A crowd of arts advocates, local elected officials, district leaders and the California Alliance for Arts Education came together Thursday at the Sizzler Restaurant in Moreno Valley to launch the Moreno Valley Arts Now Community at MVUSD. Moreno Valley is the 51st district in the state to launch the community and is the first district in California to adopt a Declaration of Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning.
By starting an Arts Now Community, MVUSD is committing resources to developing more robust visual and performing arts programs. Arts Now Communities around the state also receive coaching, training and grant opportunities from the California Alliance for Arts Education. MVUSD is becoming a model for other districts to expand art offerings to all students. Several representatives from other districts around the state attended the launch event to gather ideas to take home to their own districts.
“We want to give our students every opportunity to find something that fits them,” said Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora. “Not only will our students have more options, but studies show that participating in the arts increases student achievement in other academic subjects.”
While the Arts Now Community is new, MVUSD has been focusing on expanding arts education for several years. The visual arts at Moreno Valley Unified have seen a 230% increase in participation, while band and choir participation has soared 112% and 217% respectively since 2014.
“We believe that the arts are fundamental to all students’ education and that each student has the right to fully develop their creative potential,” said Board President Cleveland Johnson. “We are committed to providing the resources needed to fulfill this belief.”
MVUSD and City of Moreno Valley leaders attended the event, including, Board President Cleveland Johnson, Board Clerk Susan Smith, Board Member Jesús M. Holguín, Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora, Chief Academic Officer Maribel Mattox, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator Greg Solomon, Moreno Valley Mayor Pro Tem Victoria Baca and Councilman Ulises Cabrera.
“We want to create a community-wide culture of supporting the arts. A partnership like this will bring our community and district together to help us move arts education forward in a way that benefits all students,” said Greg Solomon, Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts.