$90,000 NEA grant to Young Audiences for Arts Integration in AA County Schools


Grant to Fund Significant Expansion of Arts Integration Program

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded a $90,000 collective impact grant to expand Young Audiences of Maryland’s Arts Empowered Minds Initiative (AEMI) in Northern Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

The program, which received a NEA planning grant in 2016, utilizes arts integration programming - engaging arts experiences incorporated into educational curriculum - to boost achievement, parental involvement, student engagement and empathy. Programming includes in-school arts integration, out-of-school arts programming and professional development for teachers. With the NEA collective impact grant, the Arts Empowers Minds Initiative will expand from six schools to all 12 public schools in Northern Anne Arundel County and impact more than 7,000 students in grades pre-k through 12.

AEMI’s collective of partners include Chesapeake Arts Center, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, UMBC – Baltimore County, and Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance. Young Audiences of Maryland, a nonprofit that develops and serves arts integration programming to over 180,000 students each year, is the managing partner.

The initiative was created to address the arts-opportunity gap – and associated gaps in student achievement, student engagement and school climate – between students in Northern Anne Arundel County and their Anne Arundel County peers due to unequal access to the arts and less funding for arts programming.

The enhanced AEMI program in 2017-18 will include:

-21 days of teaching artist residency at each of the 12 schools

-The creation of an after-school arts club at each school

-300 hours of arts integration professional development for 188 County teachers

-Student field trips to cultural institutions with follow-up classroom workshops to integrate the experience into the curriculum

-Training for 10 local artists at Young Audiences’ Teaching Artist Institute

-A course at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, to prepare artists to work in schools

In addition, AEMI will partner with community organizations to create family engagement opportunities, such as providing family passes to the new Maker Space at Chesapeake Arts Center.

“During the NEA-funded planning year, we hosted many stakeholder sessions to understand the needs and desires of the community and to develop a shared agenda for tackling these needs. Coming out of these sessions we knew the public will was there to improve the outcomes and lives of children by increasing opportunities to learn and grow through the arts, said Stacie Sanders, Executive Director of Young Audiences. “This second grant from the NEA will allow us to both deepen and expand our reach and maximize existing resources to ultimately bring the impact of arts integration to almost every student in Northern Anne Arundel County.”

“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as Young Audiences and their Arts Empowered Minds Initiative in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”

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