Ahmed Young, Director of Education Innovation from the Office of Mayor Hogsett opened today’s meeting of the Community Arts Team. He shared his story of the transformative power of the arts in his own life that led him to not only learn the violin, but ultimately led him to go to law school and serve as a prosecutor. It is one of the many hundreds of stories that are driving the efforts in Indianapolis with Any Given Child Indy. Today’s group was charged and inspired as we again reviewed the data from 1,200 teachers and 53 arts organizations, and began listing dozens of strategies to help transform the lives of the 20,000 K–8 students in Indianapolis Public Schools through the arts.
Today was a reminder that the road ahead is a 5-year journey; that it will take many more voices and hands to make change happen; and that it will take the artistic expertise of many artists and arts organizations to ensure its success. According to the Kennedy Center facilitators, the energy in the room today was powerful, and I know I left changed by that energy and ideas in the room. We are coming to the end of the strategic planning year, and will soon be moving into the implementation phase for the 2016-2017 school year.
Ernest Disney-Britton, Arts Council of Indianapolis, Director of Grant Services & Arts Education