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Arts and the Community

Sac State Helps Connect Youth to Local Arts

Easy access to higher education is a work of art at Sac State.

Meet the MusicThrough countless programs that both educate and entertain, Sac State connects with the next generation of students and the community. The programs, held on campus and in the community, introduce youngsters to the creative process of art and provide them with a comfortable introduction to college. In the process, the University helps lay the artistic foundation for the community’s future.

Each year, more than 15,000 elementary, middle and high school students take part in art projects, have their work exhibited in the University’s galleries, are featured in the theater’s spotlight and are introduced to the symphony.

Among the projects is the barrio art program—an artistic mix of young schoolchildren, senior citizens and future educators.

For 31 years, barrio art has been taking art education downtown to the Washington Neighborhood Center. Sac State students coordinate art workshops for schoolchildren as well senior citizens at the center.

Barrio ArtRetired art professor Jose Montoya created the barrio art in the 1970s to get the University involved in the community. He also wanted to introduce college students to people of diverse cultural backgrounds.

Another ongoing program is the annual Student Art Exhibit. Each year, an exhibition of paintings, sculptures, collages and multi-media pieces by area high school students is featured in one of the University’s galleries.

The exhibit is significant because it offers high school students a chance to present pieces at a professional gallery. And every spring for last 44 years, thousands of teenagers have flocked to campus to attend the Lenaea Festival—the oldest high school drama event of its kind in the country to feature duets, monologues and one-act plays written and directed by West Coast high school students.

Richard BaySac State’s fledgling Meet the Music series has already introduced thousands of school children to the theatrical delights of symphonies, melodies and puppetry. Music professor Pete Nowlen created the popular concert series in 1998 as a fun, educational event for families and a must-see destination for elementary school field trips.

The concerts feature the Richard Bay Puppets as well as Sac State’s orchestras and symphonies. Youngsters are encouraged to participate, to learn the art of puppetry and to identify instruments and musical composition.

Details: (916) 278-2787.

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