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In Palo Alto Unified School District children come first, and students always remain at the heart of the district’s commitments. Among its numerous offerings is an extensive and rigorous Arts program which is supported by the district’s commitment to educate the whole child. The Art programs are supported, in part, by numerous community partnerships to which we are enthusiastically grateful. They allow us to offer opportunities connected to the professional world of art to our students and teachers through exhibits, performances and professional development.

PAUSD, Stanford Lively Arts and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley are members of the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Selected in recognition of their demonstrated commitment to Arts Education, the partnership team collaborates on advocacy efforts and programs serving the teachers and students of the Palo Alto Unified School District.

The Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is designed to assist arts organizations throughout the nation to develop or expand educational partnerships with their local school systems. The primary purpose of these school/community partnerships in the arts is to promote the professional development of teachers.

Stanford Lively Arts:

Stanford Lively Arts curates experiences that engage artists’ and audiences’ imagination, creativity, and sense of adventure. Founded in 1969 at Stanford University, they produce and present music, theater, dance, spoken word, and multi-media events. They place a special focus on innovation and risk-taking, and through commissions and premieres are an incubator and destination for new work. Stanford Lively Arts plays a leading and collaborative role in the university’s thriving vision of a sustained culture of creativity – one in which the arts integrate with the academic disciplines, flourish as a vital part of campus and community life, and inspire new perspectives on our lives and culture.

K–12 Student Matinees for students and their teachers take place on campus throughout the school year. Featuring performers from the main stage season, matinees engage the imagination and open new horizons in a diversity of arts disciplines. Performances are open to schools and districts from throughout the Bay Area and scholarship assistance is available to qualifying schools.

Stanford Lively Arts-K-12 Teacher Workshops:

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Each performance is preceded by a professional development workshop for teachers. Designed to deepen teachers’ understanding of the arts disciplines to be performed, workshops are open to all teachers and will allow you to prepare for and delve further into each program. Stanford Lively Arts also provides comprehensive teacher and student companion guides to all performances free of charge. The guides are an excellent resource to encourage learning in the arts before and after the performance.



TheatreWorks is one of California’s largest theatres with an annual budget exceeding seven million. It is committed to dramatic and musical theatre of outstanding professional quality that embraces the creation of new works, the reinvigoration of the classics, and the arts education of new generations. It has been a pioneer in diversity programming, a regular home to world and regional premieres, including Memphis, which won four Tony awards in 2010, including best musical. It is a widely-hailed source of original new works for the American stage and has become the nationally-acclaimed theatre of Silicon Valley.

TheatreWorks Education Department

TheatreWorks brings the most innovative, applicable, and powerful arts education resources to Bay Area schools. The wisdom of teaching core curriculum through an art form is proven to be a fantastic way to address all learning styles. It’s fun, active, and opens profound analytical connections in students.

Through a myriad of in-school programs, such as The Young Playwrights Project, Concepts at Play, Student Matinees, School Tours such as Oskar and the Big Bully Battle and The Children’s Healing Project, TheatreWorks’ education department reaches over 22,000 students in 88 schools in the Bay area.

In the summers, TheatreWorks’ partners with PAUSD to train teachers to integrate arts directly into core subjects advocating a rich arts environment for the Palo Alto School District and the Mid-Peninsula in general.

Link to TW website:

Teacher Training Video: