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Arts at Peralta

Students at work on an original quilt

Art is in Peralta’s heart.

Our community values art not as an add-on, but as tool for teaching children about themselves and their world. A network of public and private donors make our program possible. The California Arts Council, along with a City of Oakland Cultural Arts grant, funds two artists-in-residence: Ellen Oppenheimer and Trena Noval. They lead students in weekly art instruction as well as larger projects that span the curriculum, encouraging students to stretch their imaginations and critical-thinking skills.

Peralta is an Alameda County Arts Demonstration School, part of the Alliance for Arts Learning in partnership with Harvard University’s Project Zero and the California College of the Arts’ Center for Art and Public Life Community Student Fellows Program. For the past 4 years, Peralta has had the great fortune of building an active partnership with San Francisco’s de Young Museum, to explore and study their collections. The San Francisco Opera also piloted its education program here in 2008-2009.

Our school is known for its many murals, created by artist Jamie Morgan and Peralta students over the years, as well as the colorful quilts designed and sewn by Ellen Oppenheimer and the students. Peralta quilts are displayed in public places internationally, including the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Peralta has also gained attention for its the stop-motion videos and other digital animation projects students make with Trena Noval (one video was a recent finalist at the Albany Film Festival).

We are now in our second year of an Environmental Stewardship Arts Program, which incorporates science, history, math, social sciences and technology as students make connections with their community and the environment. Click here to download an article about the Stewardship Project (check back for a new page on the project—coming soon!).

We would like to extend our deep gratitude to our funding partners for making this work possible: