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April 1, 2023

Retreat focuses on future of arts education

Courtesy of the Hollister School District:

In concert with the LCAP process, the Hollister School District held a two-day Arts Planning Retreat on March 5-6, 2020.

Superintendent Diego Ochoa worked with the San Benito County Arts Council to initiate the Arts Planning Retreat. The retreat was attended by teachers, principals, administrators, the San Benito County of Education Superintendent, local artists, and San Benito County Arts Council Leaders.

The retreat was designed to celebrate the successes of the present, identify goals for the future and develop strategies to realize those goals.

“The energy, passion, and commitment exhibited by this diverse group of stakeholders was remarkable,” Ochoa said. “Their work will help the Hollister School District create a comprehensive arts program for ALL of our students.” 

Jennifer Laine, Executive Director of the San Benito County Arts Council said the arts education planning retreat was an opportunity to bring together educators, parents, teaching artists, district board members and others to imagine an education for HSD students that includes equitable access to the arts.

“This process has been a long time coming and I am grateful to the leadership at the Hollister School District, County Office of Education and Arts Now Leadership Team,” she said. “I was energized by what we discussed and accomplished at the retreat, and I am optimistic that we will be able to put together an arts plan that is innovative, inclusive and culturally-relevant, and one which embodies the district’s overarching mission of creating a student-centered education for all students.”

The planning process included discussion about the importance for the arts to be a guaranteed part of all students’ education. The process created a unified vision for what a future arts program would provide students and the plan to do something about it.

There is without a doubt urgency and commitment by all partners to keep students at the heart of the plan.

“There is definitely momentum for the arts in our schools and broad based resources and commitment to making it happen,” Director of Educational Services Caroline Calero said.

For more information, please contact Superintendent Diego Ochoa at [email protected].

Photo Caption: Arts Council Executive Director Jennifer Laine speaks at the retreat.