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Updated 5/4/12

The LAUSD Elementary Arts Program is scheduled for a 100 percent cut for 2012-2013. Under current budgeting, The Arts Branch administrative staff is budgeted to be reduced to one position. 10 years of growth are set to be lost, and the District may never recover. This is the time to fight before we lose what is left of what is considered one of the best elementary arts programs in the nation!

Download and distribute our Restore the Arts Flyer

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Save the Arts, an organization dedicated to preserving arts education in LAUSD, will hold a fundraiser event and art auction for the Arts Education Branch at the Cocoanut Grove Auditorium Theatre on Saturday, June 2, 2012. All donations through Save the Arts will be used to save arts teacher positions or fund arts materials in LAUSD schools. We'd love your donations!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Come out to help save arts education in LAUSD on June 2nd, to the second annual Save the Arts Benefit at the historic Cocoanut Grove at the RFK Community Schools site!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Thank so many of you who came out for the first Save the Arts Benefit last night at the JFK Family of Schools! The performances were outstanding, the arts was fantastic and varied. The labor of love donated from so many people behind the scenes, including the students of the Los Angeles High School for the Arts, made the night unforgettable. Not to mention the incomparable Chester Whitmore and crew closing the night.

A thousand thanks to the tireless, fearless, visionary, superhuman Suzanne Nichols for shepherding the benefit. Huge appreciation to the brilliant Jane Castillo for organizing the art auction! Here's to a future of support and recognition for arts education in LAUSD!

See for details, and to make an donation to the cause: Saving positions and providing resources for our schools!

Check out this  LA Times article on the Arts in LAUSD by reporter Jason Song.,0,2448881.story

No video from the event yet, but check out Austin Martinez and the East LA Performing Arts Academy Choir with Austin's original composition: "Scream, Sing, Shout, Stand (Save Our Teachers)" . Austin performed at the benefit with fellow classmates. Thanks you, students, for standing up for your teachers! More links to come.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Video Activism! All District Dance Festival! Sister Cities Art Show! Save the Arts Fundraiser!

Thank you Venice Arts students and staff, Ronda Brown and Jay Davis for producing this great video as part of our Video Activism campaign! Please submit yours! See top bar for details...

Please join us at the First Annual K-12 LAUSD Dance Festival! Highlighting child-crafted choreography, on Saturday, June 4 at 4:00 p.m. at West Adams Prep High School. Admission is free!

May 12 - June 4 : See LAUSD's visual arts showcased at at the Charles White ES Gallery in the Second Annual Sister Cities: St. Petersberg / Los Angeles  LAUSD Student Artwork Exhibition! Also featuring work of St. Petersberg, Russia's children. Please call the school for hours. (213) 487-9172

Join us on Saturday, June 11th at 6:00 p.m. at the Historic Cocoanut Grove Theatre for a Benefit Performance and Art Auction to SAVE THE ARTS in LAUSD! Go to to purchase tickets and for more info. Please contact Suzanne Nichols (323)219-5693  if you would like to help out with publicity, donating additional auction items, and/or volunteering on the day of the event. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, May 24th Rally to Save Education in California

Please join us in this upcoming action to restore funding at a State level. Bring your "Save the Arts" type signage!

Wake Up California! Rallies to support public education funding Tuesday, May 24th.
Educate Our State is a parent-led, statewide campaign to unite the voices of Californians in support of high-quality K-12 Public Education and demand real change. Parents and concerned citizens are coordinating a statewide, multi-city day of action to increase awareness for the crisis facing California public schools and the need for our legislators to take action and pass the revenue extension measures to secure school funding.  Parents are organizing rallies across the state to demonstrate the united voice of Californians in support of K-12 public education.

Please join parents, teachers and other arts education advocates at Central High School # 9, from 3:15 to about 5:00 on Tuesday, May 24th for a downtown rally. There will be a stage set up near the corner of Cesar Chavez and Grand.

If you can't make this rally, there will be other opportunities at schools, and a large rally at the Federal Building in Westwood at rush hour. Teachers and parents supporting arts education and education in general should join in this impressive grassroots effort to save our schools. Let's make sure the value of arts education is voiced while we join in the cause!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Put the Tax Extensions on the June Ballot! Call your legislator today and tell them to let the people vote!

Those who care about arts education, education in general, and the long term economic viability of our State - need to call their state legislators and urge them to put the tax extensions on the ballot in June -- let the people vote!!! As you no doubt are aware, Governor Jerry Brown inherited a $25 billion-plus deficit from Governor Schwarznegger.  Brown has proposed a budget that splits the difference to close the deficit -- one half budget cuts, and one half new revenues in the form of extending temporary tax increases passed two years ago.
But a group of Republican legislators are refusing to put the tax extensions on the ballot in June, calling instead for only cutting government services and programs -- even though cutting  $25 billion would represent more than a quarter of the state’s budget!
This would be devastating to K-12 education, as reflected by the district’s current move to increase class sizes and layoff over 5,000 teachers and health and human services personnel.
Please inform your school site parents and community leaders of the importance of contacting the state legislators, and make sure you and your colleagues contact these legislators as well.  Tell them to let the people vote on whether or not to extend the taxes.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of concerted phone calling – not from the union and its members – but from teachers, health and human services personnel, and parents.  These calls WILL make a difference!!!

Persuade these local Republican legislators to put the tax extension on the June ballot. We need the support of two Assemblymen and two State Senators. Below are also links to legislators' contact information including direct email forms.

Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, Assembly District 38 (Santa Clarita)
District 38 also covers North Los Angeles County, including parts of LAUSD  
Phone:  916-319-2038 Fax: 661-286-1408 
Write a letter to Assemblyman Smyth through Artsfor LA's action center for North LA County residents 

Senator Tom Harman, 35th Senate District (Huntington Beach)
Phone: (916) 651-4035 
Fax: (916) 445-9263

Senator Bob Dutton, 31st Senate District (Rancho Cucamonga)
Phone: (916) 651-4031 Fax: (916) 327-2272

Assemblyman Mike Morrell, Assembly District 63 (Ranch Cucamonga) 
Phone: (916) 319-2063 Fax: (909) 466-9892

Senator Bob Huff, 29th Senate District (Diamond Bar)
Phone: (916) 651-4029
 Fax: (916) 324-0922

Please let these legislators know how cuts will be impacting your community, and remind them that their decisions impact all California residents!

Find your legislators at

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"Friends of the Arts in LAUSD" Planning Meeting Wednesday, March 9, 6:00

Dear Educators, Parents, Families, and Friends,

You are cordially invited to join us at our first planning meeting for the "Friends of the Arts in LAUSD": a Coalition of LAUSD teachers, parents, community members, and local arts education advocates at the UTLA building on Wednesday, March 9th, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM (see address below).

Agenda will include group building and outreach/advocacy strategies for preserving and restoring Arts Education in LAUSD. Teachers, parents, families (including children and teens), support personnel, administrators, community members, and arts advocates are all welcome!

The arts are recognized as core academic subjects and an essential element of a complete and balanced education. But, with the proposed reductions to LAUSD arts programs K-12, and with the continued narrowing of the curriculum, children will have less opportunity to engage in high-quality, meaningful arts learning that will strengthen their creative thinking and problem solving skills.

Although "Friends of the Arts in LAUSD" is getting kicked off by UTLA's Arts Education Committee, we are hoping it will be a true collaborative effort of the community, and something that will serve as a unified voice for equitable, quality arts education for all students of LAUSD.

If you can't make it out next Wednesday, we will keep you informed about future meetings; we are thinking perhaps Saturday brunch get-togethers.

PLEASE forward this on to anyone who you think may be interested in becoming a Friend of the Arts.

  • 60% reduction to the innovative Elementary Arts Program (77% total reduction since 2009-10!):
    • There are 534 elementary schools.
    • Currently, there are 220 centrally-funded Elementary Arts Teachers (in Dance, Music -- Vocal and Instrumental, Theatre, and Visual Arts), plus 38 teachers purchased with school site categorical funds, who service all 534 elementary schools. In 2011-12, this number dwindles to 78 centrally-funded Elementary Arts Teachers to service as many students as possible, at as many schools as possible.
    • As many as 130 Elementary Arts Teachers will receive a RIF (lay-off) notice. 
    • Elementary schools WILL have the option to purchase Arts Positions with categorical funds at their school sites. To find out how, please read the attached flyer about purchasing options for the Elementary Arts Program. 
    • If all 534 elementary schools worked together, spreading out the costs of the Elementary Arts Program among them, and purchased just ONE DAY ($18,686) of Arts, that would provide 107 more full-time Elementary Arts Teacher positions. If 325 elementary schools were able to purchase an additional day of Arts - TWO DAYS total ($37,372) - these extra days would provide an additional 65 full-time positions, and the Arts Program could be retained at its current level for ALL elementary schools.
  • 20% or greater reduction to secondary arts programs:
    • There are 253 secondary schools.
    • Of 241 secondary Music Teachers, about 100 will receive a RIF notice. That's a 40% reduction! About half of all secondary schools may not have any music program at all (neither band nor chorus).
    • Of 350 secondary Visual Arts/Media Arts Teachers, about 80 will receive a RIF notice (a 23% reduction) -- leaving only about one Visual Arts/Media Arts Teacher per school.
    • Currently, there are about 188 secondary Theatre/Drama Teachers. Most of these teachers are also teaching English or other subjects, and only teach a few periods of Theatre/Drama. 348 English Teachers will receive a RIF notice. It is unknown at this time how many of these 348 English Teachers are also Theatre/Drama Teachers, and therefore how many Theatre/Drama programs will be impacted and/or closed.
    • Currently, there are only about 76 secondary Dance Teachers. Most of these teachers are also teaching Physical Education or other subjects, and only teach a few periods of Dance. 109 Physical Education Teachers will receive a RIF notice. It is unknown at this time how many of these 109 PE Teachers are also Dance Teachers, and therefore how many Dance programs will be impacted and/or closed.
  • Secondary class sizes are already disproportionately large in arts "elective" classes (45-60 or more students per class). How high will class sizes rise if there might only be one or two arts teachers at each secondary school?
  • How will students be able to satisfy their graduation requirements and UC/CSU entrance requirements if there aren't enough arts classes for them to enroll in?

Wednesday, March 9, 6:00-8:00 PM
UTLA Building
3303 Wilshire Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA 90010 
(northwest corner of Berendo and Wilshire)
Parking is on Berendo next to the UTLA building. Validation is provided. 
The room location will be available from the first floor security staff (please bring ID). 

For LAUSD Educators: The "Friends of the Arts in LAUSD" meeting follows the UTLA Elementary and Secondary Committee Meetings (also held at UTLA on March 9 from 4:00-6:00). Come early and participate in one of these meetings to see how you can become a more active participant in the future of your profession. Dinner and child care is provided.

Thank you!
Any questions, please contact:
Michael Blasi
Co-Chair, UTLA Arts Education Committee
818 497 0223

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rally for Arts Education : Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Some scenes from Saturday's Rally for Arts Education and Measure E across the street from Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Hope. A wonderful coming together of supporters of Arts education in LAUSD: parents, students, teachers and advocates.

Featured performances and speaking by:
Santee High School Drum Corps
Walter Reed MS Sax Trio
Nile El Wardani
Sandra Tsing Loh
UTLA President AJ Duffy
School Board Member Steve Zimmer
Many other LAUSD teachers and students, ages 6 and up! 

Twelve video clips from parent Jerry Lazar :


More video from music teacher Sam Liu: search utlarts on you tube for more.
Measure E Rally Part 1

Measure E Rally Part 2

Parent Angela Tietze's shots: