Schools to Get $700,000 in Private Grants

June 10, 2014
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Several East Boston Public Schools will share in $700,000 in grant money provided by EdVestors as part of the Boston Arts Expansion Fund. The money going to the Eastie schools will go towards arts education programs in the school.

The Adams Elementary School, Bradley Elementary School and O’Donnell Elementary School will receive $100,000 to team up with the Community Music Center of Boston for choral, instrumental, dance, and theater instruction.

The Otis Elementary School will get $10,000 to team up with OneWorld Classrooms for visual and media arts classes.

The Adams Elementary School will team up with VSA Massachusetts with the help of $69,000 for choral, instrumental, visual arts, theater, spoken word classes.

East Boston High School and the Mario Umana Academy will receive $38,000 to team up with Zumix in Eastie to implement choral, instrumental, creative technology and songwriting classes.

The BPS Arts Expansion Fund at EdVestors facilitates partnerships between individual Boston public schools and local artists and arts organizations to develop arts programming in schools. The Fund is part of the broader BPS Arts Expansion Initiative, a citywide effort to increase access to high-quality arts opportunities for BPS students.

Schools will partner with local artists and arts organizations to provide theater, visual arts, dance, choral and instrumental instruction, media arts and more to the students.

“We are proud to support schools in Charlestown and East Boston and across the city as they work to improve access to quality arts education for their students.” said Laura Perille, Executive Director of EdVestors. “As shown in our recent research, these programs offer invaluable opportunities for students to learn, engage and thrive in the public school setting.”

The BPS Arts Expansion Initiative began as a three-year, $2.5 million effort to expand arts education, with a focus on increasing access, equity, and quality. Now it is a$10 million effort that has expanded arts education and programming by 14,000 students.

Eighty-seven percent of students in grades pre-kindergarten through eight now receive weekly, yearlong arts instruction, a 19 percent increase since 2009. Access to arts for high school students has doubled during the same period. Key goals of the Initiative include expanding arts instruction during the school day, building the district’s capacity to provide programming, and improving coordination of partnerships with arts and cultural groups and higher education to support increased programming in the schools.

As a result of this success, Mayor Walsh will announce at the BPS Citywide Arts Festival on Friday June 6 that leaders of the Barr Foundation, the Boston Foundation, the Klarman Family Foundation, and the Linde Family Foundation have committed over half of the funds toward an additional $2.5 million dollar goal to support the program through 2018.

“Together with other lead funders, the Boston Foundation is pleased to be part of this tremendous collective effort that has had such impact for Boston students, schools, and arts organizations” Said Paul Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We are energized to join with other leaders in the city and Mayor Walsh for the third phase of this Initiative.”

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