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Lancaster participates in Partners in Education program

OW Staff Writer | 5/30/2014, 6 a.m.

Lancaster’s Performing Arts Center (LPAC), as well as the Lancaster School District (LSD) have been accepted to the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Kennedy Center’s Education Department is committed to its leadership role in promoting higher standards of national performing arts education programs and policies.

“This opportunity to engage with one of the most prestigious arts institutes in the world is invaluable to our community,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “By further integrating the arts into the classroom experience, we are solidifying Lancaster as the cultural center of the Northern Los Angeles County region.”

As part of the program, the LPAC and LSD recently participated in the 23rd Partners in Education Institute held in Washington D.C. Two representatives, one each from the Lancaster School District and LPAC, attended the Institute last month as one of 11 new teams selected this year. They joined 94 teams from 42 states and the District of Columbia which are already participating in the program. The Institute promotes partnerships in communities across the nation between arts organizations and local schools, focusing on the development of education programs for teachers.

“We were honored to have this opportunity to gain valuable knowledge from the Institute,” said LPAC Performing Arts Manager Theresa Yvonne. “Our experience at the Institute was outstanding. LPAC has worked hard to encourage exposure to the arts over the years, and this program will accelerate the effort.”

LPAC already runs the successful Arts for Youth program, created in 1998, which is partially funded by the LPAC Foundation and continues to provide students exposure to the arts. During this recent season, 21 performances were specifically designed for Kindergarten through 12th-grade students. Now, the Lancaster Performing Arts Center will partner with the Lancaster School District to provide professional learning opportunities in the arts for educators while infusing more arts education into the overall local school curriculum.

“We are honored to be accepted into this prestigious program alongside the city of Lancaster,” said Lancaster School District Superintendent Dr. Michele Bowers. “The exploration of the arts fosters appreciation of culture, creativity, and self-awareness among our young people. As we develop this partnership, we look forward to seeing widespread results of this program throughout our schools and our community.”