Any Given Child

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Dispatch from the Kennedy Center Exchange, February 16–17

Three representatives of the Community Arts Team went to Washington, DC in February to attend the Any Given Child Exchange. Seventeen community teams were represented from Alaska to Florida, including first-year participants and a seventh-year participant. It was two days of lively and informative exchanges of ideas and best practices for arts integration in the schools. Our team included Dr. Yvonne Stokes, Director of Research & Evaluation at Indianapolis Public Schools; Gail Thomas Strong, Vice President for Community Engagement for WFYI-PBS; and myself as Director of Grant Services and Arts Education at the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

Yvonne, Gail, & Ernest We learned from one another’s encounters, and built relationships with our peers around the country. We heard from policy makers and funders such as Dr. Ayanna Hudson from the National Endowment for the Arts, and others from across the country. Exchange participants learned about new rubrics for measuring student success; and we heard examples of innovative approaches to professional development for teachers. My biggest takeaway from the Exchange was that Indianapolis is now preparing to enter the most intensive phase of this five-year program: the “Capacity Building” phase where we will engage teachers and parents, test new ideas, create plans, link partners, and begin fundraising, too. I am so grateful to the Kennedy Center for bringing this opportunity to Indianapolis, and to the Arts Council of Indianapolis for asking me to be part of creating this change. 

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

Report Card 3/4/16: On the Road to Success; Powerful Work by Community Arts Team

Ahmed Young, Director of Education Innovation from the Office of Mayor Hogsett opened today’s meeting of the Community Arts Team. He shared his story of the transformative power of the arts in his own life that led him to not only learn the violin, but ultimately led him to go to law school and serve as a prosecutor. It is one of the many hundreds of stories that are driving the efforts in Indianapolis with Any Given Child Indy. Today’s group was charged and inspired as we again reviewed the data from 1,200 teachers and 53 arts organizations, and began listing dozens of strategies to help transform the lives of the 20,000 K–8 students in Indianapolis Public Schools through the arts. 

AGC CATToday was a reminder that the road ahead is a 5-year journey; that it will take many more voices and hands to make change happen; and that it will take the artistic expertise of many artists and arts organizations to ensure its success. According to the Kennedy Center facilitators, the energy in the room today was powerful, and I know I left changed by that energy and ideas in the room. We are coming to the end of the strategic planning year, and will soon be moving into the implementation phase for the 2016-2017 school year.

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

Take the Pledge to Support Any Given Child Indy!

Take the Pledge

Is arts education important to you? Do you believe in the work that the Any Given Child Indy team is doing to bring equity to arts education for students in K-8 in Indianapolis Public Schools? If your answer is “Yes!” to these questions, please declare your support by taking our pledge!

By signing your name, we ask that you start a conversation about the importance of arts education with friends and family, support arts education by attending a youth performance, and share Any Given Child Indy updates on social media.

By declaring your support, you are also signing up to receive periodic updates about Any Given Child Indy via email. Please share the pledge with friends, family, colleagues, and whoever else would be interested in declaring their support to bring equity to arts education in IPS schools!

EVENT: March 14 Conversation About Education at Central Library

Conversations

Do you care about kids? Do you care about arts education?

If so, we have the perfect event for you!

Please join WFYI, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Public Schools, the City of Indianapolis’ Office for Education Innovation, and IndyPL in a Conversation about Education at Central Library on March 14 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.

Using data provided by 1,200 teachers, 66 schools and 53 arts organizations, panelists will provide the foundation for creating expanded high-quality art opportunities for K–8 students in Indianapolis Public Schools and area charter schools. This conversation will be moderated by WFYI’s Sharon Gamble, co-host of Art of the Matter on 90.1. Be sure to attend this discussion to learn more about arts education and the Any Given Child Indy initiative in collaboration with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Download an event flyer here.

Voices for Any Given Child Indy: Reflecting on the past, hoping for the future

 

Andrew Black Community Arts Team Member & Community Investment Officer, Central Indiana Community Foundation

Andrew Black
Community Arts Team Member & Community Investment Officer
Central Indiana Community Foundation

What I have learned is that the arts not only offer countless benefits related to the cultural, entertainment, and economic development of a city or a region, but they can also be transformational for our most important and oftentimes most vulnerable populations: young children.

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