Funded by PACT Foundation, Arts Focus is led by parent volunteers who collaborate closely with teachers to develop standards-aligned curriculum. Designed to help students explore art in-depth in various subject areas such as clay, drawing and painting, textiles, technology in arts, and 3-dimensional art. Arts Focus runs in addition to CSMA's Arts for School program which is funded by MVWSD and MVEF.
Arts Focus - Uniquely Stevenson PACT
Founded in PACT's second year, Arts Focus continues the school's focus on developing social relationships in a project-based learning environment. During Arts Focus sessions, students build relationships across age and social groups and learn the skills and habits of creative work.
Teachers and parents partner to present 15 classes that run for six, four-hour sessions on Thursdays twice a year. The classes incorporate hands-on study with a formal curriculum designed and presented by parents. Regular classes are dispersed and re-assembled, so that each course has an even number of students from each grade level. Volunteer parents partner with teachers to run each class. Each Arts Focus session concludes with a public exhibition at City Hall of student work from each class.
The enhanced arts curriculum is designed to:
- substantially increase the number of hours the children participate in creative exploration,
- expose them to a much greater variety of art media than what the schools are able to provide, and
- contribute enormously to the children's cognitive, academic, and social development. The goal of this program is for the children to experience all phases of the creative process, with emphasis on the free expression of ideas (rather than on simply creating facsimiles of pre-established end products).
Courses for 2016-17 are: ceramics, 3D, drawing and painting, kinetic art, paper, music on stage, physical theatre, photography, printmaking, animation, textiles - weaving and dyeing, textiles - sewing, materials exploration, global beat, and video.