In Marin / CONVERSATION
to go see a professional theater production,
and an introduction with a teaching artist
who prepped them for the production, then
be followed up with in the classroom to help
them engage through critical thinking about
what they’ve just seen. Every third grader
would have the same program for music.
Every fourth grader would have the same
program for visual arts and these standards
that have been set nationally would be met
in our county in our public schools in each
classroom. Just like sports, the arts equal the
playing field. It doesn’t matter what your cultural and socioeconomic background is when
you are in a classroom for dance or for visual
arts or music or theater.
Are there current programs that are working
especially well? I’ll give you a great example:
we gave out over 7,000 tickets in the last year
to nonprofits serving the traditionally under-served in this community. Talks, musical
performances, Shaolin Warriors, lots of tickets
for Marin Symphony. We support nonprofits
in Marin County that are working with people
who other wise wouldn’t be able to attend,
groups like ELM (Enriching Lives Through
Music), a nonprofit out of the Canal district,
which is an extraordinary program serving 120
kids from the Canal and their families. They
have a youth orchestra, participate in Marin
Symphony, have been asked to perform all over
the country. We try to develop partnerships
with groups like that and we can support the
next generation of musicians, the next generation of audience members who will appreciate
music, the next generation of creative thinkers
What is an accomplishment you are most
proud of? With a very supportive board of
supervisors we started a new nonprofit called
the Marin Cultural Association. Essentially
it is a fundraising arm for everything we want
to do here. We transferred programming from
the county to the nonprofit so, for example, we
have been able to triple the number of people
who come to the Frank Lloyd Wright docent
tours, and we just created a downloadable
Frank Lloyd Wright app. The key was we had
moved the accounting for the tour program
to the nonprofit so our marketing specialist
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