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NO BOUNDARIES 19: The Art of the Possible at Paseo Colorado

3 mins read
A group of people in a room
No Boundaries Art Exhibition. Photo: PUSD

Let there be art!

Heralding the return of Daylight Savings Time this weekend, and celebrating 19 consecutive years of art exhibitions created by public school students, there’s a beckoning beacon of hope as No Boundaries 19 opens Friday, March 8 from 6:00 – 10:00 PM.

The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) Arts Fact Sheet states: “We value equity and inclusion in serving all children, including English Learners, students of color, foster youth, homeless youth, migrant students, and special needs students.”

In this spirit, No Boundaries 19 is the PUSD’s 19th annual, all-District art exhibition showcasing more than 350 artworks by students in Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through 12th grade. Kicking off the City of Pasadena’s ArtNight, the grand opening reception at Paseo Colorado, 300 East Colorado Street, Suite 161, will include live student and faculty performances, opening with a student jazz band concert and closing with a faculty band performance as the evening winds down.

The artwork exhibition will remain open to the public free of charge Monday through Friday from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM through March 17.

Partnerships, Potential and Prop 28

No Boundaries 19 is presented by the PUSD Arts Education Department in collaboration with artworxLA, the Los Angeles County Office of Arts and Culture, the Pasadena Educational Foundation, the City of Pasadena’s Division of Cultural Affairs and Paseo Colorado.

We caught up with Karen Anderson, Arts & Enrichment Coordinator, Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Specialist at PUSD, just before the heavy lifting, painting of structures and hanging of the curated art started on Tuesday morning.

Anderson says, “The impact upon our students of early exposure to the arts cannot be overestimated. From pre-school to third grade, the primary benefits of arts in the classroom are social and emotional. From there, experiencing language and rhythm through music and dance helps build early literacy. Engagement in all of the arts helps students develop the executive functions of the brain and nervous system, and lays a foundation for mathematics through counting, measuring, and understanding spatial relations.”

Thanks to the artworxLA Artist Residency program, the exhibition is being curated, prepared and built by PUSD students from Rose City High School, working with professional curators, exhibition technicians, and museum educators to learn about exhibition development and career pathways in the arts. Since 1992, artworxLA has utilized engagement in the arts to push back against the cold, hard fact that every year in Los Angeles County, an estimated 20,000 students never graduate from high school. Of that number, 83 percent are Black, Latinx, and represent households living below the poverty line, according to artworxLA. These students cite disengagement as the leading in-school factor that causes them to drop out of high school. 

The non-profit states that students who don’t finish high school will earn $500,000 less over a lifetime than high school graduates, and are six times more likely than high school graduates to go to jail. But the negative effects of dropout extend well beyond these students and their families. Dropouts cost the state of California $1 billion in lost tax revenues and $1 billion in incarceration costs. ArtworxLA’s history confirms that exposure to the potential of a career in the arts under the direction of qualified professionals in those areas results in more students graduating and finding a rewarding vocational path.

While arts programs in many public schools across the USA are struggling, Pasadena’s school arts curriculum is considered exemplary, thanks to strong community support and advocacy.

“Proposition 28 is a game-changer,” says Anderson. “The passing of this Proposition, which amounts to $2.4 million, now allows our schools to increase opportunities in the arts through staffing. For instance, we now have 15 additional credentialed art teachers than we had last year. Now, every elementary school student in our District receives exposure and instruction from a qualified teacher in the visual arts, physical education, and music. Prior to Proposition 28, a classroom teacher who had not been specifically trained in any of those areas was expected to conduct that class content.”

Anderson adds that Prop 28 has also facilitated the development of student orchestras in four schools; dance programs in two schools; musical theater in three schools; theater tech at two schools; and a photography curriculum at one school.

“There is an ongoing need for arts funding,” she says, “and we are very fortunate to expand our student offerings with the support of so many great partnerships.”

Celebrate Art All Night Long

In addition to PUSD’s No Boundaries 19 at Paseo Colorado, the City of Pasadena’s ArtNight features 20 cultural stops along four free shuttle routes on the night of Friday, March 8th.

Getting around is easy. In addition to shuttles, Pasadena Transit 10 runs along Colorado Boulevard and Green Street until 8 PM. For route information, visit www.pasadenatransit.net.

For further information about the event, please call the ArtNight Pasadena Hotline at 626-744-7887, or visit www.cityofpasadena.net/artnight/.

The short URL of this article is: https://localnewspasadena.com/0agj

Victoria Thomas

Victoria has been a journalist since her college years when she wrote for Rolling Stone and CREEM. Victoria describes the view of Mt. Wilson from her front step as “staggering,” and she is a defender of peacocks everywhere.
Email: [email protected]

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