The first meeting of the Any Given Child Indy Community Arts Team, led by the Kennedy Center, was dizzying, exciting, and inspiring. There is a great deal of data-driven work ahead, and we have the right people on this team to dream big in order to make big things happen for the children of Indianapolis Public Schools. Today, we broke up into three survey development groups: (1) School Arts Mapping group; (2) School Personnel Survey group; and (3) Arts Organization/Artist Surveys group. We also defined the Working Group – the six individuals who will do most of the implementation work between the monthly meetings of the Community Arts Team. The six Working Group members are: Andrew Black, CICF; Ernest Disney-Britton, Arts Council of Indianapolis; Rilyn Gibson, Statistician; Kristin Hines, Office of the Mayor; Dr. Wanda LeGrand, Indianapolis Public Schools; and Gayle Thomas Strong, WFYI. The next step is to fine-tune the surveys developed today; and then to launch the survey process at the end of November.
IPS, Arts Council, Kennedy Center Join to Push Arts Education
by Wei Chen, IndyStar Arts Reporter
Arts Council Launches National Partnership with Kennedy Center at Start with Art
On September 4, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Indianapolis, Indiana as the 18th site for Any Given Child, a program that creates a long-range arts education plan for students in grades K-8. The program is led by the Arts Council of Indianapolis in partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools, the Office of the Mayor of the City of Indianapolis, and facilitated by the Kennedy Center. The announcement was made on September 4 before an audience of 1,000 local arts and business leaders at the Arts Council’s Start with Art luncheon.
At the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ annual Start with Art luncheon on Friday, September 4, two local arts educators were awarded the 2015 Larry Hurt Excellence in Arts Education ARTI Award. The winners are…
The first 2015 Larry Hurt Excellence in Arts Education ARTI was awarded to Abigail Wolf, an arts teacher known for innovation and creativity at Meredith Nicholson Elementary School. Mary Siefert, Principal of School 96 said of our first honoree, “Creativity is an area of strength for her. She always has ideas that engage the students in learning. She is a rare find: well-trained, ambitious, and dedicated: a competent professional that promotes the love for art among our youth.” In addition to her school duties, this individual teaches a summer program and countless workshops as well as serves on the curriculum development team for Art with a Heart. As part of the nomination, Art with a Heart CEO Andrew Lee said, “She stands out as one of our most committed staff members and she is resourceful, engaged, and passionate about teaching the arts.”
The second 2015 Larry Hurt Excellence in Arts Education ARTI was awarded to Tracey Suchy, an art teacher at West Newton Elementary School in Decatur Township. In addition to her classroom work, she hosts outreach programs to connect the school to the community and recently led the creation of three totems representing Indiana, West Newton Elementary School, and Decatur Township that became the township’s first outdoor art installation. She organized residencies in photography and video game design to support the units of study on the life and work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright and graphic artist M.C. Escher, elevating the level of arts integration and enriching student learning. West Newton principal Susan Strube said, “she works tireless –days, evenings and weekends, with students, visiting artists and community members to ensure that the arts are alive and well at West Newton Elementary.” Joining Arts for Learning in nominating this teacher was Jim Poyser, Executive Director of Earth Charter Indiana. He said, “I work in a lot in schools all over the state. She is by far the most extraordinary art teacher with whom I work.”
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