By Richard Bammer
The value of the arts, which supports creative and critical thinking skills so highly prized in a 21st-century economy, is getting more than symbolic due in Fairfield-Suisun Unified.
The district, the county’s largest with some 22,000 students across 30 campuses, recently broke ground on a $6 million performing arts building at Oakbrook Academy of the Arts in Fairfield. When completed in August, the structure is projected to enhance the TK-8 school’s mission of commingling core academic subjects with a wide array of arts offerings, from the visual arts and dance to music and theater.
The news comes 11 months after state schools chief Tony Thurmond cited the Oakbrook Drive school for its “exemplary arts education,” one of 13 California schools that demonstrated a high level of arts education programs and practices as it transformed into an arts academy. The academy also was a 2020 recipient of the distinguished California School Boards Association Golden Bell Award, given to creative programs and meet the needs of a diverse population of students.