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REPORT CARD: 5/12/17 Steering Committee Meeting

With our eyes on filling the gaps in arts instruction (K-8), Any Given Child Indy completed the design of a pilot for 2017-2018. The pilot schools will be publicly announced in September during National Arts in Education Week (Sept. 10-16, 2017), but the participants come from all three systems within the Indianapolis Public Schools: Traditional, Innovation, and Charter. Filling the gaps in arts instruction for dance and theatre is the priority for Any Given Child Indy, but also tackling the issue of access to information for both teachers as well as arts organizations.

We believe we’ve come up with dynamic ways to tackle the barriers locally, including some that are unique to Indianapolis and others that are nationwide. Thanks to the collaborative work of local arts organizations, we’ll soon announce new ways to address the teacher desires for increased Professional Development. Thanks to the encouragement of arts organizations like the Indianapolis Museum of Art and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, we will pursue exciting new ways to improve access for families and teachers. I am particularly excited about the focus on arts activities planned during National Arts in Education Week that will spotlight the pilot program, but also highlight the amazing arts education work being accomplished throughout central Indiana. If you are interested in working on National Arts in Education Week, this is the year to do it. Please contact Leesa Jing at ljing@indyarts.org to sign-up.

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

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REPORT CARD: 4/14/17 Steering Committee Meeting

In September, during National Arts in Education Week, Any Given Child Indy will announce the pilot schools and their partner arts organizations for the 2017-2018 school year. That was the decision made at the April meeting of the Steering Committee leading up to a May meeting with principals. It’s an exciting time. What does an Any Given Child Indy partnership look like? As you know, the focus is on reducing the gaps in arts instruction in K-8 schools and this is being accomplished by leveraging local resources. In the pilot schools, local arts organizations will help fill the gaps that IPS has not filled in the areas of theatre and dance instruction. In addition, other resources and partnerships will be announced during National Arts in Education Week that will help expand direct arts instruction for students in other areas; build the capacity of the district to strengthen school-based arts instruction across all schools; and new systems to improve coordination of partnerships including field trips and other co-curricular programs for K-8 students in Indianapolis Public Schools, as well as the Mayor’s Charter Schools.

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

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REPORT CARD: 3/15/17 – Wrapping Up the 2016-2017 School Year

Professional Development Committee Co-Chair, David Newman (Indianapolis Public Schools) shares the committee’s plan to implement Professional Development for arts specialists and arts integration in the pilot schools.

In March, we hosted a hugely successful Year II wrap-up meeting of arts organizations, teaching artists, and IPS educators at Arts for Learning. This gathering featured year-end presentations by initiative leaders who have worked this year in addressing gaps in arts education. Brenda Johnston, Butler University (Goal 1), secured approval of the external communications toolkit; and a plan for parent engagement; Andrew Black, Central Indiana Community Foundation (Goal 2), presented the baseline criteria for programs and the three tiers of arts organization engagement; David Newman, Indianapolis Public Schools (Goal 3), reported on the scheduling professional development for IPS arts specialists for fall/winter 2017/2018 including teaching artists from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and Greg Wallis, Harrison College (Goal 4), advanced the draft job description for a school arts liaison and proposed a plan for web portal selection process. The March meeting concluded the subcommittee work of the Professional Development Committee, Evaluation & Assessment Committee, and Budget & Resources Committee. Only the Creative Engagement Committee has plans to continue meeting this spring/summer as they prepare to celebrate National Arts in Education Week in September.

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REPORT CARD: 12/9/16 STEERING COMMITTEE: Building Momentum

Professional Development for teachers, teaching artists, and arts administrators is a priority need, as identified by IPS teachers, and this month we are bringing the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to Indianapolis to conduct training for over 150 such educators in Arts Integration.

The Kennedy Center definition for Arts Integration is: “An approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both.”

During the last few months, the collective also identified eight schools for piloting general arts education partnerships next school year including two with a focus on Arts Integration. The momentum has been tremendous! The next steps are to:

  1. Finalize the program plan narrative
  2. Adopt the proposed evaluation protocols
  3. Establish a budget for implementation
  4. Develop funding strategies.

In February, these recommendations will be presented to the Governing Council for Any Given Child Indy,  co-chaired by IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee and Arts Council of Indianapolis President & CEO Dave Lawrence. 

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

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REPORT CARD: 11/11/16 STEERING COMMITTEE: Adopting a Vision Framework

Last month, the Steering Committee adopted a Vision Framework for Any Given Child Indy. This framework is a management matrix describing cross-functional describing cross-functional activities, cross-project programs and other ways the Any Given Child Indy initiative is working to address inequities in arts education in Indianapolis Public Schools. The Vision Framework makes it clear that the #1 priority for Any Given Child Indy is to fill the current gaps in arts-as-curriculum (e.g., 20% of IPS K-8 students have access to dance instruction). The framework also clarifies that:

  • Co-curricular activities such as field trips act as key enhancements to arts-as-curriculum; and
  • While arts integration training will be offered to all K-8 teachers, Any Given Child Indy will identify only two schools to pilot a full arts integration model.

Other key decisions at this meeting included:

  • To adjust the district-wide evaluation from one year to every three years; and
  • To distribute a monthly status update to all committee co-chairs in order to provide updates to their committee members.

In attendance at last month’s committee meeting were Dr. Wanda Legrand, Deputy Superintendent for Academics for Indianapolis Public Schools; JoEllen Rossebo, President & CEO, Arts for Learning; Greg Wallis, Chief Financial Officer, Harrison College; Dr. Yvonne Stokes, Academic Improvement Officer, Indianapolis Public Schools; Gail Strong, VP of Community Engagement, WFYI; Jason Kelly, Director, IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute; Rilyn Gipson; and Arts Council education partnerships staff.

In December, the working committees will address issues such as parent engagement and will continue discussions about how to best keep committee members informed about the progress of this initiative. As staff for the initiative, the Arts Council will work to ensure that these monthly blog posts share the most significant updates, but I also invite anyone with additional questions to phone me at (317) 631-3301 to talk more. 

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

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