By: Mark Robinson, Anthem Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky Public Relations Director
The first thing you notice when you walk into the gym is the energy. And the noise! The children are warming up for their performance and almost everyone has a huge smile and most are laughing. But not one is standing still. Even before instructor Elizabeth Smith of the Louisville Ballet has them line up for the start of the performance, they’re already leaping, twirling and jumping. They’re here at the Shawnee Boys and Girls Club as part of the Fund For the Arts’ Healthy Living Through the Arts program. They’re learning ballet and the importance of staying active.
Everyday countless organizations in Kentucky work to improve the health of our communities and empower residents to live healthier lives. Led by a multi-generational focus on heart health, cancer prevention, prenatal care, diabetes prevention and active lifestyles, these organizations not only share Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky’s vision for a healthier future, but they are setting the standard with innovative programs that engage and empower residents to take charge of their health. Anthem has a long-standing relationship with the Fund For the Arts. To align our support with our goals, we challenged the FFTA to come up with something that brought the arts and healthy living together. Their response was Healthy Living Through the Arts.
We know that keeping our local communities healthy requires a dedicated partnership with key organizations. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky and the Anthem Foundation committed $40,000 to the FFTA for this innovative program that educates, motivates and encourage the children in these programs to lead healthier lives.
As our local communities change and grow so do the diverse needs of our residents. What’s not changed is our commitment to serving our members and advancing health in Kentucky. It is an honor to work with so many great people and organizations and we look forward to doing so again in the year ahead.
Louisville Ballet provides dance instruction for three distinct programs that make up Healthy Living through the Arts:
Exploring Movement Workshops
400 students in grades K-5th served through a combination of dance and social studies curriculum to create, connect, and perform cultural dances at the following schools: Camp Taylor Elementary School, Wellington Elementary School, Dixie Elementary School and Rangeland Elementary School.
Intense Engagement at Lincoln Performing Arts School
48 students in grades K-1st are participating in beginning ballet classes during after school time over the course of eight weeks. Students receive the same training offered at Louisville Ballet School – the same quality of instruction, expectation of hard work and the focus and dedication to ballet as an art form.
Engagement for At-Risk Students
75 students in grades K-5th are engaging in weekly dance classes over the course of 12 weeks, discussing how dance contributes to an overall healthy lifestyle at Newburg, Shawnee and Parklands Boys and Girls Club