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October 16, 2012

SCA Has a “Paint Party”

Staff and Students Help Paint Classroom at Foshay Learning Center

Telling stories with the moving image doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Neither does running a major school at a research university that happens to be in the heart of one of Los Angeles’ most storied communities. Every year, the School of Cinematic Arts hosts events to reach out to the South Los Angeles community. On September 29th a group of staff and student volunteers, led by Engineering Manager of Theatres and Classrooms at SCA Chris Cain, Foshay teacher John Midby and Wendy Milette from the My Hero organization painted a classroom at the Foshay Learning Center as part of the International Room 13 Project.

Chris Cain and a parent from Foshay

“We were looking for a school in the neighborhood that needed help,” said Cain. “It was great. I was surprised at the reaction of the parents. Ususally parents think of things like this as drudgery but everyone loved it. Everyone was involved. [The School of Cinematic Arts] has a level of expertise that you aren’t going to find anywhere else in the world. There’s no one that can do what we do better than we can do it. We are so lucky to have what we have, so there’s a responsibility for us to be involved in helping the community in the way only we can.”

Room 13 is an international network of student-driven creative studios founded in 1994 in Caol, Scotland. The initiative has expanded throughout Europe, India, South Africa, North America, Asia and other locations, to include 93 studios worldwide. As part of the Room 13 project, International Room 13 @Foshay is a student and professional artist managed, self-financed, sustainable, multi-media studio.

The goal of the studio is to help student artists improve their skills as creators, entrepreneurs and 21st century creative thinkers.  By doing this, students that would have, historically, had very little opportunity in the creative arts become a vital part of LA's art and creative scene.  International Room 13 @ Foshay is the only art program at that School because of budget cuts.

“The Paint Party was an incredible experience both because of the huge showing of support for the Room 13 initiative but also because of the obvious importance that art plays in the students’ lives,” said Paint Party volunteer and SCA student Nathaniel Schermerhorn. “It seems that more and more often, we are seeing arts programs being cut from elementary and high schools but the ubiquitous support for Room 13 and for the art classes that the students at Foshay take was inspiring. Throughout the day, the Foshay students were doing a number of different activities from crafts and painting, to screen-printing T-shirts, to video interviews with parents and other students. Everyone was there to show support for art, in general, and it was a really fantastic day.”

For more information on the Room 13 project, please visit: http://room13international.org/