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Revised about STEAM

Posted on April 6, 2015 at 3:53 PM Comments comments (267)
Let’s think of our students as luthiers and coders, learning to infuse technology with aesthetics, and science with art.  Soon there will be a STEAM Assembly taking on the questions of how and whether to deliberately integrate the arts into science, technology, engineering and math courses. Register here: Keynote Assembly

Long ago, humans learned to make tools from sticks in order to reach the cashews, like Figaro the Cockatoo.  Like Figaro, we enjoy thinking “outside of the cage.”

A triumph of the evolving human condition is to perceive, manifest, manipulate, destroy and renew.  Our lives are a series of patterned phases and chaos states, ever-changing rhythms and tempos that come at us and from within us, in no particular order. Nature adds her interludes of decay and restoration, storm and sun, in cycles that temper our brutish ways.    

New music software allows you to record instruments, real or virtual, inside pseudo-cathedrals and amphitheaters. The acoustics of real music halls have been captured and reassembled into code. The program comes with auto-humanization.  What's old has become new.

Working in the music products industry, I once spoke at the Violin Society of America conference: these are the people who make and study the violin. In addition to wood, catgut and varnish, they care about copyright infringement and music education in schools. To make a tangible object that produces an beautiful, intangible outcome is a beautiful thing. All musical instruments were created in the space between science and art.    

We can help young people understand the ways that science and art coexist, and why that’s important. While learning, one must imagine, design, build, succeed or fail, and imagine again, obeying and breaking nature’s laws for good reason. Intangibles hold the clues that help us invent and solve problems. Let's strive to engage the minds and hearts of our students and activate that special place within us all that is "in between."  
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Returning to NYC: So, What's New?!

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 10:22 PM Comments comments (86)
2012 is playing out as the 'year of clear'. I'm happy to announce that I've moved back to the Northeast; the New York City region, to be exact, as of October 1. I'm building my consulting business, increasing my client base and living closer to dear family and friends. So, New York, what's up? What's new?!!
After 9/11, I felt I had to try someplace new.  I said my good-byes and moved to Southern California and I thought I would never return. 
But then the light changed. And life is always shifting, like sand underfoot.  I scanned the ocean for news from the universe: should I stay -- or should I go home? Movement matters, and... what's that saying? "We never enter the same river twice."   When I remembered that, I decided it was time to come home. What's old will be new.
I feel I know the best of New York's glittering, spiraling center.  There is endless nuance in the people, patterns and rhythms. Every color is reflected in every face, familiar and new. Life and work take on a kaleidoscopic, ever-changing light. 
So I hope to make a difference here again.  I'm pulled toward new ideas, and I hope they will lead to new clients and projects.  My work portfolio is online at Maybe I can help your business. How can I help you?
 "Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers," says a translation of the Ancient Greek philosophy of Heraclitus, 535 – c. 475 BC.  Yes, I looked up the saying. Driving through farmlands back to the city this weekend, the harvest moon cast its discriminating glow. And I realized: sometimes you search for the answers. And sometimes you just know. 
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Can we get beyond our "fraying patchwork of programs, grants and donations"?

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:36 AM Comments comments (110)
-- this blog was originlly posted on November 20, 2011 on the California Alliance for Arts Education website at
Dear Encinitas Arts Education Leaders,

In the past two weeks I've had meetings with a few of the remarkable arts and education leaders here and will be sharing more with you at our November 30 meeting at City Hall. I must say, in these discussions I was reminded of the sobering truth regarding arts education in Encinitas, and of the state of arts education in California overall.
This recent SF Examiner article (October 2011) offers a snapshot of how schools in San Francisco and all over California rely on a "fraying patchwork of grants, programs and donations” for arts education. Some districts rely almost entirely on parent fundraising to maintain these programs, while schools in lower-income communities go without. San Francisco’s situation reflects conditions that exist across the state, according to Mark Slavkin, chairman of the California Alliance for Arts Education,.“The northeastern states are spending twice as much on education as California,” Slavkin said. “What these states take for granted, like dedicated art and music teachers, is something of a luxury in California.” Read more:
If you have a moment to learn more, please make note about the origins and purpose of the Encinitas Alliance for Arts Education (EAAE) and our relationship to other arts advocacy efforts in the state.
The EAAE was started in 2009 is a part of the Local Advocacy Network of the California Alliance for Arts Education.  Now in over 25 California communities and web-based advocacy groups, the CAAE LAN builds the capacity of advocates to communicate a unified message in their local communities by providing advocacy expertise, communications tools and leadership development. I'll be updating this page regularly about our goals for the year and our collective progress.  I really encourage you to spend some time on the CAAE website to learn what other communities are doing to creatively maintain and build programs during challenging economic times. 

I, for one, am inspired by the work other arts advocates are doing all over the state in spit of our challenges and believe that you will be too.  Clearly this is a labor of love for so many of us; we are not alone in wanting greater access to and equity in quality arts education for all our students in Encinitas. I know I will be able to count on all of you to help make a difference this year on behalf of all students in all Encinitas schools.

Thanks, and I'll see you on November 30,
Sandy Jordan
Coordinator, Encinitas Alliance for Arts Education
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