As a life-long educator, I’ve seen the benefits of arts education countless times. Visual arts, music, dance, theatre, and other opportunities provide students amazing outlets of expression and creativity.
We hope that we are responding to and answering the growing need for cultural organizations like the IMA to take on a larger role as arts educators in the community. As arts education faces cutbacks across the country, the IMA recognizes how essential connections with the arts are, in particular for the youngest and most at risk.
I think we left today’s meeting of the Any Given Child Indy Community Arts Team both energized and exhausted! There has been such amazing progress, but there is also a mountain of work ahead.
After an inspiring welcome from President & CEO of WFYI Public Media Lloyd Wright about the critical importance of arts education, we jumped right into adopting a set of four goals for the work of Any Given Child Indy. These four goals are the framework for an Action Plan that will guide all our work on behalf of students through the end of 2020. The formal goals will be released in detail later, but they focus on:
- uniting schools and arts organizations;
- eliminating district-wide gaps;
- creating robust professional development; and,
- measuring the impacts on students.
The second part of today’s meeting began the planning for Action Strategies for the coming year, and finally, we looked at what governance structure will be needed to make change happen. It was one of our most engaging of meetings, informed by six months of data collection and reflection that will now be leveraged to ensure access to the arts for every child in Indianapolis. Through it all, I was impressed with the depth and breadth of the passion and talent in the room that the Kennedy Center was channeling to improve student success through the arts. Next month, our plan is to adopt a new governance structure that will allow for many more voices to be at the implementation table.
Ernest Disney-Britton, Arts Council of Indianapolis, Director of Grant Services & Arts Education
Looking to connect the dots between arts in education, Indianapolis Public Schools, and local arts organizations? Look no further and join us at Sun King Brewery on Monday, May 16 from 5:30 – 7 pm. Members of the Any Given Child Indy Community Arts Team will be present to begin a discussion with you and your friends about the importance of arts in education. Come learn about the work they are doing to bring equity to arts in education for K-8 students in Indianapolis Public Schools. Click here to find out who is represented on the Any Given Child Indy Community Arts Team.
Besides enjoying Sun King’s craft beer on a Monday night, activities at the event will include reminiscing about your favorite childhood arts experiences and rediscovering your inner child by partaking in fun arts activities.
We encourage you to bring a friend or two to this event. Not able to make it? Please take action and declare your support by signing the pledge and staying up-to-date with our monthly Any Given Child Indy e-news.
Please note this event is limited to guests over the age of 21.
An ongoing and comprehensive arts education program for K-8 students that reflects the richness of the Indianapolis arts community will lay a foundation for lifelong engagement by inspiring students to think in new ways and build their self-confidence.