Anderson Children's Foundation

Opera Guild of the Desert

Opera Guild of the Desert

Opera in the Schools (2017-2018)

The Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert is a 501 (c) non-profit cultural organization whose mission is to promote opera through the delivery of quality operatic performances to a large and diverse audience throughout the Coachella Valley. The Guild helps ensure the future of the art form by encouraging and supporting young singers with financial assistance, performance opportunities, and through educational student and adult outreach programs.

Opera is one of the Western world’s older dramatic art forms, traditionally incorporating song and music, and well as elements of theater including dance, acting, costumes and sets. In 2005 we began our partnership with the Palm Springs Unifed School District to create a student outreach program – Opera in the Schools. The goal of the program is to demystify this multi-faceted art form and positively impact and inspire students by demonstrating that classical music is an accessible, entertaining medium.

For two weeks each year in late May, five accomplished opera singers – chosen from the leading talent in the operatic world - a presenter, and their piano accompanist, come together to visit students, K-12, to deliver and fulfill the Opera Guild’s education mission – to expose, engage and excite as many students as possible with presentations of live opera.

Music is an important component of a rounded education. Studies consistently show that music helps children develop spatial/temporal development, aids in language development and reasoning, improves intelligence, builds creativity, imagination and intellectual curiosity, and keeps children focused and engaged in school studies.

Coachella Valley Schools are heavily impacted by arts education budget cuts and the dissolution of musical programming. There is an over 90% poverty/free lunch demographic within our public schools. In addition, 80% of children in these schools come from the over 20% of families who live below the poverty line, and whose finances negate the ‘luxury’ of afterschool or private music programs. We provide Opera in the Schools free of charge to the entire student body of the Palm Springs Unified School District.

Opera in the Schools impacts over 15,000 children annually in 18 of the Palm Springs Unified School District’s schools, from Desert Hot Springs and Palm Desert, to Palm Springs. While primarily directed at children from ages three to eighteen, this program also serves to educate teachers, administrators, and the children’s families.

Contact Person: Jill Battson

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