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City Receives State Arts Council "Professional Development" Grant

State funds will support collaborative programming with the DJUSD and UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance

Post Date:July 11, 2018 1:30 pm

The California Arts Council, a state agency, announced that it plans to award $2,500 to a collaborative effort between the City of Davis, DJUSD, and the UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance as part of its Professional Development grants program.

The Professional Development program builds arts organizations’ capacity for success through small grants to support professional development activities. In this case, the awarded project will Help the City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs to collaborate with the UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance, and Teaching Artist Sarah Hart, to offer a series of professional development workshops for Davis School District K-12 teachers interested in incorporating educational theatre into their classrooms.

The grant will support two weekend-long workshops each quarter of the academic year, which will take place at the UCD Department of Theatre and Dance. Dates and times will be confirmed over the summer, and interested teachers should reach out to Sarah Hart at for more information.

These workshops will address theatre in education theory and practice, as an opportunity to explore contemporary techniques and approaches for facilitating participatory theatre activities applicable to a range of sociocultural and classroom contents (like History, PE, Health, English and other languages). Through a mixture of presentations, discussions, and practical activities, participating teachers will gain an understanding of context-specific methodologies, in order to design and facilitate their own theatre in education lesson plans, document their experience and receive feedback through peer evaluations of each other’s work, as well as the teaching artist’s.

“With this approach, the ‘teacher’ becomes the ‘facilitator’, whose role is to encourage the students to freely communicate and express themselves as ‘participants’. The ‘facilitator’ does not play an authoritative role, but joins in the playful learning process and supports the ‘participants’ within dynamic, creative activities”, says Sarah Hart, who will run the programs.

“Utilizing the Arts to support the educational experience of all Davis students is a real priority for the City and arts community. We are looking forward to using this pilot project to consider how we might better support teachers in the classroom to feel confident in providing rich creative opportunities for their students.”  Rachel Hartsough, City of Davis, Arts & Culture Manager

“The exploration of new programming in Arts and Education reveals endless possibilities. The Department of Theatre and Dance at UC Davis welcomes this exciting partnership with the City of Davis and community educators.”  David Grenke, Professor and Chair Department of Theatre and Dance, UC Davis.

Funding for City of Davis programming, a $2,500 award, is part of a large influx of support for the arts announced last month by the state, in which grants totaling $16,376,475 have been awarded to nonprofit organizations and units of government across California. The City of Davis grant was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, which can be viewed online at

For more information, please contact Rachel Hartsough, City of Davis City Manager's Office, at or 530-747-5640.

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