Arts Now Communities

Arts Now Communities receive leadership development, strategic assistance and communications tools from the California Alliance to support coalition building, strategic planning and arts education advocacy. Now in over thirty California communities, these coalitions convene business partners, community, arts and parent organizations to stand together for quality, accessible arts education for all students. Below are the most recent blogs from Arts Now Communities. For more information contact Robin Hampton

  • Webinar: Introduction to Arts Now Communities (formerly the Local Advocacy Network). Slides.


Coalition Blog


About LAHS Instrumental Music Director - John Rush


In his current position as director of Instrumental Music at Los Alamitos High School, John Rush leads the Jazz I, II, and III bands, String Orchestra, Jazz Combos, and teaches AP Music Appreciation.  Under his leadership, the jazz program expanded to three bands.  This year’s experience at the competitive Reno Jazz Festival was especially successful, as each of his jazz performing groups placed in their respective divisions.

Mr. Rush grew up in Cypress and graduated from California State University, Long Beach, where he studied with the late Dr. Michael Carney in percussion and with John Prince in jazz.   He received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.  When he came to Los Al in 2002, he headed the marching band, Jazz II, color guard, concert bands, string orchestra, and drum line programs. Since then, each of the groups has achieved 



Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are the center of attention in most US public schools today. The focus on STEM fields was initiated to increase global competitiveness and the project does have its merits. However, it has left the arts languishing far off in the periphery. This is quite unfortunate, as art education is known to improve academic performance.

How Integrating Arts Into Other Subjects Makes Learning Come Alive

by Katrina Schwartz -  KQED News "Mind/Shift" education blog, Jan., 13, 2015

Art has long been recognized as an important part of a well-rounded education — but when it comes down to setting budget priorities, the arts rarely rise to the top. Many public schools saw their visual, performing and musical arts programs cut completely during the last recession, despite the many studies showing that exposure to the arts can help with academics too. A few schools are taking the research to heart, weaving the arts into everything they do and finding that the approach not only boosts academic achievement but also promotes creativity, self-confidence and school pride.


Los Al Drama Dominates at State

- by Stacy Castiglione, LAHS Drama Director
This past weekend the Drama Department took 36 students to the CA Thespian Festival (State Competition) and Los Al TOTALLY dominated.
Biggest news- The Griffin Puppet Players (a one-act chosen to perform on the mainstage at the competition) presents Pyramus and Thisbe was chosen to perform at Nationals this summer!!!!!

Arts News April 2015

At Los Al, our student artists have been very busy during March, designated as Arts Education Month, Youth Art Month, and Music in our Schools Month by different organizations.   A number of performing groups are in the midst of competitions, and accumulating accolades.
Los Al Drama went to State, the CA Thespian Festival, where they earned an amazing 28 “superiors” and ten place distinctions.  Their one-act play was first chosen for performance on the main stage of the state competition, and then selected for Nationals this summer.

Reflections Students Honored for Achievement in the Arts

Los Alamitos, CA - March 26  --District administration, the board of education, and the PTA recognized fifteen LAUSD students for their achievement in the 2014-15 National PTA Reflections arts in education program this week.

Arts News March 2015

March is both Arts Education Month and Youth Art Month.
Fittingly, there are lots of local arts offerings, with something just about every day.   We have so many chances to celebrate the arts! 
Three events in particular bring together multiple grade levels of student artists.  
Class Notes on March 7th is a benefit concert for the district instrumental jazz program, which showcases jazz bands from McAuliffe, Oak, and LAHS, along with professional jazz artists.

Arts News February 2015


Two district-wide performances take place this month – both shows are this Saturday in the gymnasium on the LAHS campus.   These district-wide events are a wonderful way to experience the progression of The All-District Band Concert at 2pm features a dozen instrumental groups from LAHS, McAuliffe, Oak, and the combined elementary schools.  The performers include drum line, wind symphonies, and jazz bands. 

Arts News January 2015

January is International Creativity Month.  Did you know that creativity was the most important skill sought after by more than 1500 CEOs?  Success in the workplace begins with imagination in the classroom. A standards-based arts education is about building every student’s creative capacity so that he/she succeeds in college and career.  That is why Boeing Corporation has partnered with the California -and local  - Alliances for Arts Education.  
This month’s school performances included “Legally Blonde”, a musical theatre production at McAuliffe.

New Music Room for Oak


Oak MS celebrated its newly renovated music room in a ceremony attended by students, teachers, parents, and administration.  Oak Principal Sally Neiser, LAUSD board member Meg Cutuli, Oak Instrumental Music Director Justin Padilla, and Superintendent Sherry Kropp served as the official ribbon cutters.




The new room marks the completion of the district's modernization projects that have been authorized and orchestrated by the school board and district administration over the past several years.  But this project had additional benefactors. Students made and signed posters to thank the Oak PTA and the Philharmonic Society for their gracious contributions.  Members of both organizations were