Getty Museum, commented, “In 1993, when I was 18 years old, being part of CAP, and its “Art As a Verb” public art class, was impactful because the class’ interdisciplinary project-based learning curriculum was co-developed by youth. CAP was equally rewarding for me as an educator and for the youth participants as producers of their own projects. This is something I’ve continued throughout the 18 years of my career.”
As part of the wide ranging conversation, panelists discussed how CAP’s dedication to community influenced their work. In addition to Rodriguez, they were: Sara Guerrero (Theater BFA 99), founder of The Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble; Isabelle Lutterodt (Art MFA 01), Director of the Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park; Jon Lapointe (Art MFA 95), Director of Communications at the Armory Center for the Arts; Francesca Penzani (Dance MFA 99), CalArts Faculty at The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance; Emily Hopkins, Executive Director of Side Street Projects; and Noah Harmon (Music BFA 05), bassist, teacher and founding member of the indie rock band Airborne Toxic Event.
CAP links CalArts with the diverse communities in Los Angeles County through tuition-free, after-school, summer and school-based arts programs—offering rigorous arts training to young people ages 6-18 in every discipline taught at CalArts. Programs are offered at public schools, community centers and social service agencies.