Visiting Artist Testimonials

 In grantmaking, PVF Donors, PVF News, PVF news, teacher grants, Visiting Artist in the Classroom Program

By PVF’s Communications and Programs Associate, Cayman Bentley

Last year, PVF gave out almost 500 teacher resource grants. The Visiting Artist in the Classroom Grant seems to generate the most feedback from teachers due to the many artists and creators that are able to come into schools and help inspire kids with out-of-the-box ideas and projects because of it. Whether the grant is used to hire a musician to help kids relate music to everyday learning, or hiring a textile artist to help students find different outlets of expression, or even bringing in a poet that will help students hone their literary and public speaking skills, the Visiting Artist grant is helping teachers bring life into their classrooms.


Mia Boykin, a visiting artist at Emerson Academy who is also a former teacher at Emerson, spoke about the importance of allowing students the opportunity to express themselves through poetry. (Emerson Elementary Poetry Slam pictured above to the left) “Many of these students aren’t afforded the opportunity to practice their artistic expression and work on their public speaking skills in their home settings. This poetry slam does a lot more for the kids than it does for me. I truly believe that it builds their confidence.

Sonia Valero, a teacher at Spring Valley Science School, decided to use the funds from the Visiting Artist Grant that she was awarded to take her students to “Nine Studio” to make masks for Dia de los Muertos at the direction of  Amelie Lew, an artist in residence. “Many of the students at my school are bilingual, and I wanted to incorporate the Day of the Dead into our curriculum in a way that was fun and exciting for the kids.” (Dia de los Muertos Day at Nine Studios pictured above to the right.)

Funding for the Visiting Artist in the Classroom Grant is still currently available. If you’re a teacher at a public, low-income TK – 12th grade school in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, or San Francisco counties, check out the application requirements on our website and apply today!

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