We are proud to support the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts’ work to make art more accessible for all, especially students of color. The arts are essential. They can transform perceptions of power and privilege, preserve cultural practices, and shift how we think about ourselves and our society.
KPBS recently highlighted EBCPA’s efforts to ensure that all East Bay students have access to the arts (In Richmond, extra money for arts education is an equity issue). Andrea Landin, EBCPA’ director of school and neighborhood partnerships, describes some of their work:
“I had so many principals call me or email me saying that, ‘My students have been sitting in front of a screen for a year and a half. They need to sing, they need to move, they need to express themselves,’” Landin said.
East Bay Center for the Performing Arts pays artists who don’t have a teaching credential about $45 an hour to help teach art and music in as many WCCUSD public schools requesting help as they can. However, the center has a hard time competing with tuition-based arts organizations in other parts of the Bay Area, which can pay those same artists between $80 and $100 an hour.
Landin said there is never enough money or artists to meet the demand, which means lots of kids in the Richmond area are missing out.
“Sometimes kids can’t really name exactly what’s going on emotionally or mentally, but once they start to move or sing or play an instrument or get on stage and pretend to be someone else, then there’s so much healing that goes on, so much realization and growth,” Landin explained.