The Workshop Out of School

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Anne-E Wood
Performing Arts Workshop
44 pages. $10 paperback, free download.

Since 1965, the Performing Arts Workshop in San Francisco has transformed young lives through the arts. Its slim, attractive guide makes a convincing case that working with the artistic process “will launch young people on a journey of life-long learning, curiosity, and civic engagement.” With a blueprint based on its Artists-in-Communities program, the guide coaches instructors on conducting arts workshops for at-risk youth in after-school centers, homeless shelters and non-district schools.

Chapters on creative movement, world dance, theater arts, creative writing and music contain planning tips, a sample 15-week curriculum and sample lesson plans. From behavior management to making class as “un-school-like as possible,” the guide advises readers on how to present content relevant to youths’ lives and how to handle such challenges as violent or sexually-explicit expressions in art.

Arts providers and after-school staffers will be energized by this booklet’s passion and authority. (415) 673-2634,