As part of its Creative Youth Development Program, Monarch School, a K-12 school operated by the SDCOE that provides educational programme for youth experiencing homelessness, is expanding by establishing a Center for the Arts in the Barrio Logan neighbourhood of San Diego.
It was named “The Chrysalis: Monarch Center for the Arts”, by the students. It will offer dedicated performance and visual arts spaces for kindergarten to Grade 12 students, families, and the community to develop their own resilience via the use of their own unique artistic expression. The centre will be located on the campus of the school.
This past week, the school conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and programme to commemorate the center’s grand opening just in time for students to begin taking courses there this autumn. The establishment of the area was made possible by the generous contributions of Kathleen and Kevin Mac Donald, as well as other benefactors.
Monarch School will be able to deepen and extend its dance and visual arts programming, while also developing and launching new programmes in theatre, music, video arts, poetry and creative writing, as well as student entrepreneurial initiatives, now that they have their own home for the arts. In addition, Monarch School intends to offer much-needed rental space for community arts partners and groups to host their own arts programmes, thus extending its arts network and establishing mutually beneficial relationships that will benefit the whole community as a whole.
The event, which included performances by children, was attended by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold, the Monarch Board of Directors, senior personnel from the school, and other dignitaries.
Students at Monarch School collaborated with local artist and arts educator Araceli Carrerra to create a painting for the outside of the new Chrysalis space. The artwork will be displayed outside the building. The artwork was dedicated to the Barrio Logan neighbourhood at the ribbon-cutting event, which was attended by schoolchildren as well as the artist. In Barrio Logan, where the mural is located, the work contributes to the vibrant local arts scene, which includes a plethora of murals painted by local artists and arts groups.