805-938-8966   abailey@orcutt-schools.net


Allison Smith, President

Vice President- OPEN

Kathy Meissner, Treasurer

Sarah Coughlin, Secretary

Thomas V. Apkarian, Jr.

Dr. Deborah Blow

​​Dr. Charla Morgan

Bob Hatch

Jeremy Rich​
​Eric Melsheimer

Trish Waterbury

Jan Zilli

Board of Directors



the arts are an important part of education.

For many of America's youth, public schools serve as the major provider of formalized arts instruction.  Therefore it is critical that the arts maintain their status as a core academic subject.

When arts education funding became threatened the Orcutt Children's Arts Foundation was created in 2002 to support the visual and performing arts in the Orcutt Union School District.  

Statistics from the National School Boards Association and Americans for the Arts show that students that consistently participate in comprehensive, sequential and rigorous arts programs are:

  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
  • 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
  • 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem.



The foundation supports arts in the Orcutt schools in a variety of ways.  Each student in grades Kindergarten through 6th receives lessons taught by professional artists in either dance, drama, music or visual arts each year.  Classroom mini-grants funded by the Foundation support classroom projects and are awarded to teachers in the district through a proposal competition each fall.  The Foundation also supports special arts related projects and programs such as district band, district orchestral strings, drama and music programs throughout the district.

  • Drama. Helps with understanding social relationships, complex issues and emotions; improves concentrated thought and story comprehension.

  • Music. Improves math achievement and proficiency, reading and cognitive development; boosts SAT verbal scores and skills for second-language learners.

  • Dance. Helps with creative thinking, originality, elaboration and flexibility; improves expressive skills, social tolerance, self-confidence and persistence.

  • Visual arts. Improve content and organization of writing; promote sophisticated reading skills and interpretation of text, reasoning about scientific images and reading readiness.

  • Multi-arts (combination of art forms). Helps with reading, verbal and math skills; improves the ability to collaborate and higher-order thinking skills.