New Year’s Networking + “The Creative Classroom”

Toast the New Year with friends, art, and lively discussion!  Join the Arts Providers Alliance of San Francisco (APASF) members for an exclusive happy hour celebration where you’ll network and make art over food and drinks.

Stay for The Creative Classroom, an engaging lecture with Carol S. Dweck and Michael Light. Dweck and Light will discuss how a “growth mindset” leads to creativity and engagement in learning.


Date: Thursday, January 15, 2015

Time: 4:30 – 6:00 pm (Happy Hour) 6-7:30 pm (Lecture)

Location: Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission Street

The event is free to APASF members who pre-register.  

APASF will only pay for lecture tickets for members who register in advance.  

$5 for non-APASF participants.


Artist Michael Light, who has explored topics ranging from lunar geology to mapping through photography, joins Dweck in a conversation about how a “growth mindset” leads to creativity and engagement in learning.  Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset (2007) has reverberations that have inspired educators, parents and beyond, provoking a reconsideration of how we cultivate success and give praise.

Want to show off your creativity? Would you like to set up a collaborative art project or conversation-starter on a table at the event? Contact Todd Berman at

For more information, contact: 

Need to renew your APASF membership?  Click here.


NEW STUDENT POETRY: “The Hood of Smoke and Mirrors”

For 15 years, the Workshop has received support from the Marin Community Foundation to conduct artist residencies at elementary schools in Marin County, primarily those serving San Rafael’s low-income neighborhoods.

In 2006, the Foundation expanded that support to include poetry residencies at Marin’s County Community School and at Juvenile Hall’s Loma Alta High School. They have continued to support poetry classes each year since, and for the past several years, we have been pleased to publish the selected work of those student poets in a colorful bound anthology.

2013 anthology

2013 Anthology Cover

Here, teaching artist Dana Teen Lomax’s shares her reflections on the residency, and a poem that knocked our socks off.

Leah: The Beauty of Recognizing Your Own Potential

This year, the Loma Alta residency was really different from previous years. The class was smaller than in the past, and the students and I had a chance to really connect individually. There was no place to hide, for one thing. For another, I’ve been concerned with “higher order” thinking more and more in the workshops. One lesson in particular really illustrates the deeper places we were able to go in these classes.

“The students have really made me re-think positions I have held, and they have been extremely real in our conversations. They have challenged me and themselves in the best ways, taking on the deeper questions about art and life. I respect them so much as thinkers and poets.”

I had the class read a poem by Josh Healey, “Grammatically Correct.” The students really came alive. The poem is subtitled “The Ghetto Poem,” and about halfway through, the students clamored to know if the writer was “black.” They would not rest until they knew. I tried to re-focus their attention to the craft of the poem, to the themes, to what it is “about.” Finally realizing that we had an opportunity here, not a stumbling block, we spent the next half an hour discussing the history of ghettos, oppression, feminism, and racism. The discussion was heated. The conversation had its difficult moments. And like any open-ended, provocative discussion, we all had a lot more questions at the end of the class than at the beginning. Is the author dead? Can people write from perspectives that are not their own? If they can, where’s the line? What ideas about the other sex do we maintain? Where did they come from? Do these ideas build community or make us feel isolated? In whose best interest were these ideas created? Who benefits if these ideas persist? This discussion started with a poem, but ended with the class really challenging and being challenged by their own ideas and projections. I left riveted and curious about what we had created that day.

In this class, one girl, whom we’ll call Leah, was a student who liked poetry, but hadn’t had the opportunity to write a good deal. Throughout the residency, Leah took every opportunity to learn the craft elements: metaphor, simile, personification, onomatopoeia, alliteration, repetition. She seemed to literally absorb poetic techniques and then let them leak back out through her pen. The poetry classes gave her the chance to recognize her own writing talents and expand them. Bright and eager, she began to see herself as a writer and she clearly won the respect of the other students; she was like the Poet Laureate of the class. More than once I heard a student say, “Shh! Leah is about to read.” Leah’s ideas mattered — and by extension so did everyone’s, so did the class. Her poem in response to Healey’s poem and the day’s discussion is below.

Now that Leah has been set loose with her thoughts and words, I am certain that she will always have a pen in her pocket and am hopeful that she’ll choose risk-taking creatively, through verse, over other forms of risk-taking.

The Hood of Smoke & Mirrors

by Leah

As an infant
I inhaled Oakland
Before my own blood
Gave me up for the pipe.
The system took me away
and placed me in
Middle Class money.
Safe and sheltered
in an artificial family
there was nothing to do
but grow.
My hood was getting
my ass beat by my
two older brothers
learning at an early age
that nobody likes
a tattle-tale.
Rather than learning to ride a bike
my brother taught me
how to sip the bottle at 10 years young.
Dysfunctional families can still love
so why was my hood so full of
My hood was
anywhere I could escape myself.
My hood was
a tunnel with a possible light at the end.
But that same light was more likely a
freight train.
My hood is here
My hood is there
My hood isn’t me
My hood could be anywhere…

A Love Letter to the Workshop

Dear Performing Arts Workshop,

I’m been meaning to tell you this for some time now, but let me just come right out and say it.

I love you.

You introduced me to the San Francisco Bay Area, made me cry with joy on a regular basis, and produced a pride in my own self-development that no one else could give me.

From when I first walked into your tiny two-room cell space in Fort Mason eight years ago as a fresh faced intern, to leaving your high ceiling industrial loft in Dogpatch as a fully fledged manager – you have been a constant in my life. You changed who I was and put me on course for who I am becoming.

Dear friend, are you surprised? You shouldn’t be.

Let me illustrate some of the myriad ways that you stole my heart.

Your People:

You are staffed by amazing do-gooders; people who care about and make your mission happen in real and tangible ways. Administrative staff, teaching artists, board members, and executive leadership: all are astounding individuals who have taught me so much and continue to surprise. These loving and funny people who know how to throw a party as well as the thrill of a student taking a risk in the classroom for the first time have wheedled you into my heart and I can’t let go.

Your Organization:

You’ve been a leader in arts education since 1965. For almost half a century you’ve changed people’s lives including my own. You took me through two and a half strategic plans and each new version of you has been stronger and increasingly focused. That freshness and forward thinking is, dare I say it, sexy.

Your Mission:

I believe in you. I believe in helping young people develop critical thinking, creative expression and essential learning skills through the arts. Is there a better way to learn how to be human? Is there a better way to discover the power we have to create and influence the world around us? I don’t think so.

Need I say more?

I know our time together is drawing to a close, just as all relationships do. Please know that you’ve made me a better person, as I hope I’ve helped you grow successfully.

I wish you only the best, dear Workshop, as I know you wish for me.

Love always,

Anne Trickey

Partners in Arts Education Grants

National_Guild_New_Logo_epsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 14, 2013

Contact: Heather Ikemire

 (212) 268-3337 ext. 10

                                                                                    Nandika Madgavkar

(212) 578-5707


MetLife Foundation and National Guild Announce

$215,000 in Grants to 12 Exemplary Arts Education Partnerships


August 14, 2013—New YorkMetLife Foundation and the National Guild for Community Arts Education announce the recipients of the MetLife Foundation Partners in Arts Education Program. Grants totaling $215,000 have been awarded to 12 nonprofit arts education organizations that will provide quality arts instruction to more than 11,300 K-12 public school students during the 2013–2014 academic year. Each grantee also will help increase each school’s capacity to provide arts education.

The grantees are:

Click here for a description of each partnership.

National Guild Executive Director Jonathan Herman said: “For two decades the National Guild has been researching, supporting, and fostering best practices in K-12 arts education partnerships that have powerful, long-term effects on students, faculty, institutions, and communities. The MetLife Foundation Partners in Arts Education Program supports exemplary partnerships that not only provide outstanding arts instruction but model effective partnership practices for the field. Grantees demonstrate Guild members’ high level of commitment to the values of quality, accessibility, and accountability. Since its launch in 2005, the program has directly benefitted 97 community arts education organizations, 652 public schools, and 71,000 students.”

“MetLife Foundation believes that arts education is critical to promoting learning and understanding of the world and its diverse cultures,” said Dennis White, president and chief executive officer, MetLife Foundation. “We are proud to support these outstanding arts organizations and we share the National Guild’s commitment to making arts education accessible to children across the country.”

In addition to the individual grants, MetLife Foundation’s Partners in Arts Education Program will sponsor the pre-conference institute, Developing High-Impact Collaborations with K-12 Schools,  (October 30, 2013) at the Guild’s 76th annual Conference for Community Arts Education in Chicago, IL. The goal of the institute is to provide community arts education organizations the tools, training, and know-how to develop successful arts education partnerships.

Other resources available through MetLife Foundation’s Partners in Arts Education Program include Partners in Excellence: A Guide to Community School of the Arts/Public School Partnerships from Inspiration to Implementation and Profiles in Excellence: Case Studies of Exemplary Arts Education Partnerships. Both are available free of charge through the Guild’s website,; hard copies may be purchased by phone at (212) 268-3337 ext. 16.

The National Guild for Community Arts Education supports and advances access to lifelong learning opportunities in the arts. We foster the creation and development of community arts education organizations and programs by providing research and information resources, professional development and networking opportunities, advocacy, funding, and high-profile leadership. Our member organizations collectively serve more than 1.2 million students, employ 16,000 teaching artists, and reach an additional six million Americans each year through performances and exhibitions in rural, suburban and urban communities across the nation. Their impact on the lives of students and communities they serve is enduring and profound.

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to carry on MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. The Foundation is committed to building a secure future for individuals and communities worldwide. Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has made more than $570 million in grants. Visit

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Music Monday: Hit The Road

Sometimes you “gotta get out of this place.” What song makes you want to hit the road?

Larry, Program & Administrative Assistant

  1. Freeway of Love, Aretha Franklin
  2. Last Exit to Brooklyn, Gene Pitney
  3. Gotta Move, Barbra Streisand

Lorena, Program Manager

Dancing On My Own, Robyn

Ivy, Finance & Operations Manager

Mr. Blue Sky

Jessica, Executive Director

Roadrunner, The Modern Lovers

Beverly, Individual Giving Manager

Hotel California because my dad always played it on road trips.

Laurie, Institutional Giving Manager

Exile on Main Street is my quintessential short trip album. That, and Revolver.

Black Sabbath reminds me of the epic roadtrip across the US with my brother. Waking at dawn, having a slug of Limoncello, getting in the car and cranking “Paranoid” while drinking terrible coffee and eating doughnuts, AKA “Continental Breakfast”

But if I was scoring a movie with a road trip scene, I’d have to include “Chicago” by Sufjian Stevens. I always imagine a car speeding down a highway when I hear it, it’s a great escape song.

Anne, Program & Communications Manager

Magic Carpet Ride, Steppenwolf

Built to Spill’s There’s Nothing Wrong With Love and Sparks’s Indiscreet will always and forever be associated with my whirlwind tour of the Southwest I took between Junior and Senior year of high school with two friends. It was the first sans parents road trip I ever took and my first time visiting Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and parts of California. It was desertastic!

Karena, Program Director

We Belong, Pat Benatar