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San Diego education leader appointed to president’s committee on arts and humanities

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San Diego education leader appointed to president’s committee on arts and humanities

President Biden has appointed new members to his Committee on the Arts and the Humanities,

Among some high-powered celebrities and scholars is a San Diegan well known to the local community college district.

Constance Carroll served as chancellor of the San Diego Community College District for 17 years. She retired in 2021 but continued her work in education and the arts.

“(The arts and humanities tell us) who we are culturally, who we are morally, who we are historically and with respect to our ambitions for the future,” Carroll said.

Lady Gaga, George Clooney, Shonda Rhimes, and others will also serve on the presidential committee, which is expected to begin work by this summer.

The committee will produce proposals for the president to improve arts education, help in international arts exchange programs, and make contributions to the creative economy.

During her tenure as chancellor, Carroll promoted arts programs at the district’s campuses.

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Grace Japheth (foreground) plays the Emcee in the musical “Cabaret” opening this Friday at San Diego City College’s Saville Theatre. Choreographer Kristin Arcidiacono rehearses with Megan Padilla who plays Sally Bowles, San Diego, Calif., April 19, 2023.

That includes the well-known theater curriculum and performance program at San Diego City College.

A production of the musical “Cabaret” is scheduled to opened at the college’s Saville Theater on Fridays.

The show’s director and theater professor Katie Rodda said she was excited to hear the former Chancellor had been appointed. She said she chose the musical for its political and educational value. She was inspired by the events of Jan. 6.

“In ‘Cabaret,’ it’s right as the Nazi party is coming to power. It was the same situation when a small group of individuals who were very angry and who were wielding enormous power with disastrous consequences,” Rodda said.

The City College theater program is an established example of San Diego’s arts and humanities education which is preparing for a national spotlight now that Carroll will be working in Washington, DC

“This show deserves to be seen. Our artists deserve to be seen. So it means a lot that someone is stepping up to expose such a great art form,” said Megan Padilla, a student playing the lead in the production of the musical.

“(I think) a passion for the importance of the arts and humanities to American life is the glue that will hold the committee together,” Carroll said.

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