Past News

2016-02-26

From the March Newsletter

2016-02-26

March Newsletter

2015-10-04

Sacred Arts Festival Videos Now Available

2015-10-02

Arts Council Takes A Chance

2015-08-13

On Summer Break

2015-07-06

Arts Council Elects New President

2015-07-03

Grants and Scholarships

2015-04-23

Santa Ana Invests in Artists!

2015-04-15

Annual Soiree was Heroic

2015-03-18

Arts Council Annual Soiree Details

2015-02-02

Schools Turnaround With The Arts

2014-12-08

December Newsletter is here.

2014-12-08

Superheroes Campaign - One Month Left

2014-10-26

Music Therapy Reduces Depression in Kids

2014-09-27

Anaheim's Big Fish Nearly Open

2014-09-02

New Arts Season Begins

2014-08-13

We are on a brief recess

2014-06-09

Art and the Brain

2014-02-09

The Mannequin Experiment

2014-01-18

Arts Council Theatre Night

2014-01-09

New Year: New Look. Our Website Changes

2014-01-02

Happy New Year to all our Readers

2014-01-01

The Role of Theatre in Anaheim

2013-11-25

OC Choral Society Plans Big Move to Anaheim

2013-11-10

Updates Today

2013-09-26

Art for Others’ Sake

2013-08-26

Sacred Arts Festival Moves Into 1st Gear

2013-07-17

Looking Back at the Last Few Months

2013-06-20

Why Arts And Humanities Matter

2013-05-29

Catch-up Time

2013-05-04

From STEM to STEAM

2013-04-18

Grant opportunities for older artists

2013-04-08

Arts Council Theatre Night Out

2013-04-08

The Taste of the Arts is Back

2013-03-25

Arts Council Ponders After School Arts Classes

2013-03-25

Congrats to Anaheim Ballet

2013-03-05

Public Forum on After School Arts Education

2013-02-15

Well Deserved Recognition for Becky Areias

2012-12-18

New Performing Arts Center - a Call to the City

2012-11-29

Reflections on the Fall Festival and the Art Crawl

2012-11-24

Champion for the Arts, 2013 - the Race Begins!

2012-11-23

Editor's Pick - What To See Over The Holidays

2012-10-24

Come Together Gets Props in City Council

2012-09-25

What's On In Anaheim?

2012-09-03

The Quest for AIPP

2012-06-30

Wind of Change for Arts Council

2012-06-30

When The Arts Feel The Pinch

2012-05-31

Children’s Festival 20 Years Old

2012-05-05

Hoagy Holguin named as Champion of the Arts

2012-04-27

Wine and Cheese Soiree at the Anaheim White House

2012-04-14

CI Music 'Wows' Arts Council

2011-12-09

Nutcracker Opens December 10th. What a treat!

2011-12-02

Photochemical Art Drips With Strange Noir

2011-11-13

The Heritage Forum: an Opinion

2011-10-16

Art in Public Places

2011-09-01

Bruno Gives Huge Boost to Local Non-Profits

2011-08-17

The Living Tradition Sets Out Full Program

2011-08-07

The Art Crawl Cometh

2011-06-04

Scholarship Winners Share Their Art

2011-05-19

Our invitation to YOU – join our summer party at Battle of the Dance

2011-05-03

Artists Wanted!

2011-03-14

Arts EXPO! Hailed a Success

2011-03-05

Did the News Disappear?

2011-02-13

Arts EXPO! Planned for March

2011-02-02

New Art Experience in Downtown

2011-01-09

An Hour of Inspiration

2011-01-06

Board Member hit by Police Car

2010-11-12

Awards for Art in Public Places

2010-11-07

Gallery Opens in Downtown Anaheim

Dance and Drama One Step Closer

By Michael Buss, 2016-04-26

Want to hear something mind-blowing? For the last 40 years you could not teach Dance in California junior or high public schools unless you had a PE credential. And you could not teach Theatre unless you had an English credential.

Incongruity
Imagine the soccer coach being asked to teach ballet! Or the English teacher being asked to teach a theatre class! If you were lucky, there were some schools where it just so happened that some teachers did have these “secondary” skills.

Put simply, there were NO credentials for Dance or Theater. Only West Virginia matches California with such abysmal support of performing arts in our schools. For if we were to have properly trained and credentialed theatre and dance teachers – image the profound difference that would have upon our schools.

Now, it’s probably true that these two subjects have been missing for so long, or else so poorly taught, that school and district administrators simply do not know what REAL programs in dance and drama would even look like. Meanwhile, kids with highly kinetic learning intelligences may flounder in the more sedentary subjects (which is most of them.)

Union opposition
What was the problem? For as you can guess there were plenty of strong proponents pushing for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to approve such credentials. The California Alliance for Arts Education led the charge with wonderful advocacy. The State would have to pass a bill to make this happen. And the CTA union, the California Teachers Association, would also want to weigh in. But for YEARS the CTA resisted. Who can fathom the reasons?

To bring you up to date. Sen. Ben Allen, a keen, bright young man, understood the need to resolve the lack of suitable credentialing for dance and drama and recently introduced a Senate Bill to fix the problem. Now he’s the darling of the performing arts across the state, of course. But what would the CTA do at their general assembly in this very month of April?

A curious case
So I wrote to Ryan Anthony Ruelas, a member of the CTA, to ask him why the union had withstood opening up dance and drama credentials for so many years.

Ruelas is a teacher at Anaheim High School; he is on the board of the Anaheim City School District; he was, for a while, a Commissioner on Anaheim’s Cultural and Heritage Commission. And when I saw him last year at a large ACSD Arts Fair he was beaming with approval of the plan to gave access to all kids in the district to musical instruments. 

But Ryan did not reply to my email. I wrote second time asking how he planned to vote at the CTA assembly. No reply. Maybe he missed my emails. But he would not have missed my post on his Facebook page. He just ignored it. Now I can think of no reason why he would refuse even to acknowledge my approaches other than that he would be against the provision of single subject credentials in dance a drama. He is quite entitled to hold that view. But a reason would be good. Especially since he comes from a schools with a hugely successful Performing Arts Conservatory. If he ever deigns to respond to my enquiries, I will pass on the information.

Approval
Now here’s what happened next. The CTA conference finally APPROVED the call for single subject credentialing on April 12th!! The vote was 310 support; 250 oppose. That’s a 55% approval. More worrying is that if the CTA is representative of the general teaching profession, know that current performing arts teachers work in schools where 45% of their colleagues and administrators still not really get it!  But let’s not get bogged down in this right now.

April 20th – and the Senate Education Committee approved Ben Allen’s bill, SB 916, by a vote of 9-0. Next, it will go to the Senate Appropriations Committee and eventually, all being well, to the Governor’s desk.

Optimism
This is a time for great optimism for the performing arts here in Anaheim. I have often pointed out how many fine actors and choreographers live in LA and OC counties. But they cannot all find work. What opportunities would open up for them, and our schools, if they could get credentialed! Bring the smell of grease-paint, the heat of the follow-spot, into the drama class, the real experience of having auditioned and performed in stage plays and movies, and the teaching of drama will take on a whole new dimension. Wherever we have fine dance and drama teachers – the whole school benefits.



 


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