Equity, diversity and inclusion have become important elements of society, and of the arts. This fact is underscored by a $50,000 grant awarded to Segerstrom Center for the Arts by The Boeing Company to support Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) classes, workshops, and residencies offered through the Center’s Education Department Arts Teach program.
Thanks to this grant, curated ED&I program offerings will be provided to qualifying schools or organizations at a free or reduced cost.
The Center estimates that, through this program, thousands of students and teachers in schools throughout Orange County will experience these uplifting, character-building programs this school year.
Center President Casey Reitz said, “The expanded ED&I element in the Center’s Arts Teach programs made possible by this generous grant from Boeing represents a significant enhancement. These new tools will help our teaching artists to create awareness of social and racial disparity, encourage dialogue about these persistent and too frequently unaddressed issues, and motivate students to explore solutions. The Center is always looking for ways to expand the relevance of our education and community programs. We thank Boeing for its confidence in our programs and for helping us to serve Orange County in meaningful ways with lasting impact.”
“The Center’s Arts Teach program is exactly the type of work we want to be a part of to help advance ED&I, utilizing the power of art, creativity and representation. At Boeing, we know that being an equitable, diverse, and inclusive company requires a commitment not only to our team members, but to our communities. This is how we can help create meaningful change,” said Kristie Hernández, Senior Government & Community Relations Specialist at Boeing.
The Center’s Arts Teach program is made up of professional teaching artists in music, dance, theater and the visual arts from around the globe and who specialize in assemblies, workshops, and residencies.
Their art becomes a tool that helps students discover new ways of looking at ideas and concepts they are studying in their classrooms. The Boeing grant will enable schools to engage these artists and help students see history, life and situations through a new lens of social awareness and sensitivity.
Participating schools will be provided with free or reduced cost programming from artists, including Sakina Ibrahim, an NAACP Image Award-Nominated author, professor and speaker whose empowering curriculum demonstrates how dance can be a means of sharing cultural history, healing and community building.
By exploring dance traditions from West African, Latin America, as well as Hip Hop, students will work together to create community and gain embodied understanding about how dance connects everyone.
World Champion Native American Hoop Dancer Terry Goedel opens the door to Native American culture in an engaging, enriching, and dynamic Hoop Dance performance. This interactive education program provides a positive outlet for artistic expression, community dialogue and allows students to build and experience community, collaboration, and storytelling through this unique cultural dance. Included in his topics are saying no to bullying and promoting drug prevention, career building and positive behavior and intervention supports (PBIS).
Additional teaching artists include Eric Cyrs with Baba the Storyteller, Ashli St. Armant with Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards, Jacque Nunez with Journeys to the Past, N8tiveHoop, UniverSOUL Hip Hop and Armando Ortega and David Prather in their show, John and Juan. These artists’ original programs for students address issues related to anti-bullying and acceptance through embracing cultural equity and diversity.
The Boeing grant also supports ED&I training for Segerstrom Center staff and volunteers, ensuring those who create and administer this vital programming are best equipped to support educators and students throughout the process.
When schools return to full on-site attendance, the ED&I classes will be available live on campus. At this time, they will be available as live online residencies, assemblies or workshops.
For more information about the Boeing grant and the Arts Teach program visit Segerstrom Center’s website at http://scfta.org/ED&I.