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Our programs in schools promote equitable access to the arts by partnering with schools to provide hands-on performing arts experiences for 3,500 students.

Our 4 Partnership Program Goals


Provide access to the arts in public schools & community centers.


Positively impact student achievement and school culture and climate.


Increase overall student engagement with global art traditions.


Ensure long-term growth and development in school district arts programs.


East Bay Center’s programs in schools promote equitable access to the arts in West Contra Costa Unified School District by partnering with high need schools to provide foundational hands-on experiences for 3,500 students per year in culturally diverse art forms for children and youth. Through exposing students to world traditions in music, dance, theatre, and digital arts, we provide consistent, sequential instruction, working with school staff and faculty to reach the whole child’s development. In these partnerships, East Bay Center works to harness the power of the arts to engage all styles of learners to build the self-knowledge, vision, and habits they will need for healthy and positive lives. We work with schools to implement programs that support the school’s overall development, contribute positively to the school climate, and open long-term opportunities for youth in the performing arts.


East Bay Center for the Performing Arts offers an annual selection of assemblies for elementary and middle schools in the East Bay.  All interactive assemblies feature some of the Center’s top faculty artists.

Professional artists from East Bay Center present intimate or school wide interactive performances for students, highlighting the core art forms of our DEEP ROOTS WIDE WORLD curriculum: from hard driving Bebop Jazz, to Classical West African Dance and Drumming, to regional Mexican Music and Dance, Spoken Word Poetry and Voices from Spanish Language and African American Theater, to Urban Ballet, Chamber Music, and Contemporary Vocal ensembles.

kids on stage at school

Virtual Assemblies

Black History Month

Black history is not only an intrinsic part of Richmond’s story, but of the United States as a whole. Join Howard Wiley, East Bay Center faculty artist, in celebrating the artistic traditions of the African Diaspora in our community. You’ll watch, listen, and learn about West African music and dance, steel pan, Blues, Jazz, and Hip Hop!

Hispanic Heritage Month

Join East Bay Center faculty artist Lolis Garcia as she introduces Son Jarocho music, originating in Southern Veracruz, Mexico. You will learn new rhythms and dance steps and watch a live Fandango!

In School Music Program

kids playing congas on stage

Every student in our participating schools receives standards aligned weekly music instruction throughout the school year, designed to facilitate long-term positive impact on student learning and school culture. All students perform twice a year at school gatherings, celebrating their accomplishments and developing confidence and pride in their work. These performances are especially designed to support whole families’ experiences, strengthen familiarity with school site resources and develop a sense of shared community.

After School & Summer Classes

kids dancing on stage

We offer a wide range of intensive, fun, and skill building classes during the school year and summer for some of the highest need schools and community centers in Richmond. Participating students receive weekly instruction in art forms including Afro-Peruvian Music, Mexican Son, Hip Hop dance, and West African Dance, and Orff method. East Bay Center also works with the district’s Mafanikio program after school, aiming to address the achievement gap for African American youth, build historical and cultural knowledge, and provide social and artistic skill development.

Instrumental Coaching

student and teacher in music class

We support existing band and orchestra programs at the middle and high school levels by sending Center music specialists to work with ensembles at local schools. Teaching Artists work with small groups of wind, brass, strings, and percussion players to improve their instrumental technique, musicality, and ensemble playing. Center faculty also visit schools to conduct workshops and master classes, and perform for students.

Preschool Arts Program

young ballet students

East Bay Center’s Preschool Arts Program supports young children and their families through a play-based, culturally relevant, curriculum. The program runs only during selected years. For more information, please contact Bryan Alvarez (contact information below).


For More Information

Please contact Bryan Alvarez, Director of School and Neighborhood Partnerships