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Voices for Any Given Child Indy: Meaningful Content + Enriching Experiences = Lifelong Learners

Heather Boelke, Eliza Blaker Elementary School Art Teacher

Any Given Child Indy provided an invaluable opportunity to advance my understanding and implementation of arts integration by sending me to the Kennedy Center’s Annual  Arts Integration Conference. The resources provided throughout the experience included tools and strategies to engage students, their families, and the community in a rounded arts and academic curriculum. I learned from experts in education and networked with peers from across the country, establishing foundations for instruction with clear understanding of arts integration defined.

Most impactful to my own experience is the understanding that arts integration is a strategy for teaching which makes education more equitable for all students. We serve a diverse student population, each child having a unique set of needs. With arts integration practices in place in the classroom, students will learn by engaging in creative processes. They will develop skills in communication through varying aptitudes and reflect meaningfully on content and learning processes. Arts integration serves as an avenue to incorporating necessary 21st century skills in classroom instruction.

Among the many strategies shared during the conference, we closed by creating 6 Word Stories about our experiences. My acquired understanding of arts integration and its value to our students is as follows.

Meaningful content + enriching experiences = LIFELONG LEARNERS

Posted in Voices

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Indiana Arts Education Network June Update

On Tuesday, June 27, over 30 members of the Indiana Arts Education Network convened at Ball State University during Music for All’s Summer Symposium. The Indiana Arts Education Network is a broad cross-section of Indiana organizations, teachers, and leaders who are committed to working to insure that every Indiana student has reliable access to a well-rounded education that includes music and  the arts. Ernest and I attended the meeting to learn more about the arts education advocacy efforts that are taking place outside of Any Given Child Indy. To learn more about the purpose of the Indiana Arts Education Network click here.

Joshua Simonds, Executive Director of the Percussive Arts Society, gives an update about his most recent advocacy efforts.

The network has been busy discussing the long-term vision for music and arts education as mandated by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and working to meet with policymakers on both local and national levels. Network members gave updates about ESSA and recent meetings with Patrick McAlister (Indiana Department of Education) and PJ McGrew (Indiana State Board of Education), during which they discussed the importance of a well-rounded education including the arts. Discussions during the meeting also focused around advocacy and continuing the network’s strategic plan, with next steps being for members to connect with local and national key influencers and report back at the Network’s next meeting in August.

Jauvon Gilliam presenting his lecture for educators titled “The Importance of You: How Four Years in Your Class Can Influence a Lifetime”.

Following the meeting, members were invited to sit in on various different sessions being held at Music for All’s Summer Symposium, a summer camp with over 1,700 attendees including high school students, teachers, and band/orchestra directors. Ernest and I were lucky enough to catch the end of a lecture for educators titled “The Importance of You: How Four Years in Your Class Can Influence a Lifetime” by Jauvon Gilliam, National Symphony Orchestra Timpanist (and Indiana native).

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REPORT CARD: 6/9/17 Steering Committee Meeting

After a year of speculation, the first preliminary budgets for Any Given Child Indy were reviewed at the June 9th meeting of the steering committee. A final “proposed” budget will be presented to the public in September during National Arts in Education Week. The budget responds to all four of the program goals and leverages the resources of the local community to engage and inspire students to create, perform, and respond to all art forms leading to lifelong creative engagement. It is divided into four sections: (1) weekly arts instruction; (2) co-curricular activities; (3) professional development; and (4) administrative/communication support. The budget is driven by knowledge of the gaps and barriers to arts education in Indianapolis Public Schools as identified in the 2015 baseline survey, and it accomplishes three things:

(1) Provides direct arts instruction for students during the school day to fill the gaps; (2) Bolsters the capacity of the district to strengthen school-based arts instruction across all 66 schools (public and charter); and (3) Improves coordination of partnerships between schools and arts organizations to produce higher-quality arts programming in the schools, in collaboration with core academic teachers, fine arts teachers and school leaders.

Ernest Disney-Britton
Director of Grant Services and Education Partnerships
Arts Council of Indianapolis

Posted in Committee Updates

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