Veronica Alvarez, Ed.D., began her tenure last week as CalArts’ new director of the Community Arts Partnership Program, or CAP, which offers free after-school and school-based arts programs for youth ages 4-18.
With a background in the classics, teaching, community building, arts education and curriculum development (she most recently served as LACMA’s director of School and Teacher Programs), Alvarez is excited to bring CalArts’ pedagogy further into the greater Los Angeles area — and beyond.
As a formerly undocumented immigrant from Cotija (Michoacán), Mexico, Alvarez brings a personal perspective that complements her academic career, which includes a BA (Liberal Arts) and MA (Ancient History) from Cal State Northridge and a doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University.
It was at Northridge that Alvarez took a History of Mexico class with renowned educator and diplomat Julian Nava, Ph.D. The class changed her life: As opposed to other lectures that emphasized the memorization of key dates and milestones, Nava instead “told stories” to teach history and get his points across.
Storytelling remains a key aspect of her work to reach children through art. At LACMA, she oversaw a mobile classroom (aka the “Maya Mobile”); a 48-foot truck outfitted as an archeological site to teach children about the Maya, Aztec and Inka (Inca) cultures. The Maya Mobile would bring original artifacts directly to the schools, which students could then handle (with kid gloves, naturally).
At Veronica Alvarez’s previous position at LACMA, their ‘Maya Mobile’ brought ancient artifacts directly to students. | Image: Courtesy of Alvarez.
“You’re using primary resources to teach and tell stories about these cultures. That was so awesome.”
Making art accessible to all students is a personal mission of hers. While writing her doctoral dissertation, “Art Museums and Latino English Learners: Teaching Artists in the K-8 Classroom,” Alvarez’s research showed that students of color benefit from arts education the most, but often their access is also the most limited.
“It’s a social justice issue,” she said. “The arts are so underfunded and are seen as a nonessential part of education.”
“Humans need to create,” she added. “When you create, you say so much about you, your culture, and about the time you are living.”
College of the Canyons officials announced Tuesday they plan to refund $31 million of a recent outstanding general obligation bond, saving taxpayers $8.3 million over the next two decades, according to COC.
College of the Canyons refunded $31 million of outstanding general obligation bond debt. The district’s taxpayers will have cash flow savings of $8.3 million over the next 23 years. This represents an overall savings of 12.96 percent of the bonds that were refunded.
Due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for wind chill temperatures, the Los Angeles County Health Officer on Friday called a cold weather alert for the Antelope Valley and LA County mountain areas.
Castaic Middle School KLAWS clubs in partnership with West Ranch High School and DFYinSCV will carol to the adoptable pets at the Castaic Animal Care & Control Center on Thursday, December 19, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
For each of the past six years, developers planning to build a senior condo complex near Towsley Canyon on The Old Road have asked regional planners for more time to keep the project alive, and on Tuesday they’ll ask again.
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents who are planning to visit Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers. Bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around these outlets after a rainfall.
OAKLAND — Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a mandatory one-year moratorium Thursday on insurance companies non-renewing policyholders - helping at least 800,000 homes in wildfire disaster areas in Northern and Southern California.
The Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra (SCVYO) invites all young musicians to attend the next “Visiting Artists Program” workshop that will be taking place Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in Pico Canyon Hall at College of the Canyons.
As the community continues to process the Saugus High School tragedy and find comfort in one another, the Santa Clarita Public Library has come together with Homes4Families to offer Santa Clarita teens and tweens affected by the shooting a healing art program, titled “The Heart of Feeling: Emotions Hidden Inside.”