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San Rafael, California 94901
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Special Day Music at Edna Maguire and Olive Elementary

by Mentor Artist Katie Issel Pitre


This year I had the joy of joining Youth In Arts’ roster and getting placement at Edna Maguire in Mill Valley, and Olive Elementary in Novato.

I was placed in three Special Day Classrooms: a K-5 classroom, and two 2nd-5th grade classrooms. I used my music background to create music classes for these students and teachers.

After an observation visit, I chose my songs based on students’ prior knowledge of songs and their interests. I was able to use the same songs for all classes. I created a felt board and felt images of objects mentioned in each song that were tactile and stimulating for students to touch.


These boards were the most notable aspect of this class,  as they were created specifically for these students and to engage their senses, develop social/emotional skills, utilize fine motor skills and provide opportunity to use language skills to identify objects and name objects.

Watching students engage not only with the felt boards, but also with the drums, shakers and songs, I was able to access multiple intelligences that accessed the whole student.  Over time, my relationship with them deepened and I was able to support their development in closer alignment with their teachers goals.  It became clear that my weekly presence was having an impact, that relationships on many levels were being built and that IEP goals were being reached to everyone’s satisfaction.


The unspoken link in the chain is supportive teachers who are open, participating, engaged, and communicating with me weekly to maintain standards and fulfill the residency goals. If it were not for the teachers modeling relationships with me and the music, the students wouldn’t have had such rapid growth and such deep success.

I’m so grateful for this opportunity to teach music to these students and with these teachers, and hope to have many more opportunities to share and play in music.

–Ms. Katie


The Importance of Names

by Mentor Artist Cathy Bowman

Names are an integral part of who we are–as artists, as people. Using papier mâché, Students at San Jose Middle School in Novato made 3-D giant letters representing the first letter of their first names. First they scrunched up wads of paper and taped them to cardboard forms. Using paint and glitter, students then explored creating stripes and various thicknesses and textures. The objective was to explore the texture and sounds of newspaper, and what happens with paint and pattern.

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Rising Stars at the Marin Center

Rising Stars the 25th Annual Marin County High School Art Show has traveled to the Marin Center Exhibition Hall!

Thanks to Charlie Barboni, Libby Garrison and all the Marin Center staff for re-installing the show so beautifully. Artists and families can visit during 9-to-5 weekday hours or come to one of Marin Center’s Showcase Theater events to see the exhibit in the lobby space of the theater.

You might especially want to catch the “Best of the IJ Lobby Lounge” performance on Friday, April 22, featuring teens from around Marin, including Youth in Arts own `Til Dawn A Cappella. Great teen visual art and performing art in one night–what could be better?!

Rising Stars will continue at the Marin Center through the end of May. Students should pick up art June 2-3 OR if you want to enter your piece in the Marin County Fair, you can do that in the same space where the exhibit is located during open hours.

Here are a few photos, but we really hope you’ll go see the show in person! Congratulations to all the exhibiting students!

Check out this featured article on this exhibit in the Marin IJ.

We Traveled the World!



Thank you to all who helped to celebrate our 45th anniversary at our Travel the World gala on Friday! We hope you had a wonderful time experiencing the opening of Rising Stars–the Marin County High School Art Show–and getting a chance to see Mentor Artists June Li, Joti Singh, Bongo Sidibe, Eliot Fintushel and Nydia Algazzali Gonzalez demonstrate just a few of the world art forms we share with students through our Travel the World program.

We also hope you enjoyed the delicious treats from An Affair to Remember Catering and music from `Til Dawn a cappella, and we thank you for your generous support via our Fund-A-Need and live auction.

If you’d like to see the impact of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Program that your Fund-A-Need giving supports, come to our exhibit opening this Friday, April 8, 5-8 pm!

And once again thanks so much to our Lead Gala Sponsor the Buck Family Fund of the Marin Community Foundation, to our Media Sponsor the Marin Independent Journal, and to all the many supporters who helped make this event possible.






Here are some photos from the night, courtesy of Garrett Low, photographer and `Til Dawn parent (thanks for sharing, Garrett!)