September 24, 2013
Contact: Alex Nelson
Arizona Commission on the Arts awards $52,000 for Strengthening Schools Through Arts Partnerships Grants
[Phoenix, AZ –September 20, 2013] In July 2013, the Governor-appointed board of the Arizona Commission on the Arts awarded $52,000 to four Strengthening Schools Through Arts Partnerships Grants applicants in Phoenix, Avondale and Tucson.
The Strengthening Schools Through Arts Partnerships program is designed to support school-based initiatives aimed at effecting change in Arizona “D” label schools, by strengthening teaching and learning in arts education and/or arts integration through school/community partnerships. The grantees must be partnerships of at least one school and one nonprofit arts organization or governmental entity; eligible schools must be Arizona “D” label schools (based on 2012-2013 accountability letter grade). The primary focus of this initiative is on programs that strengthen teaching and learning in arts education and/or arts integration, and support ongoing school reform efforts.
The panel met on June 26, 2013 at the Arizona Commission on the Arts offices. Arts Commissioner Vicky Boyce served as panel chair/panelist. Panelists included, Jordan Drum, Education Coordinator, Phoenix Symphony; Tee Lambert, Governing Board Member, Washington Elementary School District; James Lovett, State Coordinator for Neglected and Delinquent Students, Arizona Department of Education; and Joyce Medina Harper, Education and Scholarships Manager, Arizona Community Foundation. Panelist recommendations were submitted to the Arts Commission Board for approval in July.
The following projects were recommended for funding:
Therapeutic Arts in Schools
Partners: Children First Academy, Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona and Desiderata Alternative Program
Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, Children First Academy Phoenix and Desiderata Alternative Program will use therapeutic arts programming to engage students who are not otherwise reached academically, work to remove emotional barriers to learning, inspire hope and increase the ability for the children to envision a successful future.
Stability and Capacity Building Through Arts Education
Partners: Avondale Middle School and Goodyear Arts and Cultural Commission
The Stability and Capacity Building Through Arts Education Project is a two-tiered arts integration approach utilizing both an afterschool theatre enrichment program that encourages multi-layers of arts experience and in-school teaching artists to create a relevant, engaging academic environment for both mathematics educators and students.
Raise Your Voice
Partners: Alhambra High School and The Rag Collection
The Raise Your Voice Project is a year long series of art workshops that engage Alhambra High School students in creative projects to process, reflect, create, and voice their valuable perspective to their school and community about the issues of Bullying, Drug Use and Prevention, and Strengthening Youth/Adult Relationships.
Big Bang = Big Change
Partners: Morgan Maxwell School, Odaiko Sonora and Opening Minds Through the Arts
Big Bang = Big Change will aid in establishing a new tempo for a re-envisioned school, creating a community for expanded educational opportunities and achievement. Through taiko drumming, the project will support student achievement by improving discipline, attendance, student attitude, and student attachment toward school.
About Strengthening Schools Through Arts Partnerships program
A tremendous body of research stands behind the benefits of arts education for students, including improved academic performance, greater leadership and social skills, advanced creative problem-solving skills, and overall enhanced ability to compete in a 21st Century workforce. In addition, there is significant evidence supporting the positive effects of arts programs on a school community, such as improved student attendance and motivation, higher graduation rates, and a child’s enhanced sense of belonging.
Research and case studies also show the transformative effects that leveraging community resources can have, providing schools with the support they need to implement new (or to grow existing) programs. A strong partnership with an arts or cultural organization can provide infrastructure, personnel, teacher professional development, access to additional funding sources, and more. However, the ability of schools to offer arts education and to partner with community entities is often significantly impacted when resources are lacking.
Follow-up research to the 2009-2010 Arizona Arts Education Census found that the percent of Arizona “D” label schools which offer zero arts courses in any discipline is much higher than the statewide average (34% compared to less than 20%).
The Arizona Commission on the Arts, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Education, developed the Strengthening Schools Through Arts Partnerships program to support school-based initiatives aimed at effecting change in these “D” label schools by strengthening teaching and learning in arts education and/or arts integration, through school/community partnerships.
About the Arizona Commission on the Arts
One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the United States, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is an agency of the State of Arizona that supports a statewide arts network. The Arizona Commission on the Arts supports access to quality arts and arts education opportunities for all Arizona citizens; the development and retention of statewide jobs in the nonprofit arts, culture and education sectors; and increased economic impact in local communities through arts-based partnerships that develop tax and small business revenue.
For more information about Arizona Commission on the Arts grants, services and programs, visit www.azarts.gov.
We imagine an Arizona where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.
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To request this or any other agency publication in an alternative format, contact the Arts Commission offices at (602) 771-6502.