CoTA (Collaborations: Teachers and Artists) is a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that strives to make the arts a lively, essential, and ongoing part of elementary school education. CoTA employs arts integrated learning projects to promote engagement, accessibility, and relevance for local students.
CoTA believes that integrating the arts—visual arts, dance, music, and drama—into core academic subjects promotes engagement, accessibility, and relevance for students. Since its inception in 1998, CoTA has worked with 3,354 teachers and more than 46,000 students at 44 schools from nine districts across Southern California.
CoTA artists work with teachers to develop programs that teach academic subjects through art. CoTA programs have been shown to improve students’ communication skills, nurture varied modes of intelligence, sharpen critical thinking, develop students’ capacity for empathy, encourage imaginative problem solving, and intensify skills of observation. Additionally, CoTA programs foster creativity and teach the value of collaboration.
CoTA employs creative strategies that encourage teachers to produce arts-integrated lessons. Through in-school residencies, professional development workshops, and subject-specific teacher institutes, CoTA partners with teachers to discover the importance of arts in the classroom.