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EMPLOYER PROFILE
 
Oxbow School, The
530 Third Street    
Napa, California  94559  
   
Private/Independent School
10 PG 48 students
 

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Employer Website: http://oxbowschool.org
 
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Employer Description
 
The Oxbow School is the nation’s only art-focused semester boarding program for high school students. Oxbow stands out as a unique educational model, situated in a beautiful setting that is conducive to fostering student growth. Oxbow is centered on a belief in the impact that direct contact with artists can have on young minds. These experiences wed intellect with passion and help many students identify the direction they will take in college and the focus of their adult lives. Immersive studio art practice and direct contact with artists are potent ways to engage students at this moment in their lives. Whether or not they become artists, making art is a way to validate a sense of self, better understand their lived experience, and begin making sense of the complex world around them. Our goal was to create an interdisciplinary student experience that fuses the life of the mind with the skills of the hand, leading to habits of lifelong learning that cultivate and empower productive lives. To this end, making art is a chance to reinvent the adolescent self and step forward towards their adult lives. The intensive semester is a crucible experience—an extended rite of passage. The work centers on each individual; we help students identify elements in the microcosms of their personal experience that relate to larger topics in the macrocosm of the world around them. By the end of the semester, students walk away fully empowered by the scope of what they have accomplished, realizing that, “I did this for myself and by myself, and now I can do it out in the world.”
 
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Diversity Mission Statement
 
As a community of artists, The Oxbow School stands in support of BIPOC communities across the country. As nationwide Black Lives Matter protests hold a stark mirror to systemic racism, school administrators across the country must ask whether or not we are doing the work necessary to transcend the very systems that perpetuate an inability to access equitable education. Every child should have access to a quality education that bolsters them into successful individuals. This should be a foundational right. And yet, not only is the American public school system rooted directly in “savage inequality,” independent schools that rely on tuition revenue seem to stand in direct contradiction to that very right. The Oxbow School faculty, staff, and trustees are prepared to acknowledge and examine our own systems, personal privilege, and cultural assumptions so that we can hold candid conversations to participate in dismantling historic oppression. At The Oxbow School, it is our mission to cultivate a safe place for members of this community. We strive to instill in students the self-awareness, lifelong skills, and individual agency to become responsible leaders in the world -- “artivists.” Many of our alumni are engrossed in grassroots organizing and revolutionizing their own social arts practice. It is imperative that organizations commit to "solidarity" by making decisions and taking actions that give weight to that word. What do we stand for and how do we show up for those values? What are we, where are we going, and what is our responsibility as a leader in arts education? At Oxbow, we have always taken great pride in our ability to provide an equitable arts education by offering scholarships to students less financially privileged. The Oxbow School community is committed to being proactive stewards for young artists. To that end, we commit to: - Offering free instruction and programs for local students who attend schools where art programming has been cut; - Developing a long-term “artist as activist” program to help young artists emerge as agents of change; - Engaging in anti-racist training and self-education; - Executing recruitment strategies to diversify the Oxbow community; - Raising scholarship funds for students of color and transgender students in financial need; - Partnering with anti-racist organizations with like-minded interests and values; and - Examining, revising, and adopting an anti-racist curriculum. This is our commitment in undergoing a journey towards proactive change, stewardship, and solidarity.