Carol Boster -- Art Supporter of the Year | January 17, 2014 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - January 17, 2014

Carol Boster -- Art Supporter of the Year

Retired teacher has been 'sold on art' all her life

by Dave Wright

Among us are those who give joyously over time to our communities -- purely for the love of what they do. Carol Boster is one such person.

As the winner of the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council's Art Supporter of the Year Award for 2013, Carol deserves accolades for her 18-year focused commitment to the Arts in the Schools Program. For most of those years as a PCAC Board Member, she oversaw and managed this program, encouraging teachers to apply for matching grants to support specialized arts offerings in the Pleasanton elementary, middle and high schools.

The program delivers small and larger grants, most ranging from $50-$500, for enhanced musical, dance, visual arts, dramatic and literary arts programs. This ensures a variety of results, from a visit to a fourth-grade classroom by a professional visual artist or musical performances staged for an entire middle school to field trips to a theatrical destination.

"My favorite -- in 1999, I think -- was when PCAC supplied about $12,000 to help re-establish a Strings in the Schools Program, after approximately 30 years without such," Carol said when asked about her favorite school grant projects. "PCAC purchased a few needed instruments -- a cello and a bass fiddle.

"Also I represented PCAC on the committee to move the project forward in the fourth and fifth grades," she continued. "The superintendent of schools agreed to hire one music teacher to teach the orchestra class in all the elementary schools in order to get the program under way. It grew, and finally the middle schools developed enough students who advanced into the high schools so that Amador and Foothill had full orchestras.

"That accomplishment came about due to the development of a partnership between PCAC and the Pleasanton Unified School District, which was quite exciting."

Another program Carol especially enjoyed in recent years was the Annual Drawing Extravaganza, led by Amador Valley High School visual art instructor Michael Doyle. On that day, 125 Amador and Foothill advanced art students gathered to draw clothed models provided by the Bay Area Models Guild.

"It was wonderfully successful," Boster said. "Students loved having this opportunity and learned much about careful observation, proportions, technique."

For the 18 years that Carol Boster served on PCAC's Arts in the Schools Committee, she often shared the responsibilities of the committee with co-chairmen. The work involved publicizing the program, writing grants, tracking and evaluating applications, and managing grant funds and PCAC dollars to support programs in poetry, dance, music, drama, pottery and the visual arts.

Carol worked closely with other board members such as Diane Wardin and Charlotte Severin, who started the program. Today it serves 1,500-3,500 kids per year, with money provided by the Pleasanton Community Grant Program, PCAC fundraising events and Alameda County ArtsFund Grants.

A longtime Pleasanton resident, now a retired teacher, Carol spent 14 years rearing her family, and 34 years teaching classroom music as well as grades 3, 4 and 5. She has been "sold on art" her whole life, loves the kids, her colleagues, the process, groups and learning.

"I can't stop doing what I love just because I've retired," Carol said, "so I still keep busy."

Indeed, she does: She presently tutors school kids up through the sixth grade, she substitute teaches -- and can do so almost every day if she wishes -- and she coordinates volunteer tutors in the Quick Reads Program at Fairlands School so that kids with limited proficiency achieve solid reading skills.

The evening Carol was awarded the Art Supporter of the Year Award at a festive gathering at Margene Gerton Rivara's home, Carol was granted the status of PCAC Honorary Director of the Board, assuring her a lifetime membership in PCAC. Also awarded that honor were long-term board contributors Gerry Hedstrom and Charlotte Severin. Congratulations to all of them.

Dave Wright, an English educator for 39 years, mainly at Chabot and Las Positas colleges, is a PCAC board member. He was a founding commissioner of the Pleasanton Civic Arts Commission.


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