Sarasota chosen for JFK Center Arts Education


Sarasota, FL: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has chosen Sarasota, Florida as the sixth partner city for Any Given Child, a program that creates a long-range arts education plan for students in grades K-8. The program will incorporate existing resources of the Sarasota Public Schools system, along with those of local arts organizations and the Kennedy Center to create a plan for arts education specific to the city. The city joins partnerships in Sacramento, California; Springfield, Missouri; Portland, Oregon; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Any Given Child seeks to bring access, balance, and equity to each child's arts education, using an affordable model that combines the resources of the school district, local arts groups, and the Kennedy Center. With the assistance of expert consultation services provided by Kennedy Center staff and other professionals, community leaders develop a long-range plan for arts education that is tailor-made for the school district and community.

"Sarasota is home to a wealth of vibrant arts organizations, and I commend Mayor Suzanne Atwell, Superintendent Dr. Lori White, and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for their commitment to enhancing the lives of Sarasota students," said Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser. "A strong arts education improves students' intellectual, personal, and social development. The Kennedy Center wants to ensure that every child receives a solid, meaningful arts education from kindergarten through eighth grade."

"Sarasota is honored to join in partnership with the Kennedy Center's Any Given Child Initiative, said Mayor Suzanne Atwell. " This is an extraordinary opportunity to enhance the value of arts education in our schools and in our community."

"The Sarasota County School District faculty and staff are very excited to have been selected to participate in the Any Given Child initiative along with the City of Sarasota and the outstanding organizations representing the local arts community," said Superintendent of Schools Lori M. White. "The partnership with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will help us expand our longstanding commitment to ensuring that every child in our district shares in the rich cultural and artistic opportunities the Sarasota community has to offer."

By working with other local arts organizations and using existing resources, the program aims to create little administrative overhead, remaining affordable. The first phase of the program, a comprehensive audit of existing arts education resources and needs assessment by Kennedy Center staff and consultants, is the first step. A review of the community and the school system will reveal what arts education resources currently exist, and what arts organizations and other community groups offer. Based on this information, a plan is created. The audit process takes approximately six to nine months.

During phase two of the program, a community committee makes recommendations to the school district and local arts groups on how best to implement the recently created long range plan, focusing on increasing arts opportunities for K-8 students. In addition, educators and artists can take advantage of a wealth of resources available from the Kennedy Center, such as supplemental lessons with online interactive learning modules and videos available at<>, professional development for teachers and teaching artists, and many others. The goal of this second phase is to provide a tapestry of arts education, strategically weaving together existing arts resources within the schools with those available from community providers and the Kennedy Center in order to reach every child.

In 2009, the Kennedy Center and Mayor Kevin Johnson announced the first formal Any Given Child program in Sacramento, California and immediately began phase one of the program in October of that year. Now in the implementation phase, Sacramento has added artist residencies in select schools and provided performing and visual arts experiences for all students K-8 in the two participating school districts. In February 2010, Springfield, Missouri became the second school district to participate in the program. Portland, Oregon joined the program in June 2010, and Las Vegas, Nevada joined in December 2010. Tulsa, Oklahoma joined the program in May 2011. The Kennedy Center is accepting applications from other cities around the country.

About Education at the Kennedy Center
For more than 35 years, the Kennedy Center Education Department has provided quality arts experiences for students, teachers, families, and the general public throughout the United States. In the past year, the Center's education programs have directly impacted more than 11 million people. The resources of the Department focus on producing, presenting, and touring performances and educational events for young people and their families; school- and community-based residencies and other programs that directly impact teachers, students, administrators, and artists through professional development; systemic and school improvement through the arts and arts integrated curricula; partnerships; creating and providing educational materials via print and the Internet; the development of careers in the arts for young people and aspiring professionals; and strengthening the management of arts organizations. For more information, visit the Center's web site at<>.

Any Given Child, part of the Rubenstein Arts Access Program, is generously funded by David and Alice Rubenstein.
Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Education and the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts.
The U.S. Department of Education supports approximately one-third of the budget for the Kennedy Center Education Department. The contents of this document do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

For more information about Any Given Child, please visit<>

For more information about the Kennedy Center visit<>.

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