San Diego Opera Receives Three California Arts Council Grants

By Nicole Kuchta

San Diego Opera has been awarded three California Arts Council Grants, totaling $50,400.

The first grant of $18,000 will support the Words and Music program, the second grant of $16,200 will support WAM at the La Maestra Center for Youth Advancement, and the third grant of $16,200 will support the Student Night at the Opera program.

The Words and Music program “works with students to provide instruction in composition, production, and performance” while helping to “[guide them] through the process of telling their own stories through music and drama,” according to the press release. SDO’s Education programs are designed to introduce opera to “traditionally underserved students and students who would otherwise likely lack access to the arts.”

La Maestra Center for Youth Advancement is located in City Heights, an ethnically diverse part of the city. A 2017 summer program in this community proved successful, and so the program will continue this summer and through the upcoming school year. The activities and performances of WAM, led by San Diego Opera Teaching Artists trained in Restorative Practices, aim to address vital issues in the lives of these students.

The Student Night at the Opera Program offers students the chance to attend final dress rehearsal performances of SDO’s mainstage productions with free tickets and free transportation to the San Diego Civic Theatre. Annually, “more than 7,500 students attend these performances through this program which enhances drama/theatre arts, music arts, visual arts, history, and language learning.”