Founded in 1974 by Archana Horsting and Yuzo Nakano as an international workshop and forum for ideas, Kala Art Institute provides a meeting place for artists from around the world who are offered the gift of time and space to further develop their unique visions and to collaborate with one another. Facilitated by Kala's Artists-in-Schools Program, many of these talented artists are also invited to share their skills and expertise with K-12 students throughout Alameda County.
Since 1993 the Artists-in-Schools Program has provided public school students the opportunity to work with professional artists on a variety of visual and performing arts projects. Instruction in animation, printmaking, book arts, digital media, ceramics and mural painting are among the techniques offered in the visual arts. Performing arts instruction includes drumming, dance, theatre and storytelling. Kala currently conducts Artists-in-Schools programs in Emeryville, Berkeley and Oakland public schools, in addition to summer camps. Each year more than 2,000 young people are served by the program.
The purpose of the Artists-in-Schools program is to stimulate creativity, to expand visual understanding and vocabulary, to cultivate spatial and narrative thinking and to provide experience with sensual manipulation of art materials. Our program also aims to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills and to prepare students to meet current California State Content Standards in the Visual and Performing Arts. Kala works with classroom teachers to develop and implement Integrated Curriculum programs with English Language Arts, History-Social Science and Mathematics. Additionally, the program provides an opportunity for students to meet the arts education requirement now necessary for admission into the University of California system.