Start watching

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching

Earth Focus

Start watching

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Theater and Dance Act Aims to Increase Access to Performing Arts Education

Ben Allen Teaching Banner
Support Provided By
California State Senator Ben Allen introduces Senate Bill 916 -- the Theatre and Dance Act (TADA), January 27 2016.

A new California bill proposed today in Sacramento could offer new opportunities for dance and theater majors to acquire teaching credentials directly related to their fields.

The proposed Senate Bill 916 -- the Theatre and Dance Act (TADA) -- aims to create single-subject teaching credentials in dance and theater, which were previously unavailable to aspiring teachers.

State Senator Ben Allen, the chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts, said at today's press conference that California is one of two states without dance and theater teaching credentials. "The visual and performing arts, which are art, dance, music, and theater, are integral to California's economy, and our way of life," Allen said. "But only two of these disciplines, art and music, are being taught by people credentialed and trained in these disciplines. For no particular reason, dance and theater, do not have their own credentials in the same way that art and music do."


Under the current system, people who major in dance or theater and want to become teachers in their fields need to be credentialed in physical education or English first. Yet, Allen said that the standards to teach dance or theater are quite different to teaching physical education or English.

"Dance and theater degrees are prevalent in California, we've got 73 public and private universities offering dance majors, 131 colleges offering theater majors, and to tell these majors that they cannot teach in their respective fields, unless they get a credential in P.E. or English, simply makes no sense," Allen said. "It's a disservice to the instructors and the students, and indeed to the subject matter."

The proposed legislation would create specific credentials available to aspiring teachers who studied dance and theater, and would also allow current teachers credentialed in English and physical education to continue teaching their classes.

Allen said that the bill was created in response to last year's meeting of the Joint Committee, which addressed issues of access to arts education. Dance and theater community stakeholders discussed the marginalization of their disciplines from the other arts education credentials. "We're giving dance and theater a place at the credentialing table, that those disciples very much deserve," Allen said.

View more on arts education:


How Arts Education Fuels the Creative Economy

Education, particularly in the arts, will play a pivotal role in preparing students' creative capacities and sustaining a creative economy.


Filling the Gap in Public School Arts Education

For underserved communities in SoCal, an increasing number of non-profit organizations provide much-needed arts education for public-school children.

Top Image: Sen. Ben Allen Teaching | Courtesy of Ben Allen for California 

Dig this story? Sign up for our newsletter to get unique arts & culture stories and videos from across Southern California in your inbox. Also, follow Artbound onFacebookTwitter, and Youtube.

Support Provided By
Read More
Judy Baca and the Great Wall.jpg

Making a Monument: Archive Shows How 'The Great Wall of Los Angeles' Was Created

Recently acquired by the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, "The History of California" Archive is a collection that features over 350 objects related to the development and execution of Judy Baca's monumental mural "The Great Wall of Los Angeles." The pieces in the archive reflect several parts of the mural's development process from concept drawings to final colorations.
Paul Grimm stands on the side of his painting of Harry Bennett and his horse Sonny.

In the Desert, Henry Ford's Strongman Finds His Artist's Heart

From stopping union uprisings for Henry Ford to a desert landscape painter, Harry Bennett wasn’t just a militaristic figure in corporate America but also, strangely, a skilled artist.
Jon Gnagy signs his name on an easel with his back turned to the camera. The profile of his face can be seen and he is wearing a plaid collared shirt.

Before Bob Ross: Jon Gnagy Was America's First TV Art Teacher

As America’s first TV artist debuting in 1946, Jon Gnagy was a predecessor to the now-trendy Bob Ross. Hundreds of artists and artists credit him as their inspiration, from New York contemporary artist Allan McCollum to Andy Warhol.