GENESEE COUNTY — Carman- Ainsworth was one of 13 local schools awarded a 2016-17 transportation grant from the Arts & Culture Trek grant program, according to a November 18 press release.
Michigan Youth Arts, on behalf of the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs (MCACA), announced the grants totaling $40,000 to be awarded to schools statewide to subsidize the transportation costs of field trips.
Open to all Michigan K-12 arts educators, the program offered individual grants of up to $500 per school, which is to be used to cover the transportation cost of an arts or culture-related field trip. This year 128 schools were awarded money to support their field trips.
Other Genesee County recipients are Columbiaville Elementary School; Fenton Schools; Flint Hamady High School, Flint Northwestern High School; City School in Grand Blanc; Cook and Anderson elementary in Grand Blanc; Lilian G. Mason in Grand Blanc; Montrose Community Schools; Kuehn- Haven Middle School in Montrose; Otter Lake Elementary and Lacure Elementary in Clio.
Since 2012, the Arts & Culture Trek grant has supported field trips for more than 87,000 students throughout the state of Michigan. To apply for the grant, teachers must choose from among more than 200 pre-approved arts and cultural institutions that offer educational programming, exhibits, or performances that enhance the arts and humanities curriculum outside the classroom.
Popular field trip destinations include the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Flint Institute of Music, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Henry Ford, and the Frederick Meijer Gardens.
“The Arts & Culture Trek grant program has been so successful over the years because it greatly benefits three distinct groups,” said Marianne Dorais, Executive Director of Michigan Youth Arts. “Local arts and cultural institutions see a spike in attendance and ticket sales; teachers are able to strengthen their curricula by incorporating hands-on learning techniques; and students gain access to powerful arts and cultural experiences that they otherwise may have never had.”
A survey released by Michigan Youth Arts, entitled Arts Education in Michigan, revealed that over 108,000 students go to school each day without some sort of exposure to music, visual art, theatre, dance, or creative writing. Additionally, many schools cited transportation costs as a significant barrier to arts-related field trips and this has grown increasingly worse.
“What’s amazing about this program is that it also has an impact on the state level,” said John Bracey, Executive Director of MCACA. “The grant requires teachers to write letters to their legislators that describe the positive experiences that their students had. This advocacy aspect of the grant is the driving factor that will help shift the school budgeting landscape to one that is more inclusive of the arts.”
Arts & Culture Trek Grant Program Statistics:
2012 Spring: $33,812 in awards granted serving 7,500 students. Funding supported by MCACA. 2012 Fall/Winter: $20,000 in awards granted serving 5,800 students. Funding supported by Ovation and Comcast
2013 Spring: $70,000 in awards granted serving 19,500 students. Funding supported by MCACA and the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation.
2014 Winter: $55,000 in awards granted serving 14,200 students. Funding supported by MCACA.
2015 Winter/Spring: $60,000 in awards, serving 15,000 students. Funding supported by MCACA.
2015-16 School Year: $60,000 in awards, serving 14,200 with funding supported by MCACA.
2016-17 School Year: $40,000 in awards, serving 11,000 with funding supported by MCACA.
Michigan Youth Arts is an alliance of 13 statewide education associations that work together collaboratively. Learn more at www.michiganyoutharts.org.
The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) is part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. It serves to encourage, initiate and facilitate an enriched artistic, cultural and creative environment in Michigan. For more on its initiatives and programs, visit www.michiganbusiness.org/community/council arts- cultural-affairs/