Arts for Life

Arts for Life (formerly Sostenuto) supports existing chorus, band, world music, orchestra, guitar, dance, and theater programs in the Santa Fe Public Schools by engaging professional Teaching Artists to work alongside the classroom teachers, providing individualized instruction, support, and technical expertise to students. During our 2020-2021 Season, Arts for Life will serve Aspen Community Magnet School, Capital High School, El Camino Real Academy, El Dorado Community School, Mandela International Magnet School, Milagro Middle School, Nina Otero Community School, Ortiz Middle School, and Santa Fe High School.

Arts for Life Teaching Artists serve the same classrooms every week! This consistent presence, technical expertise, and one-on-one evaluation increases the students’ musical skills, self-confidence, and creativity while promoting curiosity, teamwork, and engagement in other curricular disciplines.

Please contact Education & Administration Coordinator Alice Norris to bring this program to life for your classroom: or 505 984 8759.


Meet Our Teaching Artists

Cal Haines

Percussionist Cal Haines has been performing professionally for more than forty years. An alumnus of the University of Memphis School of Music, Cal has performed with luminaries including Diahann Carroll, Bob Hope, Al Greene, and Yul Brynner. Cal has been a Teaching Artist for the Performance Santa Fe Arts for Life program since its founding in 2010.

El Camino Real Academy band director Clarrisa Madrid Riggins raves that her percussionists “have gained skills that they would never have gotten if it weren’t for Cal…In building their skills he is also building their confidence.”

Pat Malone

Guitarist Pat Malone is a mainstay of the Santa Fe jazz scene and known for his energy and versatility. Over the years, Pat has worked with guitarists including Joe Pass and Joe Diorio. Pat is also a founding Arts for Life Teaching Artist, having joined in 2010.

Jesse Parker, World Music Ensemble director at Mandela International Magnet School, notes that “specialized instruction from a high level performer on each respective instrument is invaluable in inspiring students as well as understanding the nuances of mastery on the instrument…”

Kat Keener

Soprano Kat Keener is in her third year with the Performance Santa Fe Arts for Life program. Kat teaches elementary music and choir at Acequia Madre Elementary, performs regularly, and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from UNM.

Kat recently shared a moving story about her impact on students: “One student at Ortiz was having trouble matching pitch… I worked with him one-on-one a few times, and he improved greatly…When his teacher asked for a volunteer to sing the solo in class, his hand shot up. He sang confidently and could not stop smiling afterward.”

Suzy Reeder

Flutist Suzy Reeder studied music at the Miami University of Ohio and has been teaching since 2000. Her love for education encompasses flute mentorship, special education, and fine art. This is her fourth year with our  Arts for Life program.

El Dorado Community School band director Maurice Norman recently praised Suzy’s tutelage for allowing his flutists to “become stronger and more confident as section players,” while Capital High School band director Ricardo Hernandez applauds his students’ increased “ability to play more advanced music.”

covid-19 update

In light of remote-learning efforts, our Teaching Artists are now reaching hundreds of students through Google Meets and have already provided dozens of hours worth of support on this new platform.

your support matters

As always, our education programs come at NO COST to the students they serve and are 100% funded by the generosity of donors like you.
Please consider making a tax-deductible gift today to support our ongoing education initiatives!

special thanks to our partners in education: