Art is Power’s Founder and Director, Patrice Milillo, taught fifth grade in San Jose, California, where financial difficulties threatened the opportunity of his students to attend Science Camp. The solution was to unite teachers, students and their families, community members, and local businesses to leverage their collective resources. The brain child was Family Fitness Night, an event that bridged the gap between the school and the surrounding community to promote health and nutrition. The event brought awareness about the struggles and strengths of public educational institutions, and raised the funds for all of the 5th grade students to attend science camp.

Encouraged and informed by the success of Family Fitness Night, Bring Back the Arts was born. The event celebrated San Jose’s rich artistic and cultural heritage with food, music, mural painting, dance competitions, skateboard demos, pottery, and craft making. The proceeds funded two years of art and dance instruction by San Jose’s Future Arts Now, a local after-school arts program provider.

After five-and-a-half years of teaching 5th grade and traveling in the summers to learn from different organizations that use the arts as an educational tool, Patrice Milillo resigned his tenure as a teacher to invest himself fully in examining the universal power behind the arts.