SchoolsFirst FCU Sponsors Friends of Sacramento Arts Heroes of Arts Education Gala

SchoolsFirst FCU Sponsors Friends of Sacramento Arts Heroes of Arts Education Gala

Second Annual Event Recognizes Community Leaders and Local Arts Educators for Supporting and Bringing Arts Education to Schools

TUSTIN, Calif., April 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — SchoolsFirst FCU, the largest credit union serving school employees and their families, served as the lead sponsor of the second annual Friends of Sacramento Arts Heroes of Arts Education Gala, which recognizes community leaders and local arts educators for their role in supporting and bringing arts education to local schools. The event was held on March 14 at The Sofia, Home of B Street Theatre in Sacramento.

Friends of Sacramento Arts works to ensure equitable access to comprehensive arts education in K-12 public schools. The nonprofit organization advocates for increased access to arts education for K-12 public school students in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties, serving as a capacity builder for arts organizations and school districts, and provides information, resources and connections to advance these goals. The Heroes of Arts Education Gala showcases local student talents and shines a spotlight on the arts educators and supporters of arts education in Sacramento, including the presentation of awards to extraordinary teachers from 15 Sacramento region school districts who have brought arts education into K-12 public school classrooms in creative and impactful ways.

“Friends of Sacramento Arts is proud of our partnership with SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, and we’re grateful for their generous support and leadership in our community and state,” said Allison Cagley, executive director of Friends of Sacramento Arts. “We both recognize teachers who are committed to providing students with the highest quality of education.”

Josh Smith, vice president, school and community relations, at SchoolsFirst FCU, added, “As an organization with strong ties to the local education community in Sacramento County, we know that our support makes an impact not just in the lives of educators, but also the lives of their students. We applaud Allison and her team, as well as the other sponsors, for making the Gala possible and drawing attention to the importance of arts education in our public schools.”

As a result of the passage of California Proposition 28: The Arts and Music in Schools (AMS) in late 2022, which requires the state to establish an ongoing program to support arts instruction in schools, the need for new art teachers has grown. According to Friends of Sacramento Arts, 15,000 art teachers are needed to fill the current pipeline to fulfill this new obligation.

“As a supporting partner of Friends of Sacramento Arts, we’re pleased to help the organization advance its mission of bringing arts every day for every child in every school,” said Dalia Velazquez, Branch Manager, Orangevale Branch for SchoolsFirst FCU. “At SchoolsFirst FCU, we recognize the important role that Friends of Sacramento Arts plays in doing the great work that brings arts education to our schools.”

During the Heroes of Arts Education Gala, Dr. L. Steven Winlock, executive director of the Sacramento County Office of Education and Sacramento City arts commissioner, will be honored for his role in supporting art education. In addition, Randy Cohen, vice president of research at American for the Arts, will serve as guest speaker as part of his nationwide tour focusing on the importance of a thriving creative economy and the arts.

About SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union: 

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union is the fifth largest credit union in the country and has been recognized by Forbes as the number one credit union in California. Serving school employees and their families, the organization is dedicated to delivering World-Class Personal Service and improving the financial lives of its Members. Today they serve more than 1.3 million Members with a full range of financial products and services. SchoolsFirst FCU was founded in 1934, when 126 school employees pooled $1,200 and established a Member-owned cooperative to help improve each other’s lives. In 2022, the Credit Union reported nearly $28 billion in assets and remains the largest credit union in California. For more information about SchoolsFirst FCU, visit

Insured by NCUA.

SOURCE SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

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