Escondido, CA
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California Center awarded grants to widen access to shows for some students

The California Arts Council announced its plans to award $28,800 to the California Center for the Arts, Escondido as part of its Arts Education: Exposure programs.

As a segment of the California Arts Council Arts Education grant opportunities, Exposure grants support attendance at performances and exhibitions for students who may otherwise have limited access to these experiences. The impact of student attendance at these events is complemented by pre- and post-attendance activities.

The California Arts Council Exposure Grant funds support the Center Stage Performances for Youth and Field Trips to the Museum. These visual and performing arts based activities introduce students to the arts through the Center’s curriculum-enhancing performing arts series, touring a Museum Exhibition. Center Stage offers a series of weekday matinee performances of theater, music, dance, and storytelling.  

It is the only professional and educational performing arts schedule in the North San Diego region that is uniquely designed for educators. The performances span a variety of curricular subjects including history, science, literature, humanities, social studies, music, and dance. Integral to the success of Center Stage, is the richness of resources it offers educators. Museum tours give youth a chance to experience art with a docent led field trip experience typically followed by hands on art making activity that relates to the art medium that is presented. 

The California Arts Council Extension Grant funds support the expansion of the My Story: Literacy through the Arts program. The Center launched the My Story program in 2006 to confront the challenges of low academic achievement and the lack of art teachers in Escondido’s elementary schools. 

The 6th grade program at Mission Middle School utilizes Humanities as well as Visual and Performing Arts standards to teach photography to eight classes for a total of 120 students. The students work will also be exhibited in the Museum gallery during the annual smART Festival. The expansion of the My Story program into middle school demonstrates the value and viability of the program as an effective arts integration teaching tool.

“The support from the State not only provides support for but validates our programs. Last year we served over 28,500 youth and educators. Our goal is to ensure that all students have access to experiences in the arts,”  commented Leah Goodwin, director of museum and education at the Center.

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido is one of 113 grantees chosen for the Arts Education: Exposure program. The award was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council.

“Studies have shown that projects like Center Stage and My Story: Literacy through the Arts offer real-world, authentic interaction with the arts has a rewarding effect on learning ability,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council chairman. “These early life experiences can spark interests, provoke thought, and build a student’s capacity for success. The path of what’s possible is widened by every opportunity to step outside the familiar.”

 The Center is located at 340 N. Escondido Blvd. in Escondido. The Ticket Office can be reached at (800) 988-4253. Tickets can also be purchased online. To learn more, including performance dates, times, and ticket information, visit

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