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NORTHRIDGE : Grant to Help Arts Institute for Teachers

Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the California Arts Project, Cal State Northridge will keep teaching teachers how to teach.

The one-year state grant will enable CSUN to continue a program started in 1990 to educate public school teachers in art instruction techniques. Serving five counties, CSUN is one of seven California Arts Project sites in the state.

Each summer, CSUN holds a two-week arts institute in dance, theater, visual arts and music for about 40 public school teachers who represent a wide range of geographic areas and academic disciplines. Each year, the school reapplies for the grant to keep the project going.

“There is a growing awareness that the arts are important,” said Catherine Dezseran, director of the project at CSUN. “It’s not only to teach art, but to embed it in the entire curriculum.”

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The CSUN site is supposed to serve about 50,000 public school teachers in Los Angeles, Kern, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. But Dezseran, who teaches theater at CSUN, acknowledges that the grant is just a start.

“There’s no way one site could reach all of those people,” she said. “We’d have to keep doing this for hundreds of years.”


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