Our Program

The core of Angels Gate Cultural Center’s education programming is the Artists-in-Classroom (AIC) program, which places professional Artists in classrooms throughout the Harbor Region to provide enriched, process-based education in the visual and performing arts to students K-12.  Angels Gate works closely with our Principals, school administrators, classroom teachers, and Artist-Teachers to provide students with a sustained, in-depth arts experience.  These residencies take place over the course of 12 weeks during the Fall or Spring semester and offer arts instruction that students would not normally not receive as part of the scope and sequence of their regular instructional program.  Our 12-week arts residencies are designed to promote creativity, cross-disciplinary knowledge, and critical thinking skills in accordance with California Visual and Performing Arts standards, and familiarize students with contemporary arts practices.

All of our Artist-Teachers are professional artists with several years of education experience. These teachers create an exciting atmosphere and encourage creativity by sharing artworks from a range of cultures, introducing arts vocabulary, and demonstrating fine arts concepts.  A primary focus of the AIC program is teaching students about the creative process; students learn that art doesn’t have to be completed in one sitting, but that it can be added to and developed to create many layers over time.  Our Artist-Teachers are encouraged to bring their own artistic processes and interests into the classroom.  In this way, our elementary students come to understand how artists work and how contemporary arts are created.

Angels Gate specializes in 3rd grade Visual Arts and 5th grade Creative Writing.  During these residencies, AIC teachers relate artistic ideas to other disciplines and work closely with students on several projects to increase their visual and verbal literacy.  In creative writing, students learn about metaphors, write their own 6-Word Memoirs, and explore Japanese Haiku.  At the end of the 12-week residency, students create artist-books from paper bags, decorating them to hold their completed poetry collection. In visual arts, students learn about the Elements of Art: lines and shapes, color, balance, and symmetry. Our artist-teachers lead layered and complex arts experiences, engaging students in the process and helping them to be self-initiating, and working in pairs collaboratively.  They encourage self-expression and personal innovation.

An important component of the AIC program is classroom teacher participation; we believe that when a classroom teacher is engaged in the arts alongside their students, a creative environment is built, and students and teachers see one another in new ways.

Reflection is another important component of the artistic process of Artists-in-Classrooms. All of our artist-teachers encourage students to reflect upon their artwork and share their thoughts with the class.  The process of reflecting helps students expand their vocabulary and express what they have learned throughout the session.

The impact of our program does not end in the classrooms, but is seen throughout the school—bulletin boards are filled with student art, and an end-of-semester culmination event allowed all classes to work together to showcase their art to share among their peers and with parents.  Each semester, selected pieces of artwork and poetry are displayed in the galleries at AGCC.

Artists-in-Classrooms has been serving schools in the Los Angeles Harbor Region since 1999.  During the 2017-18 school year, 3,600 students in 134 classrooms received over 50,000 hours of arts instruction through our program.

Artist In Classrooms is funded through government, corporate, and foundation grants, as well as private donations.


Model Arts School

The Model Arts School, a component of Angels Gate Cultural Center’s Artists-in-Classrooms program, was founded by Angels Gate Cultural center in partnership with Grand Vision Foundation.  The Model Arts School continues to build the vision of stabilizing and expanding arts education and arts integration in each of our San Pedro schools, for all students.  With the goal of a high-quality, sequential arts education, the Model Arts School creates a clear path through the elementary curriculum: 1st grade – Multi-Arts, 2nd grade – Dance, 3rd grade – Visual Arts, 4th grade – Music, and 5th grade – Creative Writing.

In collaboration with other arts partners, the Model Arts School has been piloted at several schools in LAUSD Local District South since 2015.  As this arts education program has grown, care has been taken to build lasting relationships at each school served.  Working with principals and classroom teachers, we help to ensure that district resources and arts partner residencies are leveraged effectively, so each grade level has received at least one semester of an arts discipline each school year.

Currently, Angels Gate and Grand Vision are working on a collaborative effort uniting the resources of community arts partners, local schools, and LAUSD behind the shared goal of expanding upon the Model Arts School to build a “San Pedro K-12 Arts Pathway,” where all students K-12 in San Pedro have the opportunity to engage in the arts in each grade level.  With support from local partners and schools, this expanded Model Arts School ensures that students continue to have robust arts experiences and elective choices through middle and high school.


Arts Exploration Field Trips

Artists-in-Classrooms also provides our local schools with Arts Exploration Field Trips to Angels Gate Cultural Center.  These field trips are designed for our 3rdgrade visual arts students, and consist of an educational tour of our current gallery show followed by an art-making experience inspired by that exhibition.  These field trips are fully funded by Angels Gate Cultural Center’s education funding.  AIC Artist-Teachers lead all Arts Exploration Field Trips.

Participating Elementary Schools

  • 7th Street Elementary Arts Academy
  • 15th Street Elementary
  • Bandini Street Elementary
  • Barton Hill Elementary
  • Bonita Elementary
  • Cabrillo Avenue Elementary
  • Catskill Elementry
  • Crestwood Street Elementary
  • Denker Elementary
  • Garfield Elementary
  • Gulf Elementary
  • Halldale Elementary
  • Hawaiian Avenue Elementary
  • Leland Street STEAM Academy
  • New Academy of Science and Art
  • Point Fermin Elementary Marine Science Magnet
  • Taper Avenue Elementary
  • Van Deene Elementary
  • Webster Elementary


Participating High Schools

  • Angels Gate Continuation High School
  • Port of Los Angeles High School


  • Michelle Antonisse
  • Niki Billingslea
  • Kerry Buker
  • Laurine DiRocco
  • Beth Elliott
  • Karen Emonts
  • Anna Erneholm
  • Tanya Flores
  • Olga Garcia
  • Jayn Ghormley
  • Dell Gibbs
  • Paul Kaloper
  • Desiree Kannel
  • Karen Merchant-Yates
  • Kay Myregard
  • Shanta Robinson
  • Jesse Small
  • Angelica Sotiriou
  • A.K. Toney
  • Meeson Pae Yang