RUSD Music Educator Attends Visual & Performing Arts Conference at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion:
Actor Jack Black as Guest Speaker
Veteran RUSD choral/instrumental music teacher Darlene McGrady attended the first annual “Education, Creativity and California’s Future” Conference on September 29, 2010. The historic event was co-sponsored by the California Alliance for Art Education and the Music Center of Los Angeles, with the event being held in the atrium of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
The forum was created to allow discussion concerning the “plight and promise of arts education” in our public schools. Several celebrities were on hand to discuss the importance of the arts in their young formative years and how receiving a solid education in music, theatre or art changed their lives. Just a few of the actors, musicians and artists on the discussion panel were: Malcolm Jamal Warner from the Cosby Show; Ben McKenzie from Southland and the O.C.; LaMont Dozier, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for songwriting; Taylor Dayne, singer/songwriter; Lita Albuquerque, sculptor and painter; and Wil-Dog Abers, bassist for the rock group Ozomatli. Special guest speaker, Jack Black, actor and musician and star of School of Rock, was a hit with the more than 500 forum participants! Weaving the story of his troubled youth, Mr. Black communicated to everyone (humorously of course!) that learning through theatre is what saved him from an unsavory life.
Other high-ranking guests and speakers included the two candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Larry Aceves and Tom Torlakson. Both candidates emphasized the importance of students receiving a well-rounded education, which includes the arts. The two candidates were hopefully impressed by the sheer number of forum participants who believe that the arts should be considered an integral part of every child’s education.