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My Masterpieces: Discovery 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 eleven 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 and Pasadena Museum of California Art

  • 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.

Partner Organizations
Students per Year
Teachers per Year

My Masterpieces has four core components:

Classroom Curriculum

A classroom-based curriculum that integrates art with other core subject areas like language arts, math, social studies, and science.

Field Trips

At least one field trip to a local museum or arts organization.  Field trips build upon what was taught in the classroom.

Teacher Training

Professional development opportunities for teachers.

Family Access

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

Thank You to Our Supporters

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!

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Funding for My Masterpieces is generously provided by Individual donors from the community, our My Masterpieces Art Partners and the following:

Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

John and Beverly Stauffer Foundation

Helen and Will Webster Foundation

Jim and Anne Rothenberg

Help keep arts in our schools thriving!

My Masterpieces is one of the many ways the Pasadena Educational Foundation helps to create a vibrant and enriching educational experience for all public school children in Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre.