VAPAE aims to be at the center and forefront of the statewide and national debate regarding the place and importance of the arts for all and to be a catalyst for positive change in urban arts education. During the 2016-2017 year VAPAE is offering an exciting public event series that explores a variety of topics and strategies to promote arts equity and high quality arts education initiatives. These events will bring together community members as well as local, state, and national leaders to further these conversations. All events are free and open to the public – Reservations suggested. For more information contact: 310.794.4822 or


Fall 2016 Event

Questions of Quality in Arts Education, Part II: A Local Perspective

November 15, 7pm, UCLA Glorya Kaufman Hall

Keynote Presentation by Rory Pullens: Executive Director of Los Angeles Unified School District Arts Education Branch

Moderated by Talia Gibas: Harvard University-- Arts in Education Program; LA County Arts Commission


Professor Judy Baca: UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance and Chicano/a Studies; Founder/Artistic Director of SPARC

Professor JoAnn Isken: UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies; Director of STEAM/IMPACT Cohort

Professor Kristin Kusanovich: Santa Clara University Department of Theatre and Dance; President of California Dance Education Association

Arnel Calvario: Board President of Culture Shock LA

Raymundo Baltazar: UCLA World Arts and Cultures/Dance Major and VAPAE Minor

The UCLA Visual and Performing Arts Education (VAPAE) Program, in collaboration with the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, and Luskin School of Public Affairs, seeks to bring together multiple publics to continue important discussions about the ever-growing need for access to high quality arts education for all students, specifically youth in the local Los Angeles community. The evening is designed as an extension to the conversations that began with VAPAE’s Public Event “What Is High Quality Arts Education and Why Does It Matter?” led by Harvard University’s Steven Seidel in November of 2105.

Pullens and the panelists will discuss relevant topics in arts education with a decidedly local perspective, including updates on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) commitment to rebuild its arts education budgets and meet the mandate to position the arts as core curriculum at all LAUSD schools. In addition, the panelists will reflect on the current state of the teaching artist profession and arts credentialing programs, and the ramifications of the newly passed Theatre and Dance Act SB 916.

As the event takes place so soon after our presidential and senate elections, the conversation will describe the political intersections and overlapping concerns of the fields of arts education, community arts, and community engagement. By asking how local and statewide arts programs and initiatives are addressing the needs of their communities and sharing how arts leaders at various sites are evolving their programs in order to address key issues of access and quality, VAPAE will continue its advocacy work towards identifying “best practices” in the arts education field.


Connecting Art and the Common Core: A Teacher Institute

July 18-20, 2016, 8:30am - 3:00pm, UCLA Hammer Museum and the UCLA Broad Art Center

Who: 4th-6th Grade Generalist of Language Arts Teachers at a Title I School

Cost: FREE tuition. In addition, participating teachers from schools located within a 15-mile radius of the Hammer Museum are eligible to receive subsidized bus transportation for one field trip to the museum or Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden during the 2016-2017 school year. 

Connecting Art and the Common Core: A Teacher Institute is organized by the Hammer Museum and the Visual and Performing Arts Education Program (VAPAE) in the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.

Participants in this workshop will:

  • Learn how to enhance students' speaking, listening, and evidence-based reasoning skills through inquiry-based discussions about works of art.
  • Explore strategies for making authentic and socially relevant connections to art through observation, kinesthetic practice, and reflection.
  • Develop lessons that integrate the arts and humanities and align with Common Core standards.
  • Actively engage in the creative art-making process
  • Enhance confidence in leading students on a trip to an art museum with a subsidized bus.

This institute is designed for generalist and language arts teachers. Since capacity is limited, priority will be given to generalist and language arts teachers. Please RSVP with your name, school, and subject(s) and grade level(s) you teach to

The first and third day of this three-day institute will take place at the Hammer Museum. The second day will take place at the Broad Art Center and Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden on the UCLA campus. The Hammer Museum is located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024. The Broad Art Center is located in 240 Charles E. Yound Drive, Suite 2101, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

Fore more information, click here.


Play and Creativity in Art Teaching 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 7 p.m.

Popper Auditorium, Schoenberg Hall, UCLA


Nationally known art educator George Szekely will draw from his two classic volumes, Encouraging Creativity in Art Lessons and From Play to Art and his new book, Play and Creativity in Art Teaching, to discuss his approach to teaching art. The central premise is that art teachers are not only a source of knowledge about art but also a catalyst for creating conditions that encourage students to use their own ideas for making art. Teachers can build on children’s energy and self-initiated discoveries to inspire school art that comes from the child’s imagination. The foundation for this teaching approach is the belief that the essential goal of art teaching is to inspire children to behave like artists and that art comes from within themselves and not from teaching formula or a single set of techniques to be followed – rather he discusses and models how all teachers can help children find art in familiar materials and ordinary places, accessible to everyone.

George Szekely is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Art Education, University of Kentucky and President-Elect of the National Art Education Association. For his lifetime contributions to art education, he received the Victor Lowenfeld Prize and the Emanuel Barkan Award. He was named a National Treasure by the National Art Education Association and presented with the honor of becoming a Distinguished Fellow. 


Department of Music Education
UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture
Visual and Performing Arts Education Program (VAPAE) 


Remembering Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Terezín Artist and Teacher

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 7pm
UCLA Hillel, 574 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024

After a brief introduction to the Bauhaus-inspired pedagogy of the remarkable artist Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, Dr. Wix remembers this devoted teacher through the words of eleven survivors who studied art with her in the Terezín concentration camp in 1943 and 1944. The words of the survivors and the images made when they were children comprise the excerpts that tell the stories of the students’ memories of their experiences with this exceptional art teacher in Terezin. Based on recent interviews the excerpts are grounded in Dr. Wix’s research into memory as sited; the portraiture encounter; and the life lessons that the young art students took from their teacher, Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. The evening includes a short musical component featuring the Milken Community School Kol Echad Concert Choir and UCLA student, Danielle Kathleen Bayne, co-sponsored by the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music at UCLA.
Dr. Linney Wix, Ph.D., is a Professor of Art Education in the Educational Specialties Department at the University of New Mexico. In 2000, she began investigating the art and pedagogy of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis who adapted the Bauhaus Basic Course to teach creative art classes in the Terezín concentration camp from 1942- 44. In 2011, Dr. Wix guest-curated the exhibition Through a Narrow Window: Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and Her Terezín Students at the University of New Mexico Art Museum and authored a book by the same title (UNM Press, 2010). In 2013, as a Fulbright Scholar in Prague, Dr. Wix continued her research focusing on art and memory in the context of the art classes in Terezín, through interviews with the surviving child artists.

Co-sponsored by the Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at UCLA Hillel, UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Department of Marital and Family Therapy at Loyola Marymount University, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA and the Visual and Performing Arts Education Program (VAPAE) in the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.


Questions of Quality: What Is High Quality Arts Education and Why Does It Matter? 

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 at 7 p.m.
EDA, 1250 Broad Art Center, UCLA 

Presentation by Steven Seidel, Ed.D, Bauman and Bryant Chair in Arts in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Followed by Panel Discussion including Annamarie Francois (Executive Director, UCLA Center X); Steve Zimmer (Board President, LAUSD); Malissa Feruzzi-Shriver (Executive Director, Turnaround Arts CA); Carolyn McKnight (Principal, East LA Performing Arts Magnet Academy); and Talia Gibas (Professional Development Program Manager, Los Angeles County Arts Commission).

How do arts educators conceptualize quality in arts learning experiences and how do they work to achieve and sustain quality in their work? And what role do young people play in creating high quality arts learning experiences? Dr. Steve Seidel, Bauman and Bryant Chair in Arts in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, will share his research on the challenges of offering high quality arts experiences to all students. Exploring key questions, concerns, and provocations from the seminal 2009 report, The Qualities of Quality, that he produced with colleagues from Harvard Project Zero, Seidel will discuss why these issues still matter to our youth, our schools, and our communities. Seidel's presentation will be followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Talia Gibas. The panelists, all highly respected thought leaders from the fields of arts education, arts advocacy, and social justice pedagogy, will share their insights regarding the concept of quality in the arts, and the strategies they are committed to in order to ensure that all students have access to similar experiences and opportunities.

Steve Seidel holds the Patricia Bauman and John Landrum Bryant Chair in Arts in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is Faculty Director of the Arts in Education program and a former director of Project Zero (2000-2008). At Project Zero, Seidel was Principal Investigator for projects that have studied the use of reflective practices in schools, the close examination of student work, and the documentation of individual and group learning. His current research includes Talking with Artists who Teach, a study of working artists’ ideas and insights into the nature of artistic development and learning, and the Illuminating Standards Project, an exploration of what standards actually look like in student work. In 2009, Seidel and colleagues at Project Zero completed The Qualities of Quality: Understanding Excellence in Arts Education, a study of what constitutes quality in arts learning and teaching. Before becoming a researcher, Seidel taught high-school theater and language arts in the Boston area for 17 years. He has also worked as a professional actor and stage director.

Co-sponsored by the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Design Media Arts and the Visual and Performing Arts Education Program (VAPAE) in the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.


Community Dialogue and Civic Practice – An Experiential Workshop 

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. 
1000 Kaufman Hall, UCLA 

Michael Rohd, nationally known arts leader and author of Theatre for Community, Conflict and Dialogue, will facilitate this experiential workshop for UCLA undergraduates and local high school students; Introductory remarks by Chris Anthony, director of Shakespeare LA & Will Power to Youth Program