By/Por Juan Rodriguez Flores
This Wednesday there will be a public hearing in Sacramento from 1:30pm to 3:30pm in order to discuss issues related to the Arts programs in various school districts throughout California, including Los Angeles. As everyone knows, California’s economic crisis is having a negative impact on the creative and cultural aspect of education. The extent of this impact is affecting thousands of children to such a degree that classes such as: music, painting, dance, and visual arts have been decreased to their lowest levels in recent times.
This dismal scenario has brought the government and cultural organizations of California to find adequate answers to three major questions. First, they are trying to gain a clear understanding of how big the problem is for students who have lost access to their creative training. Another issue is how and in what form do the integrated arts help to reduce the divided between different types of schools– public and private. Finally, in the narrow and limiting current conditions will young people develop the skills and knowledge they need to grow into the next generation of thinkers and leaders needed by society.
All of the above is part of the issues to be analyzed during the public hearing convened by Senator Curren D. Price Jr., Chair for the Committee On the Arts. It will involve specialists in different fields of art, education, and business. The principal objective is to identify through the specialists’ testimonies and experiences a viable solution to the disaster, in terms of the arts, for students in primary and secondary education.
Sharon Jimenez is a journalist, producer, and host of “L.A. Business Today.” She is also the president and founder of the non-profit organization “Bring Hollywood Home Foundation” whose mission is to support independent film-makers and combat the loss of film production within California to other places inside and outside of the United States. She said about the above situation, “This is an initiative that we need to support because the loss of the artistic component in the education of our children will cause negative consequences for the future.”
For Jimenez what is happening on Wednesday in Sacramento is applicable to what is occurring for independent film production, “Every day that passes less films are produced here.” She continues with, “We are urging the California Legislature to promote a public hearing to discuss the critical situation we currently have because of the lack of transparency in the economic incentives in film production, and the inability for the state to compete against the incentives and opportunities that are offered elsewhere. Similar to what is happening in the schools with the cancellation of the arts education program, we have serious problems we need to resolve. If we do not discuss it publicly then when the debate ensues this year in Sacramento over the application of credits for independent film-makers, we will lose millions of dollars in tax revenues. This will also force the creative and artistic professionals in the film industry to leave the state and be separated for long periods from their families.”
Sharon Jimenez’s ideas are shared in full by director and producer Martin Guigui, a board member of “Bring Hollywood Home Foundation”. Guigui said in relation to the situation that exists in California Schools, “I am a father of two daughters, and I want them to receive art classes in conjunction with academic assignments. This will help them have a more solid and comprehensive education. Also, I want to continue producing films where I live near my loved ones. For this reason, I decided to join this organization (Bring Hollywood Home Foundation).”
The meeting will be broadcasted on the internet or can be seen in person at:
Event: Informational Hearing on the Joint Committee on the Arts
Date: April 18th 2012, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Place: Capitol Room 3191