The Only Constant is Change

Source: The Dream – I took a detour



learn-by-doingI used to be a teacher. Well, that’s not quite true. I worked in the theatre through the education system – that’s more accurate. I learned alot doing it, about my craft, myself, the young people (some who are not so young anymore!) and I did it all during the time the internet exploded: 2000-2015. I learned most of what I know by doing.

Remember when the computers came in? 1984, I was working in mortgage as my day job. No classes, they just plunked computers on your desk and asked the work to get done in a new way. Word Perfect? What’s that? Lotus 1,2,3? What? We ran back and forth between offices learning from each other how to do things and got the work done. And made alot of money doing it, Learn by doing. Very similar to theatre (my night job). I don’t care how much training you have in theatre, you really ultimately “learn by doing”.

When I entered the education realm, I entered as an artist. I didn’t understand a wit about assessments, rubrics, or lesson plans. I knew acting so I assumed I could just pass it on. I was right AND wrong. I went back to school myself during this time, and was mentored by a very wise lady (thank you Kathleen Dupruis wherever you are up there). I studied and talked and argued and did many experiments while learning to teach the art of acting & theatre – in an education system. It’s a completely different skill. And I learned by doing with a really great mentor. I learned directing the same way. I studied and read, but ultimately I learned by doing, with really good mentors (thanks Dana Elcar and Francine Parker.)

Well, teaching took me to a whole new level of learn by doing in the tech department too. I took online classes and learned how to communicate online by doing it. When I didn’t know how to do something? Ask the kids. This is their territory. They can work their way through tech like dog sniffers in a minefield. If I wanted to learn it, there was someone who could get me through it. And the someone was ALWAYS under 18. I taught them to act and they taught me how to do Facebook, Twitter, Photoshop, Isadora, Qlab, Itunes, IMovie, Movemaker, Audacity, Garageband, lighting boards, projection programs, Snapchat – you name it, they could teach me. Did they actually know the program? Not always, well rarely. But they were really used to not knowing the programs, it didn’t throw them off not to know, so they learned how to learn them really fast.

That’s my take away. I learned how to learn tech stuff really fast from the kids because they taught me it was ok not to know. You didn’t have to wait until you knew it before you gave it a go. They taught me to jump in and work my way through. And when all else failed they taught me about youtube videos and the “help” button.

I taught them theatre and they taught me how to learn how to learn stuff really fast. Here’s the weird thing: the kids were really comfortable not knowing online or with video games, but get them into a classroom setting with the old style of learning and they WERE NOT COMFORTABLE NOT KNOWING. Then it became all about getting it right the first time and getting the best grade. So learning took a back seat. Getting it right ruled in the classroom. So they didn’t actually seem to learn. They regirgitated. School didn’t flow like it did in the virtual world when they were online. They knew how to take virtual risks, but the classroom risks were smothering them.

That’s what I observed. And I learned from them, that if I really wanted to teach them something I had to do it like a video game. I had to set up opportunities for them to discover. Luckily theatre is actually all about that. I think that’s the key. We need to set up opportunities to discover how to do it. That’s the world of today. If we can make the change from handing out knowledge to setting up opportunities to discover it, the education problem will be solved. No more teaching to the test, or going for the result. Discovery rules.

Humans are curious. They like to discover stuff, That’s what I learned from the kids – I learned by doing it.

Reimagining Education.

mental_illness-depression-creativityI know it’s the holidays but I’ve been giving alot of focus on education and what that is going to look like ten years from now.
“To create the future, we must first imagine it.”
That’s what XQ believes. Have you heard of XQ? WHAT IS XQ?
“IQ: is How We Think
It measures your cognitive capabilities.
EQ: is How We Learn In The World
It measures the ability to connect, collaborate, and learn from others.
IQ + EQ + That Certain Something = XQ.
“XQ is the agile and flexible intelligence that prepares students for a more connected world, a rapidly changing future, and a lifetime of learning.The XQ Institute is in service of parents and pioneers, entrepreneurs and teachers, business leaders and administrators, youth and education experts—who are joining a movement to rethink America’s schools. Together, we can use our knowledge, rigor, and creativity to create a new model for school itself.”
These schools really sound futuristic and I’ve joined a team to create one. There just don’t seem to be any like this that I know of. Except for High Tech High. Has anyone heard of High Tech High? It’s in San Diego and has a similar model as the one discussed above. Student driven, project based, inquisitive and hands on. I’m taking a look at how HTH is structured and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

Also some great books I’m looking at are Innovation Nation, The Rise of the Creative Class, Ken Robinson’s The Element and Creative Schools, Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Brain, Why Right Brianed people Will Rule the World, David Kelly’s Creative Confidence, Mindset by Carol Dweck and The Maker Movement Manifesto. And one more called the Reign of Error by Diane Ravich. Diane USED to be the top proponent for Charter Schools. She is now against them and against the privatization of education and this book details her reasons for that. It’s a great and important read as I try to see how education should be shaped to reflect the needs of the 21st century.

On another note. I believe we are in the midst of a renaissance . During the mechanical age it may have made sense to separate subjects and specialize within those subjects. The 21st century is “the conceptual age” and operates more successfully by mimicking the symbiotic system of nature. Everything connected and working together. No arts OR math OR lit OR history etc. But instead Arts & math & Lit &  science connected. We are in creation mode, so we need to know “what we need to know” to do that, (create) which is pretty much everything. Do we need to be specialists in everything? Not necessarily. But we need to be able to communicate with people and be familiar with their language and play within an agreed upon structure.

I am in the theatre, the creative arts. One of the misnomers about the arts is that they are wild and free and undisciplined. Nothing could be further from the truth. We play within created and agreed upon structures. It may be a different structure each time, but once the vision is set there is an agreed structure and we operate within that structure. And as a result there is room for a great amount of freedom of expression, exploration, and if necessary, rule breaking. But without a structure there is just chaotic imagination expressing and thrashing about. Steve jobs put it well by saying “Innovation is creativity that ships.” Real artists ship. Education needs to ship.

The United States will remain competitive by being the best innovators or we will join the third world countries competing for dwindling mechanical age jobs. That means permeating education with the concept that there is not one right answer. That is the shift. Common core is attempting to address this. But addressing it within a titanic system that operates like a factory that reflects the mechanical age of yesterday. And it is a change so there is massive resistance; not a good thing or a bad thing, just the first stage of change: Rejection. “No it’s always been done like this.” The standardized tests that rule all of this (Sats, Acts, Iowa, etc.) are supposed to be shifting to reflect the common core in 2016. We will see how that goes. But I suspect we will see scores decline because we are in the midst of a battle over whether we want to change or not. I am not sure this layer of change will do anything but polarize the players. When people are polarized they aren’t actually interested in solutions, they are interested in being right. This is the old paridym of either/or thinking. The new paridym introduces ‘and’. More on this later.

The rest of the world uses the PISA exam which reflects creative and innovative thinking . Go online and take a look. Here is the lastest rankings available: And here is the website where you can look at some sample questions and see how completely different the skills necessary to be successful are. Critical thinking skills rule.

The US scores relatively low compared with the money we spend. So we are willing to make changes to raise our scores. That, in my opinion, is part of the problem. We have our sites on the assessment (score or the result) instead of using the assessment/score to guide us to see the concept clearer. The child is labeled a number or a letter, instead of using the measurement to look for the information he or she needs to complete the knowledge. No, they become an ‘A’, an 85%, an ‘F’, and the branding can follow them year to year. All it really means is they missed info. There is a fix. Rather than using the info to say ‘wow they are missing 15% of what there is to know here’ and going back to review the rest we label the student and move on.

We lable them a grade, based on what WE decide is the information that important for them to know. Is it what they need to know for success in the 21st Century? Ummm, well, we don’t really have time for that we need to grade the assessments that were created during the mechanical age. This is the result oriented thinking we need to change.

And this is also where it gets tricky. Our university systems thrive on the results to gain acceptance. Who is going to let go of the need for an ‘A’ first? The parents who want their kids in the best university? The kids who are being threatened by the system, their, parents, their teacher through grades or the standardized tests? Or how about the universities that want to maintain their reputations of only accepting the highest scoring students?

And what exactly does an ‘A’ mean? An A in a CP or an A in an AP? Most AP classes aren’t much better than CP classes because the teachers need the kids to pass so they are teaching to the AP exam. Teaching what to think, not how to think. Very yesterday. Again, who is going to let go first?

This is a systemic problem. And in my opinion it is connected to the student loan system, which gives a free flow of money to all students that will NEVER be able to be excused away through bankruptcy LIKE EVERY OTHER KIND OF DEBT WE USE. Remedial classes are commonplace in community colleges and universities and who is paying for them? The students or us, tax payers. We have lowered the bar by dumbing down tests or teaching to the test (teaching kids to memorize the info to pass rather than understand the information to apply to other situations). Then colleges and universities fill every seat with money from student loans. It’s an education scam because education isn’t the goal…. Butts in the seats are the goal. This is a dangerous game because we actually need the students educated. Is it EVERY school? That’s a good question. I know it happened at the private schools where I taught. How about you? When was the last time you ever saw a student held back? It used to happen all the time when I was a kid. If you failed you got held back. Now you get a different test, extra time on a test, get to take the class again in summer school or somehow the kids just passes. Hmmmmm. Money for butts in the seats. The high school system is similar in that the schools get paid to have the student in class until 10:30. After that? Not so much. And 70% of the student body need to pass at 70% or higher or federal funding is cut. But, have no fear, you can write your own test, so just keep dumbing it down until you reach your 70%. Corruption has hurt this system as deeply as corruption has hurt the banking system with adjunct professors reaching as high as 75% of the professors redirecting funding to marketing, administration, and athletic spending in order to attract the clients to their school. In an environment like this how do you hold a student accountable? The emphasis is on the quick money that can be made instead of on the stakeholders who will benefit from the system ten or twenty years from now. The system needs to be changed.

The problem I foresee with a private school is that eventually we cater only to people with money. Having come from a private school, an enormous amount of time is spent on fundraising and marketing. And standards can be shifted for donors who are demanding. Private schools also cut back on diversification which is the life blood of innovation. And it doesn’t necessarily speak to creating a school model that can be shared with other schools. I guess this is where discussion about the importance of private vs public schools would be good. Are quality public schools necessary? Or is it ok to only educate the wealthy.
Whatever the answer it is clear that we need a systemic change. We need to create a new model and with the best of intentions we will be guessing on how to do it. Our workplaces, technologies, shopping habits, education platforms and jobs change every day. So our most valuable skills might be our ability to agree on a vision, our ability to recognize when we go off course, our adaptability, our willingness to adjust, and our willingness to accept mistakes as the gold that they are. Mistakes are so important and our present system makes “mistakes” the worst thing that can happen, through their worship of perfect scores and GPAs. – the remnants of teaching to the test . We are in the 3rd or 4th generation of this type of thinking, so most of us don’t recognize how powerfully that single aspect of “No Mistakes” education has effected us. It is endemic in how we think; in how we approach problems. “Get it right” is more important than “get it”. This can and must be changed.

I wrote my thesis on arts across the curriculum. It took me on a journey through education in general. I think each of us have been wandering with our frustrations and observations with very little time to imagine alternatives. All the while the world is becoming more connected, new ideas are being exchanged at an increasing pace and new problems are being created that need new solutions. It’s overwhelming and exciting. Alone more overwhelming, and together more exciting.

There’s my story. That’s where I am in my quest to finding a new way to do high school. Where are you?mental_illness-depression-creativity

Hot tub conversations

brain girl copyWhenever I travel I choose the hotel based on the hot tub. I love them. I can sit in them for hours. I always meet the great people and hear amazing stories. This weekend was no different.

We were in SLO for the memorial service of one of my husband’s best friends. I am always a bit disoriented when someone passes, because that question re-imerges “where did they go?”. I mean they were here, now they aren’t. Where did they go? And what did all the life mean in between birth and death? I mean this thought spirals in my head in a very disconcerting way…. thus the appeal of the hot tub.

This trip I met several parents who were in SLO looking at the school – it’s college tour time. Not for seniors mind you – for juniors. The parents each had that strained  “what if my child doesn’t get in” face; “What if my child doesn’t measure up”? Talk of AP classes, GPAs, SATs, PSATs PPSATS, SAT subject tests and of course getting the right major to make the most money. It’s the same every year. (Remember I used to be a high school teacher – this is just the beginning of the instillation of insecurity we brainwash our kids with.)

What I didn’t hear was how the students felt about the schools. Only the marketing/branding bumper sticker slogans each of the schools has so carefully designed. These were wonderful kids mind you. They have good grades, are doing everything “right” and these parents are good, concerned parents. BUT DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO BE AN ENGINEER?

We are educating kids like we are programming computers. Data in, Data in, Data in. Spit out the test answers. Write the pre-programmed essay with just the right amount of “out of the box” essence to show you are “creative”. Data in, data in, data in, repeat. Retake the SAT so it will APPEAR you are smarter. Don’t take that class, it won’t benefit your overall GPA. Don’t do that activity – it won’t benefit your resume. Don’t don’t don’t, data in, data in, data in.

I have a better way to go about this. Ask the student what problem he wants to solve in the world. Then let him find out what he needs to know to do that. Take those classes. Excel in that. And always take something that doesn’t necessary appeal to your first choices because it will surround you with people who don’t think like you. And that’s a good thing.

And most of all listen. Listen authentically with the ear of your heart. The world needs you. “To do what?” you ask. To be you. That’s it. Not our pre-programmed version of you – YOU. The real you. The one who sees the world from a vantage point that no one else can. Oh, and learn how to communicate with people. Lots of people. Especially people who aren’t like you.

I met Brian (I will call him Brian, but that isn’t his name). And I met his mom – a flower designer, a creative, bright intelligent communicator. She has the strained face. The fear face we mom’s get when we buy into the education hype that gets thrown at us in the third year of high school.

Brian designs things. No surprise, so does his mom – she is a florist; although we of the 21st century who judge everything be triple figure salaries wouldn’t see it that way. She is a natural designer – a born problem solver.  Brian wants to be an engineer. Actually the kids is already an engineer – he designs football helmets to protect the brain and long board skateboards. He needs engineering skills to do what he already does; what he already loves. So I am not worried about Brian. He’s a lucky one – who has a massively creative mom, who, without intending to, passed on her creativity to her son, who now uses it to design cool stuff he cares about. He is solving problems. He is protecting brains and helping skaters go fast, safer. What school should he go to? Come on, does it really matter if he gets into Harvard, Yale, Duke or even SLO? Or is that just part of this vanity thing we are doing right now – wanting to talk about what fine school our kids is going to. Are our kids just our cocktail party chatter? He could probably learn what he needs right off the internet! But he will go to college. And he’ll do very well in life – not because or the school, but because this kids is curious… and he’s got stuff he want to do.

Then there’s Joseph (again, not his name). He is hump shouldered, quiet, makes eye contact with reluctance, and KNOWS he doesn’t measure up. Every move he makes is second guessing himself; every breath he takes he holds for a little too long, for fear there won’t be enough. He is confined within the barrier of expectation that have been put over him; a rose under glass. His parents have him in the four AP classes and the kids is visibly smothering. His grade point is only 3.5 (HORRORS) and he is looking with panic at the next several months and how he will get his grades beyond a 4.0 so he can up his GPAs SATs, SAT subject tests, grades, grades, grades. He thinks he will never make the cut. He will never get where he needs to be. “Where is that?” I ask him. His parents are professionals – so he will be too. Professional what? He shrugs, takes in a breath that he holds a touch to long and looks down.

His parents are wonderful people and they clearly love their kid. But this kid is NOT allowed to make mistakes, and he does make mistakes, lots of them. He has proof;  3.5 grade point average. PSAT’s only in the 87th percentile. “But that’s ok I am taking them again. And the SATS I can take until they are right.” This kids can hardly breathe. “What do you love to do?” I ask. He looks at me confused. “I dunno.” “Like activities, that you love to do?” I continue. No answer. Mom prompts, “He has friends”. The kids shrugs.

What are we doing to these kids? We are so panicked by the hypnotic education system (which by the way IS NOT WORKING VERY WELL). We have education systems that mimic factories from the 1800’s. The medium has become the message – we have become a machine and we push these kids, batched according to date of manufacture, through the treadmill of “standardized” education. Each will be dumped out at exactly the same place – the end of the treadmill. And we will do our best to put them right back on another treadmill called college. Is it really good for ALL OF THEM? We don’t have time to answer that question. We have quotas and the factory bell will go off at any moment.

It’s time to stop this. We are not machines and educating mechanically is not what we need to create new things. We are in a conceptual age where we will create new things or we will become the third world country that the manufacturing jobs are shipped off to because it’s cheaper; and we will enjoy those wages right here in America. That is what we are training with our manufacturing style education system. And we as parents are paralyzed to do anything differently because if we do we’ll lose our place in line. How do we stop this insanity?

We need to learn. All of us. We need to learn why? What? Where? What if? We need to stop depending on limited testing to tell us if someone is learning. Stop teaching to tests with the illusion that there actually is one right answer… one way to do it. We write manuals on it. And manuals on how to use the manuals right. We are obsessed with getting it right without a care in the world for GETTING IT.

Why? Money. The money conduit has been flipped on – the student loan scam. We want butts in the seats. Not necessarily butts that can do the work, but butts that will sign for the student loans THAT CAN NEVER EVER BE FILED AWAY IN BANCRUPCY! We have watered down the education system while simultaneously instilling a panic in kids to get the best grades to get into the best college. But the truth is, just about any kids who wants to can get a loan to go to college. Why? Because education has become a racket. We need the clients in the seats – our college and universities are dependent on it. So we have more kids in college than ever before and are replacing upper division courses with remedial classes BECAUSE OUR STUDENTS ARE NOT COLLEGE READY. But we don’t care, as long as they sign for those student loans.

Our economy is based on the need for slave labor (sorry, minimally paid wage workers – not necessarily minimum wage, just minimally paid). We need people who will take the low paying jobs so the stockholders will make more money. We no longer have our eyes on the stakeholders, we only care about the stockholder. Do YOU own a lot of stock? Me neither. But that’s ok because I’m a lotto ticket away from being a millionaire. Do you hear the fantasy thinking that is creeping into our logic? Ugh. Sorry, I digress. College degrees don’t guarantee success. But most of the time they DO guarantee debt. So you’ll take any job to pay it back, and do just that.

Next time you are at Starbucks, or any restaurant, ask if your server has gone to college. The answer may surprise you.

So is this ok? Not from where I stand. I project out 10 years and wonder what our long game plan is. Undereducated, over debt burdened 30-40 year olds. With a smattering of EXTREMELY wealthy people benefitting. Add to that the kids who never played the game, dropped out of high school, found their way into the privately owned prison system and are now out. What does that world look like to you? It looks like a big problems.

So what are the most important skills today? Learning how to learn and learning how to solve problems. Period. What skills do we need for that? Who knows? The world is changing daily and at a rapid pace. How do we plan for 10 years from now when, in reality, we have no idea what it will look like. I don’t know the answer, but I know the skills. Learning and problem solving.

We need a myriad of diverse thinking people with MANY different skills. I don’t think it’s going to help if we have a world full of ONLY engineers. Some engineers, yes. All engineers? How many engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, they just report that it’s dark.

We need diversity. And we need it now. So it should reflect in the schools. There should be quality math, science, english, social studies, history, AND ART. Not obligatory art – rigorous quality arts classes. Demand them. Creativity and problem solving is the Vitamin D – not the whipped cream. You won’t know you are deficient until you don’t have it. And we do’t have it. We need the diversity.

Diversity is risky. But that’s life. Let your kids take a risk. Let your kid find out what problem he wants to solve in life and set about finding the answer. He will thrive. So will she. And in ten years we might even end up with the skills we need to solve the problems we have created.

This has been brought to you by Studio V – because if education is happening, the arts are necessary. Let’s make ARTS NECESSARY again!

brain girl copy



patti13strick invitation copyWho are we?
Do you want a Sustainable Competetive Advantage in school and the workplace? Welcome to Studio V – Ventura’s Voice 4 Arts & Tutoring
Because if educ
ation’s happening the Arts are NECESSARY!

Studio V 4 Arts – Acting Classes, performances, events. Studio V uses performing arts to teach skills that give youth an academic advantage in the classroom and adults an advantage in the workplace and in life. Communication, connection and collaboration are fundamental skills of theatrical and media arts that can – and should – be learned by all. The arts and creativity are transformational, and by engaging young people, adults, and seniors in their own creative process, Studio V is helping shape a society of creative, confident and collaborative individuals.

Classes mark the opening of Studio V –
Studio V 4 Arts & Tutoring
crop PatriciaRETOUCH2Hello, my name is Patricia Lynn-Strickland and I am here to tell you about “Studio V 4 Arts & Tutoring”. As you can probably relate, growing your creative skills through the arts is a great way to enhance your communication and critical thinking skills in every aspect of your life. And as a lifelong student of the arts myself, I have seen first hand the benefits of learning the arts. That is why I have created “Studio V 4 Arts & Tutoring” in Ventura CA. And now anyone, from kids, to adults, from writers to actors can come and collaborate with other inspiring artists. Studio V – Ventura’s Voice 4 Arts & Tutoring is an intergenerational arts & tutoring organization whose mission is to provide academic tutoring & experiential arts classes, performances, showcases, and festivals to people of all ages, with the focus on the transferability of critical thinking and communication skills which are necessary to compete in the creative economy of the twenty-first century.

The goal of this campaign is to reach like-minded people for collaboration, raise money in exchange for early access and rewards, and we also want to spread the word. The more people we can get excited about “Studio V 4 Arts & Tutoring” the more functional and successful it will be in the community. So this campaign will give you the basics on our efforts and progress. Beyond that we encourage you to ask us questions, donate and get involved. We developed “Studio V 4 Arts & Tutoring” for your benefit, so enjoy! We believe we are really onto an easier way to bring people together and help connect people with tutors to help them grow their skill set.



  • Do you ever  think about dabbling in the arts but have no idea how yo would start?
  • Do you want your child to explore the arts to see if they enjoy it but you see a lack of local options?
  • Are you interested in indulging in the arts with others in the
    community but don’t have a spot to collaborate?
  • If you answered, “Yes” to any of these questions, you may want to keep reading…

I feel I have successfully created a variety of programs, tutoring’s and events that solves a simple daily problem: the lack of art and outlets for expression in our day-to-day life. We exercise our analytical brain and if we are lucky we can get a work out in, but when is the last time we can really say we let our creative juices flow?

With the contribution of $50 or $100 you will receive some really cool perks; cash contributions of all sums are accepted. This is just the beginning of an awesome journey, and you are welcomed to come on board. But wait, why not let your friends in on this, share this with them through word of mouth, emails and social media and have them do the same, Studio V welcomes everyone!

For me to bring the “Studio V 4 Arts & Tutoring” to life, I need your support!
Your generous funding will help me get things started in order to realize my concept. It will assist me with the cost of further development, leasing of the location, supplies marketing and other costs of starting a program of this magnitude. More importantly you get the chance to be one of the first visitors of the “Studio V 4 Arts & Tutoring”. I will also use the funding to test concepts to make my program better. I am committed to continuous improvement so I will always be giving people the best possible solutions for their artists and theatrical needs and passions. I want Studio V to be a place of pure inspiration.
But wait, why not let your friends in on this, share this with them through word of mouth, emails and social media and have them do the same, Studio V welcomes everyone! The “Studio V 4 Arts & Tutoring” needs pledging but above all it needs your attention and interest! If you love this product as much as we do then please take a moment to click on one of our social media buttons (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube at the bottom of the page). Help us spread the word and get things started!
For me to bring my vision to life, I need your support!
If you aren’t able to make a monetary donation, but would like to contribute to the campaign mission, there are plenty of other ways to help!
Volunteer  I will be looking for people to help out once we get up and running. I want the community involved in any capacity. Or teach someone else about the benefits of art.
At its core, this campaign is about helping people grow and thrive using art and theatre. If you’re in a position to teach someone else how to better view the world of art – do it! You are contributing to this campaign by passing on the awareness.
Spread the word
You can contribute your popularity by telling your friends and family about this campaign. The success of this campaign is directly correlated with the number of people who view this page. If you can increase that number, you are making a tangible contribution to the mission.

To know where someone is going you must know where he or she has been…

So let me tell you the story of how I got here. I am a theatre person. I have worked in the theatre my whole life – did my first play when I was five. Theatre and music saved my life. I moved 17 times by the time I was 13 and was incredibly shy… except on stage… except when I was with music. I was also a pretty good student – I attribute that to my work in the arts.

I went to acting school, American Academy of Dramatic Arts 3 years. Then worked in the theatre (and many day jobs trust me). I was artistic director for 8 years, directing, producing and acting and have worked with actors of all ages. And then I had my son – born 3 months early. It changed my life. I focused on being a mom for awhile – focused on keeping him alive, then on helping him thrive. Then when he was five I was looking at schools and this is the first time I realized THE ARTS WERE PRACTICALLY NON-EXISTENT IN THE SCHOOLS. This was unacceptable to me.

I found two private schools next door to each other; a K-8 and a high school. I took a job to teach music at the K-8 and Drama/Music at the high school. What I really did was create two performing arts programs. I resigned as artistic director at the theatre and devoted my life to educational theatre. I went back to school, finished my BS in Interdisciplinary Studies, My Masters in Communication & Leadership and wrote my thesis on Arts Across the Curriculum. I became a bit of an expert on exactly why arts are so vital to our nation’s success and viability in the 21st century. And through all my experience and experiments, I learned that people create and learn best when we mingle together as a tribe – and NOT WHEN WE ARE BATCHED BY DATE OF MANUFACTURE. I believe in creating art – intergenerational, collaborative arts.

So that is my story and now I humbly ask for your support. Many of you know me. You know my work, I have taught your kids, and your kids’ kids. I have worked with you and for you. I have directed over 150 plays, taught I don’t know how many classes, and spoken on panels and worked for the community at the Boys & Girls Club, Casa Pacifica, YMCA, and CSUCI’s Inspire Her. I have created projects with organizations throughout our city including Angel Heart Foundation, The City of Ventura, Citizens for Peaceful Resolution, CLUE, Gull Wings Children’s Museum, VCMC NICU Family Fund and The Ray Bradbury Theatre and Film Foundation and more.

I feel so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to read my campaign and for those who contributed what they could to make a difference and helping me spread the word. I have spent the last few months working hard to bring my vision to life in this campaign and it was worth every minute thanks to all my generous supporters. Please know your efforts, even the smallest, don’t go unnoticed. I will continue to keep you posted on what your donation helped me achieve. You are now part of the search for a solution. Be proud of yourself, today you made a choice that could effect generations to come.

If you cannot donate but you are interested in helping, please contact me so I can set you up with a referral program!
I encourage everyone to reach out and contact me if you have any ideas, thoughts or concerns. The success of this project is so important to me, and I cannot do it without your help. You are an essential part of this campaign, so please use my contact information below!

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Name: Patricia Lynn-Strickland

Phone Number: 805-443-5783
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Healing the Ties that Bind Us

Paris, Nigeria, Belgian bombings. We are at war. My fear is that with each bomb we create more hatred. My fear is also that these people will continue indescriminately killing people to instill fear in the world population. Fear can make us relinquish our civil rights. Fear can cause us to inflame the predudice dejour. I am one person. What can I really do?

I can take care of my own piece of the pie. I can do what I have been doing and create a better world through dialogue and teaching collaboration, compassion and critical thinking through the theatre. This is a long game problem. No easy bombs can be dropped. No easy deportations can stop the dynamic that is in play. But groups can spring up across the United States to offer places where people can come together, share experiences, hear thinking that is not like their own and come to terms with there they stand in the world.

The more we are up close and personal with people who think differently than us, the more chance we have to be strong, smart, compassionate and collaborative in how we handle moving forward. This is a new world. We need to mix the young and the old, the religious and the non-religious and allow our commuities to embrace our commonalities.

So I’m starting Studio V 4 Arts & Tutoring. We weave arts & education intergenerationally. Where does the education come in? From listening and responding, authentically, as if for the first time. Everytime. We need you. We want you. Come be vibrant, visable and valued. We need your voice.

Studio V offers acting classes starting January 5. It also offers an ethnographic theatre class that is geared to this very work. Take a look at the classes. Take a stand. Join us in changing the world, one voice at a time.

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