Arts education gets funding boost at eight “turnaround” schools

Posted on: February 22, 2013

In this week’s (2/22) Washington Post magazine, Anne Midgette writes, “In a second-floor classroom in an Anacostia elementary school, the pupils are about to be exposed to Great Art: The cellist Yo-Yo Ma is bringing in his Stradivarius. The kids have been told how important Yo-Yo Ma is, and one wall is lined with press photographers and TV cameras. … Everyone is fully prepared for art to happen, but Ma has yet to make his entrance. But that’s fine. As many schools are learning these days, art can take a while to pay off. Savoy Elementary is one of eight in the country earmarked by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities as a ‘turnaround’ school—one in dire need of help. For three years, each of the eight is ‘adopted’ by a well-known artist (in Savoy’s case, the actress Kerry Washington) and receives a tremendous funding boost to institute arts programs ($14.7 million for the eight). This is based on a new belief—after years of emphasis on standardized testing—in the power of the arts. … Education, furthermore, helps arts organizations bring in new donors. ‘Money for education is coming from people who might not otherwise have an interest in giving,’ says Carol Bogash, vice president for education (a new post) at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which earmarks $2 million of its $27 million annual operating budget for education.”

Posted February 22, 2013