Point of View

Adrienne Arsht Center Shares Ideas at the Arts Education Luncheon
May 26, 2009, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Education

Community leaders in the arts education field gathered at the Adrienne Arsht Center last Wednesday for a roundtable discussion of the state of arts education in the South Florida community.

Among those in attendance were David Lawrence, President of Early Childhood Initiative Foundation, R.T. Davis, Music Supervisor at Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), Francine Andersen, Chief of Arts Education at Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as deans from various South Florida colleges and universities. The topic at hand was the arts as an essential role in education and how the Adrienne Arsht Center can foster the development of a dynamic, cohesive and exciting teaching environment for students, teachers and parents.

In thinking strategically towards the future, the participants emphasized the critical need for collaborative efforts between arts organizations, the public school system and institutions of higher learning in order to leverage resources and maximize meaningful impact of the arts.

The Center presented its upcoming 2009/2010 arts education program to this group, many of them experts in their field, to obtain their valuable input. With continued programs such as the Jazz Roots classroom residencies, as well as new projects like AileyCamp, the Center is poised to reach out to every child in the public school system with live performing arts events.

  • Beginning in August 2009, the Jazz Roots education program will have a presence in 8 Miami-Dade County Public Schools with national jazz scholars leading classroom residencies focusing on musicianship, composition and artistry, providing students with hands-on, in-depth experience over the course of a week-long residency.  
  • Highlighting the partnership with M-DCPS, the Beyond Boundaries School Program gives ownership of the creative process to both educators and pupils and encourages innovative thinking, self confidence and cooperative learning through school day residencies, distance learning, and teacher training programs.
  •  AileyCamp, in partnership with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will reach out to at-risk youth in the County through an engaging arts education experience. Over a four-week session beginning in July 2009, this summer day camp will serve approximately 80 at-risk youth ages 11-14 from diverse ethnic backgrounds, with the majority of campers coming from minority communities. Through disciplined dance training, creative writing instruction, personal development and communication workshops, AileyCampers will have a meaningful arts experience that will impact their lives far beyond the four-week program.
  • Partnering once again with M-DCPS, the Adrienne Arsht Center will begin a new initiative in 2010 called Learning Through the Arts. In the next five years, the Center will work to build the program so that every child in the public school system will see three live performing arts events over the course of their public school education. The Center will begin this program by bringing all Miami-Dade County 5th grade students to the Center, free of cost, to experience live professional performing arts for three weeks in April 2010. The Center’s first show in this program will be Rock Odyssey, an innovative spin on the Homer classic that chronicles the epic journey in an accessible and theatrical rock opera style, supplemented by curriculum materials and lesson plans.

 The Adrienne Arsht Center plans to lead the way in creating opportunities for exploration and self-expression in the performing arts. The aim of these programs are to foster creative thinking skills, boost self-esteem, expand the horizons of the participants, and provide new and innovate ways of learning traditional subjects through the arts.


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