In this Issue -
Advocacy in the New Year!
 

We Tell Stories
is a 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit Organization.

Location:
5740 York Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Phone:
323.256.2336 
 
Fax:
323.256.3236 
 
Email: 
info@wetellstories.org
 
Online:


Board of Directors

Carl Weintraub, Chairman
 
William Turner, President
 
Gilbert Pacheco, Secretary
 
Dennis Carter

Tanya DeLeon
 
Larry Guzin

Staff

Diana Tanaka,
Artistic Director
 
Susan Devlin,
Programs Director
 
Stacy Turner,
Associate Artistic Director
 
Joyce Lee,
Educational Programs Director
 
Candy Danzig,
Director, Staff Development & Master Teacher
 
Betsy Oltmann,
Development Director 
 
Lisa Grissom,
Director of Marketing & Special Events

Jamie Hebert,
Ronalee Par Miyisaki
Administrative Assistants

Company Members

Rico Anderson
Teri Benjamin
Beresford Bennett
Candy Danzig
Gina Fields
Tony Gatto
Keith Gaytan
Carrie Gibson
Maricella Ibarr
Gerald James
Jully Lee
Caryn Andrea Lindsey
Pablo Marz
Brian Meredith
Linda Miller
John Miyasaki
Cadry Nelson
David Nott
Armando Ortega
Deena Rubinson
Pogo Saito
Ova Saopeng
Michelle Simek
Annika Smith
Carla Vega
Carl Weintraub

Teaching Artists
Jesse Bliss
Candy Danzig
Denise Iketani
Gina Fields
Gerald James
Peter Kors
David Lewis
Angela Lloyd
Pablo Marz
Linda Miller
Laura Napoli
Armando Ortega
Michelle Simek
Carl Weintraub

We Tell Stories
is grateful for the support from the following organizations:
 
Corporate Partnership
 
Employees Community Fund of Boeing California
 
 

Funders

Ahmanson Foundation
 
City of Culver City Performing Arts Grant Program Fund with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment
 
City of Los Angeles, Department
of Cultural Affairs


City National Bank
 
Employees Community Fund of Boeing California 

Los Angeles County Arts Commission

Norris Foundation

Ralph Parsons Foundation

Stern Memorial Trust
 
Collaborators

Arts for All  
 
Centennial Plaza Park 
 
Children’s Creative Project
 
Community Arts Resources (CARS)
 
Los Angeles County MTA—Go Metro

Los Angeles Music Center
Education Division 
 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art 
 
Los Angeles Unified School District, Arts Education Branch
  
North Figueroa Association
 
Old LA Farmers Market

Orange County
Performing Arts Center 
 
Performances to Grow On
 
Festival Plaza de la Raza
 
Community Partners

Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council (HHPNC)
 
North Figueroa Association
 
Councilmember
Ed P. Reyes, District 1
 
Councilmember 
Jose Huizar, District 14

Credits
 
Photos: SBO Photography; Lisa Grissom
ACPN Update:
The Future of Arts Education Needs Your Voice!
 
What a difference a month can make. In this case, the news is troubling. Now we need everyone's voice to tell our lawmakers that arts education is crucial for the future of our children.
 
Just last month, we reported that our Arts Community Partnership Network (ACPN) programs were off to a great start. We are saddened to report that these arts programs have come to a grinding halt. 
 
On December 12, the Los Angeles Unified School District officially suspended all ACPN programs cancelling all workshops, residencies and shows until further notice. This action was taken shortly after LAUSD instituted an overall spending freeze--a direct consequence of the staggering state budget shortfall.
 
Letter to Teaching Artist, Linda Miller           
We Tell Stories ACPN Program
 
We Tell Stories and many of our colleagues were shocked to hear this news, which has grave repercussions for arts programs throughout LA County. We Tell Stories is currently in a "holding pattern" as we await an update from LAUSD on future programs.
 
In light of the current economic state of affairs, the future of small arts organizations like We Tell Stories hangs in the balance. Likewise, the quality of our children's education is at stake.
 
How can you help?
 
Sign a petition~
 
Arts for LA is a non-profit advocacy organization that has spearheaded a petition to lawmakers. Please sign this petition so we can send a message about the importance of arts education for our children:
 
 
Write a letter~
 
Mr. Ramon C. Cortines
Office of the Superintendent
333 S. Beaudry Ave., 24th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017 
 
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
 
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - LA Office
300 South Spring Street
Suite 16701
Los Angeles, CA 90013
 
Click here for a Sample Letter:
 
Send an email~
 
Superintendent Ramon Cortines
superintendent@lausd.net

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
http://gov.ca.gov/interact
 
LA Times Op-Ed:
Stay informed~
 
LA Unified School District: www.lausd.net

Arts for LA: www.artsforla.org
 
LA Times: www.latimes.com

  LA Times Article on ACPN cuts:
 

Office of the Governor: http://gov.ca.gov/

We appreciate any and all efforts to continue these vital
arts education programs in our schools.
 
Thank You to our Year-End Donors
 
We'd like to express a heartfelt thanks to those who were able to make a year-end donation to WTS. We greatly appreciate your generous support in these difficult times!

Storyteller
Donation of $25+
Marilyn Fonseca
Kristen Lee Kelly
 
Yarnspinner
Donation of $50+
Jamie Angell
Roger P. & Susan U. Kokores
Stephanie Waxman
Alicia Wollerton & Mickey Birnbaum
 
Good Listener
Donation of $100+
Judi Garrett
Elizabeth Lee Ulrich
 
Muse
Donation of $200+
 Joe & Debbie Hebert
Sandra L. Pattison 
Raul Clayton Staggs
Diana Tanaka
 
To donate, click below!
 
Your donation supports the art of storytelling and our arts education programs: assembly performances, student workshops,
professional development & more.
 
You can also donate by making an in-kind donation!
 Graphic and web services, computers, office supplies, plants.
 
All donations are tax-deductible.
5740 York Boulevard • Los Angeles CA 90042

 
WTS Artist Gerald James and young participant perform New Years Tales at the Japanese American National Museum, January 4th, 2009
 
2009 Culver City Julian Dixon Library Residency
 
Another year of storytelling, literacy & laughter at the
CULVER CITY JULIAN DIXON LIBRARY!

We are excited to announce our 2009 year-long residency, marking the fifth year of this fruitful partnership with the Culver City Julian Dixon Library.
 
WTS will perform four shows throughout the winter and spring, eight Summer Reading Program shows, as well as a Halloween and a Holiday show. The first four shows correspond with a cultural holiday or event.
 
Performances are free and open to the public. The Culver City Julian Dixon Library is located at 4975 Overland Avenue, Culver City 90230.
 
 
WTS' classic holiday show Season of Giving, December 2008
 
Mark your calendars, because here’s what’s in store
for kids and families!
 
•    Saturday, February 7 at 2 pm
  “The Spirit of Black Folklore”
To celebrate Black History Month

•    Wednesday, April 15 at 11 am
  “Pint-Sized Plays” (for ages 3-5)
To commemorate National Library Week

•    Saturday, May 2 at 2 pm          
 “Cinco de Mayo”
A special cultural celebration

•    Saturday, May 30 at 2 pm
 “Feast From the East”
To celebrate Asian American Pacific Heritage Month

For a complete schedule of events, visit “The Arts Are Alive in Culver City” at www.culvercity.org/culture.asp. Performances are made possible in part by a grant from the City of Culver City Performing Arts Grant Program Fund with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Culver City Julian Dixon Library is part of the County of Los Angeles Public Library.
WTS can perform at your school, library, or special event.
Contact Susan Devlin to book a show for 2009! susan@wetellstories.org
  Some discounts available!


WTS Holiday Book Drive Benefits
Underprivileged Youth

Joyce Lee, WTS Director of Education Programs, organized our first charity book drive to benefit children in need at Union Station Homeless Services of Pasadena.
 

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, WTS collected new, unwrapped books that were included in Union Stations Christmas gift-giving. WTS staff, actors and friends gave a total of 60 books to Union Station, who in turn gave them to children at their annual Christmas picnic in Pasadena.
 
Next year we hope to involve Pasadena elementary schools, and award the school that collects the most books with a free WTS performance. 
 
Special thanks to David Sensente, Manager of Donations at Union Station Homeless Services, and to Jamie Hebert of WTS for coordinating. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with Union Street in the coming year.
 
If you would like to participate, we are accepting book donations year-round. Please contact Jamie at 323-256-2336 for more details!
 

Educators are Talking!

"Your performers and instructors are professional and dynamic. The
Professional Development provided to teachers was well received and the
information, material and strategies are being used in all grade levels.
Workshops were outstanding...our teachers appreciated your instructor working closely with them to benefit the diverse learning needs of all students.”
 
 -Principal, Castle Heights Elementary School


  "The We Tell Stories program is directly aligned with the California State Standards, and the instructors work very well with the students. We Tell Stories really enhances the curriculum across all grade levels and is a great
addition to the school program." 
 
-Principal, Superior Street Elementary School
 

2009 Save-the-Dates!

February
We Tell Stories will perform Toddler Tales
at the following libraries in February:
 
Designed especially for 3-5 year olds, this 30-minute performance contains 2 delightful stories with plenty of audience participation.
Performances are free and open to the public!
 
Tuesday, February 17 at 3:30 pm
Mark Twain Library
9621 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles 90044
 
Monday, February 23 at 11 am
Harbor City Library
24000 S. Western Ave, Harbor City 90710
 
Wednesday, February 25 at 4 pm
Edendale Library
2011 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 90036

Friday, February 27 at 10 am
Chatsworth Branch Library
21052 Devonshire Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311
 
March
 
Wednesday, March 18th at 10 am
Aesop's Fables
Lewis Family Playhouse
12505 Cultural Center Drive, Rancho Cucamonga, 91739
Tickets are $9.50 and can be purchased online at:
www.lewisfamilyplayhouse.com

Dates are subject to change, so please call WTS to confirm!
Tel: 323-256-2336
 

A Message from Artistic Director, Diana Tanaka
 
Arts Advocacy  ~ What can I do?

OK, I’ve donated money, signed petitions, emailed everyone I know, and written letters to the LAUSD Board of Education. Now what can I do to support We Tell Stories and thousands of other nonprofit art institutions struggling to survive in this time of great economic difficulty?

Michael Kaiser, President of the Kennedy Center for the Arts, advocates a national bailout program for the arts. Of course! If our government can give billions of dollars to banks so their executives can have a spa retreat, surely they can allocate money to keep art alive in our communities and schools. Kaiser writes, “We need an emergency grant for arts organizations in America, and we need legislation that allows unusual access to endowments. Washington must encourage foundations to increase their spending rates during this crisis, and we need immediate tax breaks for corporate giving.”

Email President Elect Obama and ask him to include
the arts in his stimulus package:

http://change.gov/page/content/contact/

Our government has already supported the banking and auto industries for our country’s economic well-being. The arts are just as vital for our emotional and spiritual well-being. Supporting nonprofit arts will protect existing jobs and create new jobs, boost tourism and stimulate local economy, and inspire creativity, hope, and change!
 
Fun Stuff & Wish List!
 
 
Check us out! 
www.eaglerocktalk.com
 
WTS Founder Carl Weintraub and Artistic Director Diana Tanaka
are featured at the end of Epsiode 22, as they present a wonderful rendition of A.A. Milne's Queen Hillary and The Beggar Man.
Gather the kids and take a listen!
 

 

 
Find WTS and become our friend! This is a fun way to stay in touch and keep you up-to-date on current WTS events and tidbits.
 
 
WISH LIST
 
In November of 2008, the office of WTS was burgled. Our two newest MAC computers were stolen. We would love to replace them!
 
We are also in need of plants, office supplies, and in-kind donations of video and web design services.