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May 21, 2008 > Drawing secrets revealed

Drawing secrets revealed

By Arathi Satish and Mona Shah
Photos By Kyle Tiernan

It is a well established fact that art transcends limitations and helps children to think outside the box. It encourages students to strive for greater success and breaks the barriers between disciplines. In order to develop the enjoyment of fine arts, the Fremont Cultural and Arts Council (FCAC) sponsors activities in the field of art in our schools. Schools interested in high quality, low cost cultural arts assemblies can benefit from the Cultural Arts in the Schools (CATS) program provided by FCAC.

Many schools in our community have limited funding, particularly for various art programs. FCAC offers local schools an opportunity to contract for a very special performing arts assembly through the CATS program. Due to grants and membership contributions, FCAC is able to subsidize the cost of assemblies. The organization negotiates reduced rates by block booking. The schools select from the available artists to perform at their assemblies and pay only the balance.

This not only provides schools with a selection of multi-cultural and literary based assemblies but helps them save on performers' fees. Artists are previewed and selected in advance to maintain high standards. CATS assemblies held in May with sponsorship by the FCAC were organized by Tricia Schoner of Glenmoor Elementary. The assembly, "Drawing Secrets...Revealed," will be conducted by Kyle Tiernan of Kyle's Cartoon Platoon.

Tiernan has taught elementary school students throughout California how to draw with a fully interactive, content-rich "draw-along" assembly that has received rave reports. He says "Students and staff will complete three world class drawings. Drawing Secrets Revealed teaches kids ages 5 and up a fail-safe approach to drawing that covers dozens of California State standards for Art Education. It bolsters self confidence and provides visual results live during the assembly." He incorporates the concepts of science, math and vocabulary in the 45-minute program. Assemblies are specifically designed to be age appropriate.

Once after watching a particularly dull school assembly, Tiernan came up with the idea of teaching kids how to draw through an interactive assembly. His assemblies are confidence boosting experiences. He points out, "Now more than ever, with continual budget cuts, the arts are getting taken out of elementary schools and I honestly don't think that's fair to the kids who deserve a well rounded education and exposure to all sorts of subjects in school. I feel if my assembly can provide them with at least a glimpse into drawing and art then maybe, just maybe, I can spur one or two kids on to a path in life they might not otherwise find."

Tiernan uses "mega-effective" teaching strategies that appeals to kinesthetic, auditory as well as visual learners. He says he reads the same books that kids read, watches their TV shows and plays their games. In other words he tries to understand their world and speak their language so that he can help even the most artistically challenged students in his assembly to realize that they can do art.

Tiernan is visiting some of the area schools from May 19 to May 30. The schools participating in the FCAC sponsored program are Maloney, Olivera, Niles, Glenmoor and Gomes.

For more information about Fremont Cultural Arts Council or to book school assemblies through the CATS program, visit, or drop by the FCAC office at 3375 Country Drive (between Tak Fudenna Stadium and the Centerville Community Center) between 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. weekdays. By mail to Fremont Cultural Arts Council, P.O. Box 1314, Fremont, California 94538 or call (510) 794 7166 or send an email to

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