By: Christina Magaña, Development Associate
This January, the Workshop will sadly say “see you later,” but not “goodbye,” to someone very close to our hearts, former teaching artist and current board member, Garth Applegate. Garth started with the Workshop 13 years ago as a teaching artist at a site formerly called Impact High, a school serving high school-aged youth on probation. True to heart and true to Garth, he made magic in the classroom by improvising a class on three-dimensional drawing, a feat considering Garth is a trained musician and not a visual artist. (Visual art was the class sitting vacant for a year before Garth took on this full-time teaching role through the Workshop.)
Garth managed to create a class that folded music into visual art, eventually creating an art and music curriculum that served every student who came through the program, some for many months and others for only a few days. Garth remained at Impact High for three years until the city cut funding, transitioning Garth into a new role at the San Francisco Friends School, where he currently works as Music Director.
Much time has come and gone since Garth taught with the Workshop at Impact High, but he still remembers the students and staff who regularly inspired him. And he can still remember the words of one Impact High student who, when asked why they came to class, said: “The only class where I learn anything I like is Garth’s class.” Garth believes the statement attests only to the value of an arts education, and to what such an education meant for one student. To us, it means Garth was and is a remarkable educator, and also much too humble.
We are incredibly grateful for Garth’s six years of board service, on top of his three years of teaching with the Workshop. As a valued member of the Workshop’s program quality committee, his contributions to the Workshop have kept us connected to the past while always looking toward the future. And the music the Garth Applegate Trio performed for our 50th Anniversary was the cherry on top of an already beautiful and momentous evening.
Garth, we will miss you! But we know where to find you. And you know where we’ll always be: grooving with the students, just like you.