Free Arts Education for Low-Income Youth

The Problem

In East San Jose, students have very few opportunities to practice art - ever. There is little arts instruction in primary schools, and absolutely no free programs for students to try their hand at art, dance, or music outside of school. In a low-income school district such as Alum Rock in East San Jose, students are forced to take "double blocks" of literacy and math because of their failure to pass state tests - leaving no room for electives for struggling students.

Plan of Action

Through the visual and performing arts, East Side Community Arts works to inspire positive interactions and creative lifestyles among youth living in East San Jose. By offering free art classes led by credentialed teachers and professional artists, East Side Community Arts supports elementary through high school students in creating visual and performing arts, while fostering confidence and community. East Side Community Arts’ half-day arts summer camp will provide a safe, local environment for the youth of East San Jose to interact though the visual and performing arts. Students of different ages, races, genders, and cultural backgrounds will have the opportunity to use the visual and performing arts as a vehicle for positive interactions and as a means of creating meaningful relationships. By assuring the program’s content is culturally relevant, highly engaging, and authentic, East Side Community Arts empowers its participants to celebrate their heritage and culture through creativity and imagination. East Side Community Arts is committed to providing this program free of charge for all participants; one of the few free programs in the area.

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