National Arts in Education Week

Education is at the heart of our mission here at Sonoma State University's Green Music Center. As an arm of the University, and a focal point for the arts in the Greater Bay Area, the Green Music Center seeks to engage the campus and community in meaningful and transformative ways. It is our goal to serve as a community resource, offering education, performances, and outreach to not only Sonoma State University students but local schools and the community, introducing new audiences of children and adults to the performing arts. We also strive to establish the importance of creativity and ensure the future of arts in the United States and the World by presenting and engaging with a diverse range of performing artists.

In honor of National Arts in Education Week we asked Sonoma State students, staff and faculty why arts education is important to them and the ways in which it has transformed their lives and opened up opportunities.


"Arts education is important because it builds communities and life long connections to art and each other as humans. Arts education is crucial because it expresses things that language simply cannot." – Sky Hernandez-Simard

"I am a huge believer in Arts Education and the importance that arts plays in all of our lives, whether you're a performer and/or creative type or a business woman. The skill sets that the arts and humanities can give any one person is incredibly invaluable in the “real world” - anything from creative thinking to problem-solving to the simple idea that art can touch our innermost being, connecting us as a community and allowing us to be more in touch with ourselves and others. Art can be the great leveler and common language that allows us to communicate, despite language or social barriers. I am truly excited to help bring the arts to our students, staff, faculty, and community in whatever way I can. I marvel at the opportunity, platform, and privilege we have at SSU to effectively create change in our region and through that, our world, and it is my sincere pleasure to be a part of a university that stands for so much in a time where priorities and values are being questioned. I can't wait to see what the next five years looks like at the GMC as we continue to grow into what I call our “big kid” shoes." – Kathryn Stewart

“Arts education is important to me because being in a music program gave me a place to express myself and be myself without judgement. It gave me opportunities to be inspired and also inspire others.” – Jacob Rosales

"The arts open doors unlike any other profession, and often connect people of seemingly disparate ways of life through artistic commonality. Not only are the arts inclusive of diversity but they thrive on it. Whether you play violin in an orchestra, drums in a rock band, perform in a dance troupe or just listen to the radio on your way to school, we are all drawn to the elements of art that move us. In my mind, discovering those elements is one of life’s greatest joys." – Andy Shepherd, Senior Marketing Manager

“Arts education is more than expressing creativity, but a means to teach generations of students to be leaders in their school and become the leaders of the world” – Ryan Perry

“I love working in the arts because no two days are ever the same!” – Kamen Nikolov

"Because of arts education, I have learned how to take responsibility for my part in a community and a tradition that is much bigger than I am by myself.” – Caleb Forschen

"The arts brought me to find my voice and confidence as a human being. It was in the arts where I learned the discipline to strive for greatness in other areas of life. When education offers a thriving arts program, it not only offers students an alternative avenue for them to explore the wonders of the creativity within them, but it also provides a community and sense of belonging." – Cody Martin