John F. Kennedy Center Announces Any Given Child Indianapolis

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Announces Indianapolis as Partner City for Any Given Child Program Creates a Long-Range Arts Education Plan for Students Grades K-8 (WASHINGTON)—The John F. Kennedy Center for…

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Announces
Indianapolis as Partner City for

Any Given Child

Program Creates a Long-Range Arts Education Plan
for Students Grades K-8

(WASHINGTON)—The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has chosen Indianapolis, Indiana for Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child, a program that creates a long-range arts education plan for students in grades K-8.  The program will incorporate existing resources of Indianapolis Public Schools, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and local arts organizations, and the Kennedy Center to create a plan for arts education specific to the city. Any Given Child seeks to bring access and equity to each student’s arts education, using an affordable model, with the assistance of expert consultation services provided by Kennedy Center staff and other professionals. Indianapolis is the 18th site across the country to join the program.

“It is critical for all children to have access to arts education in school,” said Kennedy Center Senior Vice President of Education, Mario Rossero. “We are pleased to add Indianapolis to the Any Given Child program.  Mayor Ballard, Dr. Ferebee at Indianapolis Public Schools, and Dave Lawrence of the Arts Council of Indianapolis have shown tremendous support for this project. Indianapolis has a vibrant arts community, and we look forward to unleashing students’ creativity and supporting student success through arts education.”

“In the City of Indianapolis, education—including arts education—is viewed as a foundation for creating opportunities and strengthening our community. With the support of the Arts Council and Indianapolis Public Schools, the Any Given Child program will transform the lives of Indianapolis youth through the power of the arts,” said Mayor Gregory A. Ballard.

“Indianapolis Public Schools is committed to expanding arts opportunities for our students, and we are honored to collaborate with the Kennedy Center and our community partners on this phenomenal initiative,” said Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee, Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent. “Arts education increases confidence, improves student and parent engagement, and connects our schools with our community in meaningful ways. We look forward to seeing a lasting impact in the city of Indianapolis.”

The program aims to minimize administrative overhead, thus remaining affordable. The Kennedy Center covers the majority of the cost, and also requires sites to contribute $25,000 toward the first four years of the program.  The first phase of the program is the community’s comprehensive audit of existing arts education resources and needs assessment facilitated by Kennedy Center staff and consultants. A review of the community and the school system will reveal what arts education resources currently exist and where the gaps are for students. Based on this information, the community creates a strategy to bring more access to arts education for all K-8 students. The audit process takes approximately nine months.

“The Any Given Child program is a perfect opportunity for those of us in the arts community in Indianapolis to affect positive and lasting change in the arts in the Indianapolis Public School system,” said Dave Lawrence, President & CEO of the Arts Council of Indianapolis. “The Arts Council board and staff stand ready to lead the rest of the arts community in transforming arts education in our largest school system in Marion County.”

During phase two of the program, a committee of community members makes recommendations to the school district and local arts groups on how to best implement the recently-created plan, focusing on increasing arts opportunities for K-8 students.  In addition, educators and artists can take advantage of a wealth of resources available from the Kennedy Center, such as supplemental lessons with online interactive learning modules and videos available on the Kennedy Center website, and professional development for teachers and teaching artists. The goal of this second phase is to provide a tapestry of arts education, strategically weaving together existing arts resources within the schools with those available from community providers and the Kennedy Center in order to reach every child.

Since the program’s inception, Any Given Child sites have reported numerous successes: some school districts have hired additional teachers or added staff positions; new sources of funding for arts education have been established; communities have expanded arts offerings for students; and sites have provided professional learning for classroom teachers, arts specialists, and local arts organizations to build their capacity to deliver high quality arts education to students.

In 2009, the Kennedy Center and Mayor Kevin Johnson announced the first formal Any Given Child program in Sacramento, California.  The following cities joined subsequently:

  • Springfield, Missouri, February 2010
  • Portland, Oregon, June 2010
  • Southern Nevada, December 2010
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 2011
  • Sarasota, Florida, June 2011
  • Austin, Texas, August 2011
  • Iowa City, Iowa, August, 2012
  • Baltimore, Maryland, September 2012
  • Fresno, California, October 2012
  • Juneau, Alaska, February 2013
  • Madison, Wisconsin, July 2013
  • Missoula, Montana and Jacksonville, Florida August 2013
  • New Orleans, Louisiana and Harrisonburg, Virginia, August 2014
  • Houston, Texas, August 2015

Additional cities will be announced in September 2015. The Kennedy Center accepts applications between January 1 and March 31 of each year for a program launch in the fall of the same year.

In February, the Kennedy Center announced a $1 million gift from Newman’s Own Foundation in honor of A. E. Hotchner and his many contributions to the success of Newman’s Own. The grant established an endowment to help underserved communities participate in the Center’s Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child program.


The Kennedy Center retains its commitment as the nation’s cultural center to educating and enlightening children and adults in Washington and around the country. The Center’s national education programs include: Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child, which works with 14 municipalities and their school districts around the country to develop a long-range strategic plan for arts education; ARTSEDGE, a website that offers standards-based materials for use in and out of the classroom, Partners in Education, which forges relationships between an arts organization and its neighboring school systems to build effective arts education programs for teachers and teaching artists; Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network works with 33 state organizations on arts education policy issues; Explore the Arts, which provide insight into the cultural and historical context of the works presented on stage and sparks dialogue between audiences and the artists who have created the performances through participatory workshops, demonstrations,  panels, master classes, and open rehearsals; and the Kennedy Center Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards, which acknowledge teachers of grades K-12 whose efforts have made a significant impact on their students.

In and around DC, the Kennedy Center’s programs include Changing Education Through the Arts, a program that works with 15 schools in the area to affect long-term change in school culture through professional learning in arts integration; Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers, which trains Washington-area educators to teach the arts or other subject areas through the arts; and Washington, D.C. Partnership Schools, where the Center provides resources and teaching artist residencies to 20 elementary, junior, and senior high schools in Washington, D.C. The Center also mounts more than 100 events and performances of theater, music, dance, and opera throughout the season for more than 100,000 local school-aged children.

In addition, the Center offers multiple skill development programs for young artists and professionals both locally and nationally, including the National Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Fellowship Program, Summer Music Institute, and High School Competition; Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, Opera Institute, and Kids Create Opera Partnership; the biennial New Visions/ New Voices forum for development of new plays for young people; Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell; Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead; VSA’s Playwright Discovery Program, Young Soloists, and Visual Arts Programs; arts administration internships; and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival which impacts hundreds of thousands of college-aged theater students across the country and marks its 47th anniversary in 2015.

Indianapolis Public Schools strives to be the flagship in innovative urban education, preparing all students to be successful in the global economy. IPS is committed to creating individualized, relationship-based learning opportunities for more than 30,000 students. As the educational landscape evolves to include more school choice, IPS continues to expand the scope of options available to families. From community schools to magnets including International Baccalaureate, performing arts, STEM, Montessori, career prep and more, there’s a school to fit every family at IPS. In addition to the broadest range of magnet programs in the state, IPS is the pilot district for Indiana’s Innovation Network Schools. These autonomous programs operate in partnership with the district to provide a variety of unique educational opportunities for IPS students and families. IPS is proud to provide personalized opportunities for students, and proud to be public! Learn more about IPS by visiting

The Arts Council of Indianapolis fosters meaningful engagement in the arts by nurturing a culture where artists and arts organizations thrive. The Arts Council is an organization that advocates for the need and importance of broad community funding and support for a thriving arts scene; innovates by constantly pursuing and promoting innovative ideas and programs that better serve the area, its artists, and arts organizations; and connects artists, audiences, businesses, foundations, and arts and cultural organizations with opportunities to explore and expand central Indiana’s creative vitality. The Arts Council owns and operates two performance and exhibition spaces, the Indianapolis Artsgarden (attached to Circle Centre Mall) and Gallery 924 (at 924 N. Pennsylvania Street). The Arts Council allocates public funding to arts and cultural organizations through a competitive grant program; offers fellowship opportunities including the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship, the Transformational Impact Fellowship, and the Robert D. Beckmann, Jr. Emerging Artist Fellowship; provides programs, services, and technical assistance for artists and arts organizations; and manages the city’s public art program. The Indy Arts Guide provides a comprehensive arts calendar featuring thousands of events, performances, and exhibitions throughout central Indiana. For more information on the Arts Council, call (317) 631-3301 or visit online at


Any Given Child, part of the Rubenstein Arts Access Program, is generously funded by David and Alice Rubenstein.

This program is also funded by an endowment from Newman’s Own Foundation in honor of A.E. Hotchner.

Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, Dennis and Phyllis Washington, and the Legg Mason Charitable Foundation.

Kennedy Center education and related artistic programming is made possible through the generosity of the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts.

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Press Contact:
Amanda Hunter
The Kennedy Center
(202) 416-8441