SF Arts Ed give kids chance to perform, shine


Kids are starring in a Cole Porter classic; it's an all-singing, all-dancing, review called "Everything Goes." The performers are in the San Francisco Arts Education Project which brings them the experience of a live musical and it expands their possibilities.

"It helps me learn how to speak in front of a bunch of people and how to sing and more about music," said student Jackson Paddock.

Jackson and his younger brother Oliver share the stage in what their father, John Paddock, calls a life changer.

"It's changing the way they actually behave. They're much more open and outward," said John.

SF Arts Ed is part of a program started by artist Ruth Asawa in 1965. Now it has expanded to summer programs and afterschool programs, with artists teaching them something that is uniquely American.

"We think that's a powerful thing, to have them perform it, so that they learn that music and begin to connect what this form is," said artistic director Emily Keeler.

It is also a confidence builder.

"You have a solo, it makes me feel kind of special about my voice and what I have," said student Simone Moore.

"Having the chance to express yourself in that way without being afraid of what people will think of you is amazing," said student Lumi Sugazawa-O'Neil.

This requires dedication with rehearsals twice a week after school and for six hours on Saturday, but it has ignited the flame of creativity in most of them.

"She gets to see for herself what she can create when she works really hard," said parent Larkin Ryder.

They give their all on stage in the Eureka Theatre this weekend.

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