Arts Access School Time Program

The arts can transform lives. With their natural curiosity and imagination, children are open to new ways of seeing the world. However, not all students in the East Bay come from families or attend schools that have the resources to bring them to see a live play, dance performance, or visual arts exhibit at the Lesher Center.

DRAA’s Arts Access School Time Program is a unique answer to this problem. The only program of its kind in the East Bay, Arts Access has made it possible for more than 40,000 students from underserved schools in Contra Costa County to attend professional, high-quality performances and exhibits at the Lesher Center. In many cases, this is the first time these students have been able to see a live performance or a visual arts exhibition.

DRAA is grateful to generous individual and business donors who help us fund the Arts Access. These donations allow us to provide free tickets and transportation to students. We provide funding based on the percentage of students in a school eligible to receive free or reduced-cost lunches. Out of the schools we serve, 85% have 60% or more of their students on the free or reduced-cost lunch program. We have been particularly successful at serving children from Concord’s Monument Corridor neighborhood, one of the most under-resourced and culturally diverse areas of the Bay Area.

arithmetickles_kids1We also provide customized performance activity kits to allow teachers to tie their students’ experience at the Lesher Center with what they are learning in school. The kits meet the California’s Common Core Standards and offer suggestions for in-class discussions and projects that can take place before and after students visit the Lesher Center. In an effort to bring the arts to children regardless of income, DRAA also makes the kits available to non Title 1 schools. Attended by more than 9,000 students each year, these performances allow DRAA to impact the next generation of arts lovers.

For interested teachers and schools, a schedule of school show performances and exhibits, along with an easily accessible, user-friendly application can be accessed on our website. The Arts Access application will be available on August 15. Please carefully read all information before submitting your application.

For more information, email the Arts Access Coordinator Jody Cook at artsaccess@draa.org.