Every child in our community has the opportunity to experience and participate in arts and culture through experiences in their schools, out-of-school programs and with their families.
Every child must have the opportunity to experience arts and culture — in classes, through professional arts or cultural experiences or by participating in lessons and training. The community must provide robust arts and culture education opportunities to students of all ages, both in school and out of school; coordinate efforts among arts and cultural organizations, education providers, government and others to advocate for restored arts education, while closing gaps in educational programming through a unified initiative. Arts education and cultural experiences must be connected to curricula from pre-kindergarten through post-secondary, creating “cradle to career” opportunities and pathways for young Greater Louisvillians.
Students with high participation in the arts have higher test scores and graduation rates. Arts in education, developing creativity and critical thinking, grows a more innovative and competitive workforce. Students highly involved in the arts are three times more likely to graduate high school and have higher test scores than their peers with no arts involvement. These outcomes are even more pronounced for low-income students. Arts and culture can play a critical role to reach the community-wide goal of 55,000 Degrees.
Schools remain critical to a young person’s education, but so too is the learning happening in arts and culture spaces such as museums, libraries, afterschool sites, community centers, at home, and online. In today’s fast-paced environment, a new model is necessary to provide children and families with easy access to meaningful and rewarding experiences wherever they are, especially in marginalized communities.
THIS PRIORITY ALREADY IN ACTION
Louisville Youth Orchestra
Louisville Youth Orchestra (LYO), founded in 1958, offers an extraordinary musical experience for 350+ young people from grade school through age 21. For example, the LYO Presto! Strings program provides free beginning string instruction to 30 at-risk students from Lincoln Performing Arts School and each year LYO presents a free concert for middle school students throughout the region.
After School Urban Arts Collaborative
The After School Urban Arts Collaborative provides youth with year-round intensive arts training. Youth served attend one of three arts training programs: River City Drum Corp, La’Nita Rocknettes School of Dance, and West Louisville Performing Arts Academy. Annually, these programs engage more than 200 youth ages 2 to 18, the majority of which live or go to school in West Louisville, with weekly cultural enrichment programming. Programs are designed to teach students to master an art form while also increasing participant graduation rates, college enrollment and job placement rates, school attendance and grade point averages.
Expand out-of-school programming to reach every child, with a priority on children in the most at-risk neighborhoods.
ACTION A: Develop a pilot program focusing on low-performing schools or GLP neighborhoods of concentrated poverty that will track student arts and culture participation alongside academic performance and personal development.
ACTION B: Create a “youth arts and culture council” to advise and engage on the development of youth-centric arts and educational activities to build out and scale the opportunities for youth arts training across the community.
ACTION C: Enhance and expand the Cultural Pass to provide more opportunities for young people to participate.
1. Partner with school systems to integrate the Pass into classroom activities.
2. Measure impact on student summer learning loss.
3. Explore expansion to year-round.
Expand arts and culture in schools and classrooms.
ACTION A: To facilitate deeper learning outcomes, advocate to have art teachers in every school.
ACTION B: Ensure every child has field trip opportunities to area arts and culture activities and institutions as
well as opportunities for in-classroom workshops and residencies.
ACTION C: Help teachers integrate art into the classroom.