California School of the Arts Celebrates Opening in San Gabriel Valley
Joy spread across a crowd of students, parents and community leaders Friday, Sept. 1, when California School of the Arts - San Gabriel Valley (CSArts-SGV) celebrated its opening with an arts-filled Ribbon Cutting and Open House. The afternoon showcased the high-caliber arts instruction of conservatory directors and the blossoming talents of CSArts-SGV student artists with three solo performances and eight conservatory classes open for observation. Created from a vision by Orange County School of the Arts Board of Directors, Board of Trustees, and Founder and Executive Director Ralph S. Opacic, Ed.D. to provide the same award-winning arts and academic instruction to more students, CSArts-SGV is made possible by a unique partnership with the Duarte Unified School District (DUSD). CSArts-SGV is located at 1401 Highland Avenue, Duarte, Calif. For more information, visit sgv.csarts.net.
Duarte Unified School District (DUSD) Superintendent Allan Mucerino, Ed.D. said: "On behalf of the Duarte Unified School District and our Board of Education, it is with great pride that we include the California School of the Arts among the DUSD family of schools."
Senator Anthony Portantino, Mayor Pro Tem John Fasana and Field Representative Veronica Lopez for Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio each presented certificates of recognition to CSArts-SGV for establishing a school with a unique culture where students from San Gabriel Valley and beyond can develop as artists and scholars. Also among the hundreds of people in attendance were the Duarte Unified School Board, City of Duarte Council members, Martin Howard of Howard CDM, CSArts-SGV Board of Trustees and CSArts-SGV founding administrative team.
"On Aug. 14, we opened our doors to more than 700 bright and talented seventh through 12th-grade students, each with a passion for studying the arts," said Opacic. "These dedicated students spend their mornings in rigorous academic classes followed by afternoons with over 10 hours of intensive arts instruction each week. What distinguishes our schools from the rest is the unique culture that forms from the character of our students and the caliber of our supportive faculty. Here at CSArts - San Gabriel Valley, we've already begun to see a culture form of inclusiveness, originality and collaboration. This creative, challenging and nurturing environment will help our students reach their highest potential."
Katherine Powers, director of CSArts-SGV's Vocal Arts Conservatory, opened the ribbon cutting ceremony with a captivating performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Eleventh-grade musical theater student Catherine "Rinn" Maldonado captured the sentiment with a performance of "Get Happy" by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler, accompanied by Associate Dean of Arts Stephen Cook. Cook also accompanied Patrick Geringer, an 8th-grade musical theater student who performed "Mardi Gras" from the musical, "The Dream on Royal Street" with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by David Rogers. For the final performance, Natalie Van Ramos, an 11th-grade integrated arts student, sang "Feeling Good" by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests enjoyed an inside look at CSArts-SGV arts conservatories by observing several classes taking place across the campus. Guests had the opportunity to visit a CSArts-SGV Philharmonic rehearsal in the music center; several classes in the dance studios including a ballet master class, an acting movement master class and a stage combat master class; and in shared arts/academic classrooms a cyanotype workshop, an opera workshop rehearsal, a creative writing class and a piano guided practice.
About California School of the Arts - San Gabriel Valley
California School of the Arts - San Gabriel Valley (CSArts-SGV) provides a creative, challenging and nurturing environment that offers bright and talented students unparalleled preparation for higher education and a profession in the arts. CSArts-SGV is modeled after the award-winning arts and academic programs of Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), one of the premier arts schools in the country.
The public charter school opened on Aug. 14, 2017 in a unique partnership with the Duarte Unified School District, and is a tuition-free, donation dependent program. For the 2017-2018 school year, CSArts-SGV serves more than 700 students in grades seven through 11. Next year will expand to include grade 12. Approximately 66 percent of enrolled students reside in San Gabriel Valley, with others traveling from Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, among other locations.
CSArts-SGV students study in one of the 10 arts conservatories offered including acting, classical & contemporary dance, commercial dance, creative writing, instrumental music, integrated arts, musical theatre, production & design, visual arts and vocal arts. Students receive opportunities to participate in master classes, guest artist presentations, field trips and performances, as well as a variety of campus clubs and activities. Small student/teacher ratios in academic and arts classes allow for personalized attention to students.
The public charter school was established in 2016 by the California School of the Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization being established to operate a network of high achieving, comprehensive public arts charter schools, modeled after the nationally recognized Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA). CSArts-SGV is located at 1401 Highland Avenue, Duarte, Calif. For more information, visit sgv.csarts.net.