Imagine if...

Every child in our community has the opportunity to experience and participate in arts and culture through experiences in their schools, out-of-school programs, and with their families.

Every child must have the opportunity to experience arts and culture — in classes, through professional arts or cultural experiences, or by participating in lessons and training. The community must provide robust arts and culture education opportunities to students of all ages, both in school and out of school; coordinate efforts among arts and cultural organizations, education providers, government, and others to advocate for restored arts education, while closing gaps in educational programming through a unified initiative. Arts education and cultural experiences must be connected to curricula from pre-kindergarten through post-secondary, creating “cradle to career” opportunities and pathways for young Greater Louisvillians.

Students with high participation in the arts have higher test scores and graduation rates. Arts in education, developing creativity and critical thinking, grow a more innovative and competitive workforce. Students highly involved in the arts are three times more likely to graduate high school and have higher test scores than their peers with no arts involvement. These outcomes are even more pronounced for low-income students. Arts and culture can play a critical role to reach the community-wide goal of 55,000 Degrees.

Schools remain critical to a young person’s education, but so too is the learning happening in arts and culture spaces such as museums, libraries, afterschool sites, community centers, at home, and online. In today’s fast-paced environment, a new model is necessary to provide children and families with easy access to meaningful and rewarding experiences wherever they are, especially in marginalized communities.

Strategy 1

Expand out-of-school programming to reach every child, with a priority on children in the most under-resourced neighborhoods.

  • Action 1 – Develop a shared home for West Louisville youth arts organizations with shared services to expand the number of children participating
  • Action 2 – Develop neighborhood-based opportunities for after-school arts programs

Strategy 2

Expand arts and cultural integration in classrooms and arts education across the school system.

  • Action 1 – Advocate for certified arts teachers in every school.
  • Action 2 – Advocate for arts education in every school with regional school districts and Kentucky Department of Education
  • Action 3 – Increase funding for curriculum-based arts and culture residencies, workshops, and field trips so that children at every school and every age have the opportunities to experience the arts in their classroom, and in museums, theatres, and cultural sites.