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December 7, 2001

Building bridges with art

Funding for art education in public schools has been systematically cut since the 1970s, but now CSUS is helping to reintegrate the arts into K-12 education.

This campus is one of only two universities in the CSU system to receive a $24,000 two-year grant from the University of California system for an ArtsBridge project.

The project provides funding for art majors to gain hands-on teaching experience while reintroducing arts classes to local schools. It is directed by music professor Deborah Pittman, who is assisted by four other arts professors as well as instructors from several local public schools.

Here's how is works: Top-ranked CSUS arts students are selected as ArtsBridge scholars. After meeting specific criteria and passing an interview process, the students receive a $1,000 scholarship. Local K-12 teachers apply to have an ArtsBridge scholar in their classroom for one semester, and Pittman matches the scholars with the teachers. The whole thing costs participating schools nothing.

Founded in 1996 by UC Irvine, the program has served more 10,000 children in California's public schools. In 1999, ArtsBridge received a $1.5 million grant from the state to expand its services. The program has a proven success record of addressing the scarcity of arts education curriculum in public schools.

For more information call Pittman at 278-7482.


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