By Nadine Rambeau
The CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP), a program that offers free, after-school and school-based arts programs for youth ages 6-18 in every discipline taught at CalArts, is ending the year on a high note. In late October, CAP was notified that it had won a three-year, $1 million grant from AmeriCorps to expand its portfolio of classes, organize community events and formalize teaching fellowships in the program.
CalArts has the distinction of being the first college-level arts institution to receive an AmeriCorps grant, and the news of the award and the CAP program servicing “arts deserts” in L.A. were recently featured on a KPCC 89.3 segment, “With more funding, CalArts hopes to take community partnerships to new level.”
Reporter Priska Neely, who visited a Sony Pictures Media Arts program site that holds weekly animation classes at Pacoima City Hall, heard firsthand from students about how much they valued the program and the positive impact of participation.
Around the same time as the AmeriCorps announcement was CAP’s first benefit, hosted by CAP Council member Susan Disney Lord at her Brentwood, Calif., restaurant The Bel-Air, on Oct. 28.
Works by current and former CAP students, as well as CalArts faculty and alumni, including MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Maggie Nelson, multimedia artist Sam Durant (Art MFA 91), and actor, director and internationally renowned voice teacher Rafael Lopez-Barrantes, were offered as part of a silent auction. The evening raised more than $60,000 to help support CAP’s arts education efforts.
Also at the benefit, CalArts President Steven D. Lavine was acknowledged as the driving force behind the inception of the program 26 years ago, and celebrated for his unwavering support throughout the years.
Glenna Avila, Artistic Director of CAP and Wallis Annenberg Director of Youth Programs, said, “Steven’s goals initially were multi-faceted: to set a national standard for arts training both at the collegiate and pre-collegiate levels; to provide multicultural alternatives to conventional arts training; and to serve a larger community of which CalArts is a part. With Steven’s leadership, we achieved these goals.”
To find out more about CAP and its programs, please visit: calarts.edu/cap.