Sometimes a good solid program just needs a little boost to take things to the next level.  Artists-in-School is a successful program offered by the San Joaquin County Office of Education in Northern California.  Focused on the Elementary school level this program offered to all schools and districts within the County brings professional artists into the classroom to offer 4 and 8 week.  The artist contributes their experience and vision to the program by creating their own standards-based lesson plans in their area of expertise.  The students embark on an immersive journey through a variety of disciplines in visual and performing arts focused on developing their creativity, self-expression, and a love for the arts.

To learn more about the successful Artists in Schools program visit the San Joaquin County Office of Education Links here:


One of the key challenges is that most schools can’t afford to fund this program and so either they select a single grade to receive a single 4 or 8 week program at best.  Currently within San Joaquin County less than 50% of elementary school children get any sort of arts education at school.  In a unique pilot program the Blackwing Foundation and the San Joaquin County Office of Education are collaborating to create a three year progressive arts curriculum starting at the 3rd grade which continues through the 5th grade. This exposes students to a variety of artists, mediums, disciplines, and methods at a pivotal developmental age, opening their minds to a whole new world of art and expression.  The program launched August 2017 at two local schools in 3rd grade and will expand to cover 3rd and 4th in year 2 and all three grade levels in year 3 and beyond.  The intent is that students will receive 48 weeks of arts or music.  The Foundation leadership team is working closely with the County Office Arts & Music Coordinator and the Artist instructors to focus on overall 3 year learning objectives and curriculum development to assure a broad

As the pilot program progresses successfully the Blackwing Foundation will look towards expanding funding to support adoption at more schools in San Joaquin.  Also we hope that in time learning from this program can be shared to support development of similar programs beyond the local level with new Regional partners.