My Masterpieces: Discovering Art in My Community
Is a collaborative program that takes full advantage of Pasadena’s remarkable cultural resources to deliver a diverse and comprehensive visual arts curriculum. The award-winning program of the Pasadena Educational Foundation, operated in partnership with Pasadena Unified School District and ten local museums and cultural institutions. The program serves every K-6 student in PUSD, providing community-based arts learning opportunities for over 9,500 students and 490 teachers in Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre.
The program links arts-integrated classroom lessons taught by PUSD teachers with a related field trip component led by staff or docents from the partnering museums and visual arts institutions.
Each arts partner is matched with a grade level:
Grade K – Kidspace Children’s Museum
Grade 1 – Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
Grade 2 – City of Pasadena – Public Art Walking Tour, provided by Side Street Projects
Grade 3 – The Gamble House
Grade 4 – Pasadena Museum of History
Grade 5 – Norton Simon Museum and Armory Center for the Arts
Grade 6 – USC Pacific Asia Museum
Note: For Grade 3, Descanso Gardens is now piloting a new field trip/classroom lesson combination in addition to the Gamble House.
The ongoing goals of My Masterpieces are to:
- Engage all PUSD K-6 students in integrated curriculum that engages them with eleven museums and visual arts organizations to teach them creative skills and content knowledge and develop their critical thinking and interpretive abilities.
- Increase the knowledge and ability of teachers to incorporate the arts into everyday teaching and learning in the classroom.
- Encourage teachers, students, PUSD families, and the broader Pasadena community to take advantage of these resources by reducing barriers to participation.
The impact of My Masterpieces on student knowledge, comprehension, skills, creativity and achievement is measured mainly through annual surveys of their classroom teachers.
Did you know?
Parents in grades K-6, did you know that through the My Masterpieces Program your family can visit museums and cultural centers for free? Each of the 18 elementary schools in PUSD have a set of passes that can be checked out to visit places like: The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens; The Gamble House; Norton Simon; and Kidspace!
Contact your child’ school and speak with the Office Manager to learn more about how to check out these FREE passes.
My Masterpieces has four core components:
A classroom-based curriculum that integrates art with other core subject areas like language arts, math, social studies, and science.
At least one field trip to a local museum or arts organization. Field trips build upon what was taught in the classroom.
Professional development opportunities for teachers.
Family access points, such as free passes, school-wide memberships, or free “My Masterpieces Days.
My Masterpieces and Open Stage are two of the most important programmatic accomplishments of Pasadena Educational Foundation, and reflects PEF’s vision to leverage the community’s remarkable resources to benefit all the students in PUSD. They also reflect the strong collective effort of the PEF, PUSD, the arts community, and philanthropic community which has restored arts education as an integral part of teaching and learning in every school in the district.
Student Outcomes Include
Students develop perceptual abilities by studying dozens of works of art from a variety of cultures and eras, both in the class and during the field trips.
Students learn art-making skills by working with a range of materials and creating their own works of art in different media and styles.
Students acquire an understanding of the ways in which art can reflect the time and place of its creation, and refer to artwork they have seen when studying other subjects such as history.
Students gain the basic content knowledge to make their own informed opinions about art and the vocabulary to articulate their ideas coherently.
What They Are Saying
Students were very engaged with the information presented. They felt a connection to the artist because she was a Pasadena resident who went to one of our local schools! They were able to see primary sources from the artist.
- Jose Guzman, 5th grade teacher
It made my students more knowledgeable about public art. They will be excited to see their public art in the school, once it is completed. I think they will be more inspired to create art.
- Allison Yee, 2nd grade teacher
Students were able to view and critique art in a meaningful way and with an understanding they did not have before.
- Stephanie Norton, 4th grade teacher
They enjoyed learning about the people who lived in the [Gamble] house and I kept reminding them to imagine being a child and growing up here. How would you feel? What would you be wearing, eating, etc.?
- Deborah Kostich, 4th grade teacher
This is an excellent experience for my special needs students to get to go out into the community and learn in an experiential environment.
- Jamie Munro, Kindergarten teacher
This extraordinary program would not be possible without wide community support. Teachers and staff of local arts organizations who serve on the District Arts Team / Community Arts Team have helped to create this program. Volunteers and docents from the museums and organizations help to sustain the field trip component of the program. The Pasadena Educational Foundation thanks our community members for their time and endless creativity!