On May 16, 50 local supporters of arts education joined the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Public Schools, and WFYI at Sun King Brewery to discuss the importance of arts education, to learn more about Any Given Child Indy, and to participate in arts activities while enjoying Sun King’s craft beer. The event was part of the Think & Drink series, a partnership between WFYI and Sun King Brewery.
Event attendees were very engaged and eager to talk about their ideas to address the top 3 barriers to arts education in Indianapolis Public Schools: funding, instructional time, and transportation. Attendees were also given the opportunity to share these ideas with members of the Any Given Child Indy Community Arts Team and make connections with fellow arts education supporters in Indianapolis.
In addition, those in attendance enjoyed participating in a variety of arts activities including connect the dots puzzles, coloring on craft paper, and reminiscing about their favorite childhood arts experiences. Some memories included taking a dance class with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, making jewelry in 4th grade, learning to make origami for a 6th grade book project, and playing an instrument in high school marching band.
Didn’t get to attend but wish you had? Be on the lookout for upcoming Any Given Child Indy events and ways in which you can become more involved in bringing equity to arts education, K-8, in Indianapolis Public Schools. Stay updated through this website and our Any Given Child Indy monthly e-newsletters.
Dr. Wanda Legrand, Community Arts Team Member and Deputy Superintendent for Academics Indianapolis Public Schools
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.
Dr. Preston Bautista Community Arts Team Member & Deputy Director for Public Programs and Audience Engagement, Indianapolis Museum of Art
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