CSU San Marcos -- November 5, 2003

Cal State San Marcos Creates Center to Restore Arts Education in Area Schools

Since the late 1970s, an entire generation of Californian’s has been denied a comprehensive arts education in public schools. According to San Diego County figures, less than 7 percent of elementary students have a music teacher, fewer than 1 percent have a visual arts teacher, and only 0.1 percent have a dance and/or drama teacher.

In response to the continuing decline of arts education in the region’s public schools, Cal State San Marcos has established Center ARTES (Art, Research, Teaching, Education, Schools), under the leadership of Merryl Goldberg, a professor of music and a highly respected expert on arts education.

“We can’t allow another generation of students to be denied a full education,” said Goldberg. “And that education includes the arts.”

The mission of Center ARTES is to restore arts education in local public schools through partnerships with arts agencies and organizations, artists and local school districts. “The goal,” says Goldberg, “is to bring the arts back into the classroom both as a subject and as a teaching tool for other subjects.” Research will also be conducted on ARTES programs to make sure they are most effective and to build a quantitative database regarding the impact of arts education on student performance.

Also, as part of the university, Center ARTES will provide instruction in arts education curriculum development to credential students in both the Colleges of Education and Arts & Sciences.

The formation of the center was officially approved by the university’s faculty senate late this summer, and private funds have been secured to hire a development officer, Kathy Farmer, who will help Goldberg secure private and foundation support for the center.

More than 10 years ago, Goldberg was asked by the California Center for the Arts, Escondido (the Center), to develop a program that could become a national model for arts education and at the same time meet the needs of local teachers and children. The program she developed was SUAVE, which partners Cal State San Marcos with the Center and K-12 schools throughout North County. The program matches professional artists, or art coaches, with teachers to help them implement arts education, both as a core curriculum and as a vehicle for teaching other subjects.

Recently, the Center announced that SUAVE had received a grant of more than $340,000 from the U.S. Department of Education. In the past, Goldberg has received SUAVE grants from the Spencer, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, and Fulbright-Hays Foundations.

Through Center ARTES, explained Goldberg, the university will be able to deepen its support of SUAVE and seek additional ways to help teachers implement an arts curriculum in their classrooms.

Goldberg received a bachelor’s in music education from the New England Conservatory of Music and both a master’s and doctoral degree in education from Harvard University. As a professional saxophonist and recording artist, Goldberg spent 13 years with the Klezmer Conservatory Band and has released more than a dozen CDs.

Goldberg has also written two books related to the implementation of the program: Arts and Learning: An Integrated Approach to Teaching and Learning in Multicultural and Multilingual Settings (2001, second edition, Addison Wesley Longman) and Teaching English Language Learners through the Arts: A SUAVE Experience (2004, Allyn and Bacon).

The founding board for Center ARTES includes Goldberg; community members Ruth Mangrum, Rosita Botto-Hieb, and Jan O'Hara; Greg Evans, creator of the Luann comic strip; John Santuccio, executive director of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra; Lydia Vogt, principal of Lilac Elementary in Valley Center; university faculty members Bonnie Biggs, Fran Chadwick, and Laura Wendling; Pat Worden, dean of graduate studies and associate vice president for research; and Jamie Nelson, university development officer.

More information about Center ARTES contact Farmer at 760/750-4431 or Goldberg at 760/750-4322.

Contact: Paige Jennings 760/750-4048; pjenning@csusm.edu

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