I am excited to report that a year of program design work is now complete. In September, Any Given Child Indy began Phase 3, implementation, of its 5-year plan to provide robust arts education for all 23,000 K-8 students in Indianapolis Public Schools. We divided the plan into three stages, and we hit the ground running with nine schools.
Stage One focuses on “Co-Curricular” activities to fill the 60% gaps in school access to arts organization programs. We infused three schools with the arts during September’s Arts Education Week; provided 8 schools with Professional Development for Fine Arts Teachers in October through Art With a Heart, Indiana Music Education Association, and Music for All; and we selected an arts liaison in each of the nine schools to plan field trips with groups like The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana State Museum, and Indiana Repertory Theatre.
Stage Two focuses on “Arts Integration” with the goal of partnering teaching artists with the 94% of math, reading, and science teachers seeking training on how to integrate the arts into their school curriculum and to bolster student motivation and achievement. Leading the way, Edison School of the Arts began using their Kennedy Center training in arts integration in their core academic classrooms this fall. Also, Any Given Child Indy recently submitted a grant application for Sapphire Theatre to begin similar work with James Russell Lowell School.
The final stage is “Arts as Curriculum.” In this stage, we ensure the elimination of the 78-80% gaps in weekly instruction in theatre and dance. While this is a later stage, IPS has already jumped ahead to demonstrate its effectiveness by placing two arts organizations in two schools beginning this January. Next month, Young Actor’s Theatre and Kids Dance Outreach will begin providing weekly instruction in theatre and dance in both James Russell Lowell School and George Buck Elementary. Finally, we found that this ambitious plan needed additional funding in order to expand district wide, and we engaged Thomas P. Miller & Associates of Indianapolis to guide us in securing the needed additional resources. The most updated initiative framework can be found here.
Special thanks to our financial supporters such as Notable Measures, and to the 64 volunteers and educators who met monthly this past year for a combined total of 328+ hours to design the Any Given Child Indy plan! Help us continue to support arts education in Indianapolis Public Schools in 2018 and beyond, with a year-end contribution to Any Given Child Indy. Every dollar makes a difference.
Director of Grant Services and Education Partnerships
Arts Council of Indianapolis