News Releases

Media Contact:

Barbara Metz, Metz Public Relations, 858-677-0720 metzpr@gmail.com

ArtsBusXpress Appoints Julia McMeans Executive Director

The non-profit, which provides field trip experiences for San Diego County K-12 students,

 was given a $40,000 grant by the Conrad Prebys Foundation toward hiring an executive director

            SAN DIEGO – August 2022 – Julia McMeans has been appointed executive director of ArtsBusXpress, a local nonprofit that provides on-site and virtual field trip experiences for San Diego County K-12 students to scores of local arts and science venues.

            “We are grateful to The Conrad Prebys Foundation, which gave us a $40,000 grant specifically to help us hire an executive director to ensure our long-term sustainability and growth,” said Ted Peña, president of the board of directors.

            Peña said, “We are delighted to welcome Julia aboard the ArtsBusXpress to lead our team in the years ahead.  Julia brings an abundance of knowledge and success in fundraising and developing educational programs for the K-12 community from her experience at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia and the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.  Her knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment to enriching student learning in the arts and sciences give us confidence that Julia will hit the ground running.  She’s the perfect fit for us,” he said.

            For the past 10 years, McMeans has led museum education departments.  Most recently, she was director of education at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, where she developed STEAM for SCHOOL, three elementary and middle school programs that significantly increased the museum’s school audience and garnered $150,000 in grant funding.

            Previously, McMeans was assistant director of education and interim director of learning

programs at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology,

(Penn Museum) where she was responsible for the oversite of a large education department that hosts 40,000 students annually. 

            She is a curriculum content producer and former teacher.  She holds a master’s degree in education from Chestnut Hill College and a bachelor’s degree in English from Temple University, both in Philadelphia.

           Celebrating its 20th anniversary, ABX has provided more than 200,000 students “a ride to the arts and sciences” since its inception.  The program is available to more than 530,000 children in the 42 school districts in San Diego County.  Many of the field trips are wholly or substantially underwritten by donations to ArtsBusXpress.

           ArtsBusXpress coordinates field trips with almost all the major museums and performing arts organizations in San Diego County, as well as funding unique field trips to places like Lake Poway, La Jolla Cove and the Torrey Pines coast to learn more about our local geography, plants and animals.         

Media Contact:

Barbara Metz, Metz Public Relations, 858-677-0720 metzpr@gmail.com

ArtsBusXpress Receives $25,000 from The Parker Foundation

Grant enables nonprofit to hire professional staff and expand

on-site and virtual field trips for San Diego County K-12 students

           SAN DIEGO (August 2021) ArtsBusXpress (ABX), which provides on-site and virtual field trip experiences for San Diego County K-12 students to scores of local arts and science venues, has received a $25,000 grant from The Parker Foundation.

           The grant will be used to acquire professional staff members, according to Ted Peña, president of the board of the nonprofit.

          “This is a huge milestone for us as we move forward with growing our organization from an all-volunteer organization with a working board of directors to hiring professionals for the day-to-day operations,” he said.  “We are so grateful to The Parker Foundation,” he said, noting that the San Diego County-oriented foundation also provided seed money when ABX was founded in 2002.

ABX has provided more than 150,000 students “a ride to the arts and sciences” since its inception. The program is available to over 500,000 children in the 42 school districts and 646 schools in San Diego County.  Many of the field trips are wholly or substantially underwritten by donations to ArtsBusXpress.

            “During the pandemic, the governor’s ‘stay-at-home’ orders, put an end to field trips,” noted Peña.  “However, with the support of several arts and science venues, ABX created a list of 60 Virtual Field Trip Xperiences, for teachers to use while traditional field trips on a bus were put on hold.

“This past year, 163 teachers received funding for more than 6,500 students across 20 school districts to bring the venue to the classroom and distance learners ‘live, interactive and personal.’  Teachers rated the program 4.8 out of 5 for excellence and feedback proved that the Virtual Field Trip Xperiences were very valuable for their student’s education. Moving forward we anticipate incorporating live and virtual field trips in our program,” he said.

            ArtsBusXpress coordinates field trips with almost all the major museums and performing arts organizations in San Diego County, as well as a plethora of more under-the-radar sites such as the Julian Gold Mine, Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center, the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe and the SDG&E Innovation Center.

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About ArtsBusXpress

ArtsBusXpress endeavors to “open young hearts and minds to experience the magic of the creative process and see a new world of possibilities for themselves and all that thy touch” through field trips – with or without the bus. The organization works with teachers throughout San Diego County to compliment in-class instruction with out-of-the-classroom experiences in the arts and sciences.

 

ArtsBusXpress is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, located at 4010 Sorrento Valley Blvd., #400, San Diego, Calif. 92121. Contact:  info@artsbusxpress.org  https://www.artsbusxpress.org

 

About The Parker Foundation

The Parker Foundation was founded 50 years ago on October 5, 1971, for charitable purposes leading to the betterment of life for all people of San Diego County. With a net endowment of more than $40 million, the Foundation has granted over $56 million since its inception.

An independent, private foundation and California non-profit corporation, the Parker Foundation is limited by its governing instruments to funding charitable organizations operating in San Diego County.  https://theparkerfoundation.org