Creative Connections

Creative Connections provides curriculum-based arts projects to K12 students. The program helps to fill the arts gap for Orange County area schools and school districts, which may offer little or no arts education programs. 

Participation in the Creative Connections program is free for schools and school districts. Priority is given to educators teaching at schools with a portion of the student population benefiting from Title 1 of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Interns are selected via a competitive application process, work with faculty mentors and receive educational training, resources and support from staff and area educators. Project proposals are evaluated based on content and compatibility with the Common Core Standards and the Visual and Performing Arts Standards for the State of California.

Educators in Schools and School Districts in the Greater Orange County area are eligible to apply to be a part of the Creative Connections Program. There is NO FEE to participate, the Creative Connections program is entirely grant funded and is FREE to schools and school districts. Educators selected to participate in the program will collaborate with Interns to ensure the project conducted complements the Common Core curriculum, addresses the Visual and Performing Arts Standards, and generally fits the needs of the classroom.

Projects and Workshops are developed collaboratively with the Classroom Educators, UCI Faculty Mentors and Creative Connections Interns. Projects provide sustained access to arts education and span an entire school-year. Applications for Intern and Educator project proposals are now closed for the 2014-15 school year.


2014-15 Educator Projects

Discipline School Grade Project Suggested Availability
Art Costa Mesa High School 11-12 College and career mentorship, develop workshops, field trips etc. 7:45-8:45am (Flexible)
Dance Costa Mesa High School 9-12 Choreograph dance based on dance history and culture curriculum. 1:45-2:51pm, 3-4pm
Dance Irvine High School 9-12 Choreograph piece with focus on artistry, exposing students to new style. 10-11:30am, 12:15-1:45pm
Dance University High School 9-12 Choreography and musical theatre focused collaboration. Flexible
Dance/Drama/Music South Lake Middle School 7-8 Teach basics of movement and choreography to convey meaning. 9:01-9:53am, 2:55-3:45pm (Flexible)
Drama OCEAA 4 Refresh "Gold Dust or Bust" play. 2-3pm (Monday/Thursday)
Drama OCEAA 2 Collaborate with teacher to support theatre production. 9:30-10:50am (Monday/Wednesday)
Drama OCEAA Kindergarten Collaborate with teacher to support theatre production. 11:30am-12pm (Tuesday/Thursday)
Music Sycamore Junior High School 7-8 College and career mentorship for choral program, workshop in creative music-making. Flexible

The project timeline will be:

October 22 Intern Applications Due
November 8 First Intern Training
November Interns plan, collaborate and meet with partner educator and mentor
December 6 Second Intern Training
December Classroom observations; continue planning and refine project
January - May Conduct project in the classroom; at least 2 additional trainings will be held






*Please note, we do our best to match the interests of the Interns with the needs of Classroom Educators, because of this, we may not be able to partner all Interns with Educators.
**Interns may receive either credit or a stipend for completing a Creative Connections project. The Creative Connections program may be used to fulfill the internship requirement for the Minor in Civic and Community Engagement

Click here to see photos from the 2013 Creative Connections projects. 

What do Interns and Educators say about Creative Connections in action?

"From ribbon dances to operas, UCI students have opened our school students' eyes to fine arts. Thank you." -- Chriss Ann Shane, Principal, Irvine School District

"I am really impressed with the program. My students are learning about science, English, and much, much more. The kids love it!" --Sehra Dastur, Teacher, Santa Ana Unified School District

"The only way I can describe my experience with my dance mentor is that it was LIFE-CHANGING!...I would not have had the success in my college applications and auditions if it weren't for the support of the School of the Arts - and now I'll be entering UCI as a freshman next fall!" --Aubrienne O'Meara, UCI Drama/Dance, Class of 2015