CoTA (Collaborations: Teachers and Artists) is a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that strives to make the arts a lively, essential, and ongoing part of elementary school education
CoTA believes that integrating the arts—visual arts, dance, music, and drama—into core academic subjects promotes engagement, accessibility, and relevance for students. Since its inception in 1998, CoTA has collaborated with 1,200 teachers and more than 25,000 students at 41 schools from 6 districts throughout San Diego County.
CoTA artists work with teachers to develop programs that teach academic subjects through art. CoTA programs have been shown to improve students’ communication skills, nurture varied modes of intelligence, sharpen critical thinking, develop students’ capacity for empathy, encourage imaginative problem solving, and intensify skills of observation. Additionally, CoTA programs foster creativity and teach the value of collaboration.
CoTA employs creative strategies that encourage teachers to produce arts-integrated lessons. Through in-school residencies, professional development workshops, and subject-specific teacher institutes, CoTA partners with teachers to discover the importance of arts in the classroom.
The Beacon Schools longitudinal study was conducted by the Centers for Research on Creativity (CRoC). This report provides quantitative outcomes on student creativity and qualitative descriptions of CoTA’s process. CRoC concluded that the three-year findings are promising for students with sustained, statistically significant growth in demonstrated creativity, creative self-efficacy, and empathy.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Dennis Doyle | president
- Hans Schoepflin | treasurer
- Sally Yard | secretary
- Steve McCormick | executive director
- Danielle Reo | program director
- Scott Burton | program coordinator
- Burbank Elementary School, San Diego Unified School District
- El Camino Creek Elementary School, Encinitas Union School District
- John J Montgomery Elementary School, Chula Vista Elementary School District
- Kit Carson Elementary School, San Diego Unified School District
- Kellogg Elementary School, Chula Vista Elementary School District
- Park Dale Lane Elementary School, Encinitas Union School District
- San Miguel Elementary School, Lemon Grove School District