GENESEE COUNTY — Carman- Ainsworth is among 56 schools in the state to be awarded a 2016-17 “Arts Equipment & Supplies Grant”, according to a press release.
Michigan Youth Arts, on behalf of the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs (MCACA), last week announced the grants totaling $60,000 to be awarded to schools statewide to subsidize the cost of arts education materials.
Open to all Michigan K-12 arts educators, the program offered individual grants of up to $1,500 per school to pay for arts-related equipment or supplies including but not limited to: visual art, instrumental music, vocal music, theatre, dance, creative writing, media arts, and more, that will be used within a classroom or school setting.
This year 56 schools were awarded funds to support their fine arts and performing arts programs. Other recipients in Genesee County include North Road Elementary in Fenton; and Brownell STEM Academy, Durant Tuuri Mott Elementary and Freeman Elementary, all in Flint.
“As Michigan’s statewide granting agency for the arts, we know how vital it is to help build a strong base for young people in their exposure to the arts, and this begins in the K-12 schools,” said Chad Badgero, Arts Education Program Manager at MCACA. “We already know the arts make a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and have been proven to help level the ‘learning field’ across socio-economic boundaries and strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.”
At the forefront of this program is the mission to benefit the lives of children who need it most.
“One of the things that caught our attention through the Arts Equipment & Supplies grant program is just how meager budgets are at many schools — sometimes literally zero — and to what extent teachers must supplement their classroom budgets with fundraising,” said Annette Frank, Grants Coordinator at Michigan Youth Arts. “Many schools get just a few dollars per child for art supplies, and that barely covers consumables like paper and markers. Where we really have an impact is in helping schools buy things that would exceed their annual art budget, like a drying rack, or camera, or paying to repair a kiln or musical instruments. The need is so great that the grant requests are three or four times what we have available to give out.”
The 2016-17 Arts Equipment & Supplies Grant cycle is the third year for this collaborative effort between Michigan Youth Arts and MCACA. In 2014-15, the inaugural year of the program, $40,000 was awarded to 43 elementary, middle, and high schools across the state. In 2015-16, the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation provided $50,000 in addition to $40,000 from MCACA; these funds benefitted 74 Michigan schools.
In addition to the Arts Equipment & Supplies program, MYA and MCACA have been working together since 2012 to present the ‘Arts & Culture Trek’ grant, for which K-12 schools may apply for up to $500 to cover the transportation costs of an arts- or culture-related field trip.
Michigan Youth Arts is an alliance of 11 statewide education associations that work together collaboratively to develop high quality arts education programming, recognize the contributions of valuable teachers, and provide advocacy resources for parents, educators, and policymakers. Learn more at www.michiganyoutharts.org
The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, serves to encourage, initiate, and facilitate an enriched artistic, cultural, and creative environment in Michigan.