Western Middle School for the Arts 7th Grade band

The Fund for the Arts has announced the launch of its EVERY CHILD Arts Education Initiative, designed to increase and re-enforce opportunities for Louisville area children to have access to the arts as a critical component of their overall educational experience. The initiative is comprised of multiple programs. The announcement was made on Monday, October 17 at Western Middle School for the Arts in west Louisville.

The vision for the Fund for the Arts is for every child in the region to participate in the Arts each year of their education.  The EVERY CHILD Arts Education Initiative includes six distinct programs serving all grade levels and establishing experiences across all Arts disciplines: drama, theatre, music and visual arts.  It is anticipated that during the 2011-2012 school year, the EVERY CHILD Arts Education Initiative will fund more than 40,000 arts experiences through nearly $400,000 in direct grant support to our schools.

“The Fund for the Arts is excited to invest in the future of our community by giving school children the opportunity to engage in the arts,” said Barbara Sexton Smith, acting president and CEO of the Fund for the Arts. “There is no greater thrill than watching a child smile and respond to the arts in a way that inspires them.”

As part of the launch, 62 artists visited 62 JCPS elementary schools participating in 5×5 at 11 a.m. the same morning as the announcement.  5×5 is the broadest component of the EVERY CHILD initiative.  Students in each of the school will get an up close and personal education session with a professional artist.

The six component programs are:  Cultural Partner Education Programs, 5×5, Hear the Music!, Scholastic Art Awards, School’s Out = Art’s In!, and Teacher Arts Grants.

The Fund for the Arts Cultural Partners offer a variety of education programs in all arts disciplines.  Each of these programs is connected to Commonwealth of Kentucky’s core educational content and complements what students are learning in classrooms.  From Math + Mosaics by Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft to We Sing America which tours American history through song by Kentucky Opera, the programs are impactful and exciting.  Estimated annual investment by the Fund for the Arts and our Cultural Partners in educational programming is $3.8 million.

5×5, launched in the Fall of 2010, works with JCPS elementary schools to provide their students with a continuum of Arts experiences, at least 5, by the 5th grade through consulting and grant support.  During the 2010 school year, 58 Jefferson County Public Schools participated in 5×5 and the Fund for the Arts provided funding for 273 projects providing 33,500 Arts experiences. Currently, 62 JCPS elementary schools are participating.

Hear the Music! Is the combination of regular hearing screenings and hearing loss prevention education for middle school students.  Students are also given the opportunity to experience professional musicians up close, increasing their awareness of the impact of their ability to hear on their quality of life. The program was developed in partnership with the Heuser Hearing Institute. During 2010 school year, 555 students participated with 290 of those student JCPS students were screened, resulting in further evaluation being recommended for 21 students.

Fund for the Arts partners with JCPS to allow local visual arts students to compete in the National Scholastic Arts Awards, the longest‐running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teenage students grades 7 ‐12.  In 2010, from the local regional competition, 208 individual Gold Medal works and 66 Gold Medal portfolios were sent to NYC for national judging.  17 art students from the Louisville Metropolitan region received prestigious national Awards and were recognized at Carnegie Hall in New York City in June 2010.

School’s Out = Art’s In! provides opportunities for community centers to access, schedule and enjoy free summer arts programs and experiences for children.  Programming is provided in 13 area community centers administered by Louisville Metro Parks. Each summer, community centers offer a broad range of activities for children and teens, but few have the necessary funding to engage artists or organizations to provide arts camps. Through School’s Out=Art’s In! the Fund for the Arts will make grants to community centers to enable access to arts programming that suits the needs and interests of each.

Teacher Arts Grants (TAG), established in 1989, are provided to schools in the Jefferson, Oldham, Bullitt, and Shelby Public School Systems as well as Louisville Archdiocese in KY as well as the Greater Clark and West Clark School systems in Indiana.  TAG providing funding for schools to bring artists into their school to go on field trips involving Fund for the Arts Cultural Partners.  In the 2010-2011 school year, more than 65 schools received grants providing more than 11,500 arts experiences.

Sponsors of these programs include: Louisville Metro Government and PNC as major supporters of the EVERY CHILD Initiative, Chase and the Community Foundation of Louisville as major supporters of 5×5, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in support of Hear the Music!, AT&T and The Community Foundation of Louisville in support of School’s Out=Art’s In, and Stites & Harbison, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, Louisville Archdiocese, Brown-Forman, the Wood & Marie Hannah Foundation, and In Memory of Mr. Donald S. Bornstein as additional supporters of the EVERY CHILD Arts Education Initiative.

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