Investing in Arts Education: Fall 2018

The arts in education allow students to build a way of thinking and learning based on creativity and innovation, which encourages empathy, the ability to embrace risk, and to collaborate on teams or projects: skills that are critical to their educational and life success.

To continue supporting opportunities for Burbank Unified kids to learn and grow through creativity, Burbank Arts for All Foundation announced the outcomes of the Foundation’s 23rd grantmaking cycle at a recent Board of Education meeting.

In September 2018, eight grant applications were received from Burbank Unified School District (BUSD) schools for consideration for funding, including submissions from three elementary schools, one traditional middle school, and both general population high schools, with a total financial request of $29,043.99.

In October, the Foundation’s Board of Directors approved an investment of $14,156.00 in arts education programs in BUSD.

These supplemental funds have been disbursed to the various school sites and are already being put to work during this school year, impacting 1,760 students.

With these funds, the Foundation’s total amount of funding provided to arts education programs in BUSD is now $559,049.97, supporting a total of 297 grant requests.

Click here to read more about the Foundation’s impact.

The supplemental funding given through these grants was also matched with funding from BUSD, school sites, PTA units or a school’s booster club, confirming the importance of every contributing member of the BUSD Arts for All ecosystem.

Highlights of the programs the Foundation invested in this cycle include:

Elementary Schools:

  • Supporting the completion of a long-term auditorium upgrade plan with funding to purchase lighting instruments.
  • A second investment in a school-wide fine arts wheel, this time for dance instruction to support their goal of providing a comprehensive arts learning experience for all students in Transitional Kindergarten through 5th grade. In the 2017-18 school year, the Foundation provided grant funding to support the fine arts wheel’s Woodworking rotation. (To see that impact and watch their video, click here)

Middle Schools:

  • An investment in increasing student achievement through small group and one-on-one instrumental music coaching sessions for instrumental students of all abilities.

High Schools:

  • A second investment in a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) project that forms a collaboration with Marine Biology and Engineering classes to integrate design, creative thinking, and problem-solving skills in the creation and test trials of ROVs (remotely operated vehicles). Last school year, this was a pilot program, and in her final report, Marine Biology Teacher Beth Jacob explained how the collaborative project inspired students to work together and also reach out to other teachers to support their project’s design and success. For example, in the use of the school’s 3D Printers and enlisting the support of the video production class to film their test trials. (To read more about last year’s project, click here)
  • Support for the theater rental of Burbank’s The Colony Theatre for a production of The Crucible, providing students with the experience of working and performing in a professional theatre and to support stronger ties between the school and the local theatre community.
  • To accommodate their growing enrollment, the Foundation supported the purchase of additional percussion instruments to provide opportunities for beginning students to participate in Drumline.
  • Support for World Music and Dance teaching artist workshops from UCLA’s Ethnomusicology department, providing new styles of dance and rhythm techniques to teachers and students that will deepen their knowledge.

Burbank Arts for All Foundation remains committed to fulfilling its mission to ensure every student in Burbank public schools receives a quality arts education as part of their core curriculum and will continue to work in partnership with BUSD and the community to fundraise and advocate for arts education.

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