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OPAC is proud to present visual and performing arts experiences and programs for local students in collaboration with our educational partners, including the Oxnard School District, Oxnard Union High School District, Oxnard College, and California State University Channel Islands. 


We currently offer two programs:


Arts Exposure

Brings professional performing artists and touring groups onto school campuses for performances, residencies, workshops, talkbacks, and more. To learn more, contact

Bridge to the Arts

Bridge to the Arts, an innovative, year-long pilot program funded by the California Arts Council, and administered in collaboration with OPAC and Creativity Through Music, is focused on empowering Oxnard youth as "Citizen Artists". 17,000 Oxnard Union Highschool District students are offered the opportunity to learn new and innovative visual arts techniques from professional artists during 10 sessions and to exhibit their work in the local community. Supporting the rebound of CA's creative workforce, Advanced Placement art students will attend intensive workshops with master teachers, teach those newly acquired skills at OPAC Family Art Nights, as well as receive a 360 degree view of careers in the world of arts and culture.


For questions and opportunities to support this program, contact Artistic & Program Director, Nicole Taylor at 

Why the arts?

Research shows that exposure to the Arts can help youth develop many positive skills and capacities that are valued by leaders and employers, such as persistence, collaboration, creative thinking, problem solving, motivation, and problem solving. In addition, studies demonstrate that Arts exposure can improve a student’s confidence and academic performance.


A 2012 study* shows that teenagers and young adults of low socio-economic status, who are involved in arts activities, have better academic results, higher career goals, and better work opportunities.


Among the study’s key findings:

Better Academic Outcomes

Teenagers and young adults of low socioeconomic status who have a history of in-depth arts involvement show better academic outcomes than those with less arts involvement. They earn better grades and have higher rates of college enrollment and attainment.

Higher Career Goals

Students with in-depth arts involvement have markedly higher career aspirations than youth without arts backgrounds. Half of all low socio-economic status youth with high levels of involvement in arts expected to work in a professional career such as law, medicine, education or management, compared to 21 percent of those with little arts involvement.

More Civically Engaged

Young adults who had intensive arts experiences in high school are more likely to show civic-minded behavior than young adults who did not, with comparatively high levels of volunteering, voting, and engagement with local or school politics.

According to a ten-year national study of over 25,000 high school students, students with lower socio-economic status who had sustained involvement in theatre arts were shown over time to have greater self-confidence, motivation, and empathy than did their non-arts peers.


In another 2012 study from the Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, it was determined that involvement in the arts allows children to express themselves—tapping into their inventiveness and creativity—and is a fun outlet that helps positively stimulate and motivate students. Their research showed that the arts help students develop their memory and ability to focus, both of which benefitted them academically. Student behavior, which was measured by the numbers of suspensions and discipline referrals, improved in schools involved in an arts integration initiative, as did student attendance.


Evidence from a wide range of school- and community-based arts programs suggests that arts exposure can be instrumental in resolving conflicts, deterring problems with attendance and disruptive behavior, and building self-respect, self-efficacy, resilience, empathy, collaborative skills, and other characteristics and capacities that are linked to high student achievement.


*The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies, was published in a report by the US National Endowment for the Arts

Want to keep the arts alive in schools?

You can help bring more art and creativity into our community and into the classroom. Make a donation today and fuel OPAC's work to create vibrant, inspiring and impactful programming.

OPAC's Arts in Schools Program is supported in part by the California Arts Council

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