With summer over, I’m looking forward to spending more time in schools and classrooms. I love summer but am thrilled to be back spending time with creative and inspiring educators and students!
Today I had the privilege of spending the morning at the Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) in downtown (or Uptown, if you prefer) Oakland. This school was founded in 2002 and housed in the lovely, historic Fox Theater. It is a public charter school with about 650 students in grades 6 through 12 who specialize in one of the following disciplines: circus arts, dance, digital media, instrumental music, figure skating, literary arts, production design, theatre, visual arts, or vocal music. With the school being tuition-free despite all the additional resources required to offer such an incredible menu of artistic choices, the school relies on donations and grants. It was wonderful to walk the hallways of OSA and pass dance studios, music studios, art studios, biology classrooms, and Spanish classrooms! The halls were buzzing with much more than just music– there was so much student energy and passion!
I spent much of the morning with the founder and Chair of OSA’s School of Digital Media , Heidi Cregge, who told me all about the history of the school, showed me around, and blew my mind with some great curricula and student work. Not only do her kids do their coursework, but they also create all the school’s marketing and promotional materials including performance flyers and the annual school campaigns– all using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. Check out Heidi’s blog for an in-depth look at how the courses work, the content, and what the thinking is behind the School of Digital Media. In sum, the School tries to operate like a professional design studio. Here is one of the student work spaces at OSA:
I hope this will be the first of many regular trips to OSA . Not only is it a quick bike ride from chez moi, but there are exciting things happening in the back hallways of the Fox Theater! Here are some of my favorite examples of the powerful work students at Oakland School for the Arts are producing:
- Videos, including one of my favorites, the award-winning and tragic International Boulevard
- Human Rights posters, each focusing on one of the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
And even if you’re not local, you can still donate to this great school!