Direction of Grant Services & Arts Education Arts Council of Indianapolis
Over the coming years, as we pursue this collective impact approach with the Kennedy Center, there will be numerous opportunities for the community to organize around key leadership in our city, with an emphasis on inclusion and action (no one gets left out of this work).
My son had just about every opportunity afforded to a child growing up in a middle class family, including every opportunity at home and during school to sing, dance, paint, and express himself creatively. And my spouse and I could not have been prouder during his first semester in college when he took us on a tour of all the places on his campus where he was still experiencing the arts. That early engagement in his youth however also made our son acutely aware that there were thousands of other children who didn’t have those same opportunities. Our son knew it wasn’t fair, and he also knew there was nothing equal about it.
Inequality in arts education is not acceptable, especially when we know the facts that students who are involved in the arts are:
4 times more likely to participate in math and science fairs;
3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance;
4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement; and
3 times more likely to be elected to class office.
And while we also know that students involved in the arts have a drop-out rate that is 5-times lower than their peers, we also know from
Americans for the Arts that African American and Hispanic students have less than half the access to arts education than their white peers.
Are we ready to begin seriously investing with our time, talent, and treasure in those efforts and interventions that will move kids and their families out of despair and into more hopeful, high achieving lives?
On September 5, 2015, the front-page of the
Indianapolis Star read “ IPS, Arts Council, Kennedy Center join to push arts education,” because a new and exciting opportunity had been announced for all sectors of Indianapolis to come together to address inequities through improved access to arts education. Any Given Child Indianapolis is a collective impact approach that is a national model for how other communities bring all sectors together in a community to address other challenges and opportunities. Over the coming years, as we pursue this collective impact approach with the Kennedy Center, there will be numerous opportunities for the community to organize around key leadership in our city, with an emphasis on inclusion and action (no one gets left out of this work). To learn more or find out how you can get involved, please take the pledge and sign up for e-mail updates.
About the Author
Ernest Disney-Britton is the Director of Grant Services and Arts Education of the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Disney-Britton is also the site coordinator for the Arts Council’s Kennedy Center’s
Any Given Child Indianapolis program.
Voices for Any Given Child Indy is an initiative that gives leaders in the Indianapolis community the opportunity to focus on issues in arts education and in the community, as well as their personal investment in the success of Any Given Child Indy. Be on the look out for new posts from community leaders on anygivenchildindy.org.