National Endowment for the Arts Announces Grant Recipients for Summer Schools in the Arts Program
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announces recipients of its Summer Schools in the Arts (SSIA) program, an initiative designed to enhance the quantity and quality of arts education opportunities for youth and hence to create model programs. Twenty-five grants totaling $680,000 were awarded to organizations in communities ranging from Boston, MA, to Wailuku, HI.
Through these 25 programs, the students create or perform a work while engaging in a focused study of the work’s artistic discipline. In this manner, the students deepen their direct experiences while broadening their understanding of an art form. Students receive at least 90 hours of instruction culminating in a performance or exhibition of their work. The goal is to create rigorous, challenging arts education programs that not only enhance students’ art skills but also their study habits and group interaction skills.
In addition, each of the selected sites will use national or state standards in the arts to assess the degree of learning. NEA Director of Arts Education Dr. Sarah Cunningham said, “Supporting excellent programs in arts education is among the NEA’s primary goals and Summer Schools in the Arts projects demonstrate significant progress towards achieving that goal. These grantee organizations make a lasting impact on the depth of learning for our young people. Aside from the artistic, social, and developmental skills the students gain, the programs often introduce them to the richness of a life filled with aesthetic experiences.”
With evaluation as a primary component of the SSIA program, an outside evaluator will assist the NEA in refining the methodologies that in turn will be provided to the grantee organizations in their own evaluation workshop. The NEA will then distribute the results of the evaluations and learning outcomes from each site to public policy and education decision-makers at the national meetings of the Arts Education Partnership.
Examples of SSIA projects are:
Alaska Arts Southeast, Inc. (Sitka Fine Arts Camp), Sitka, AK: $35,000–The camp recruits renowned artists to be camp teachers. Middle and high school students from throughout Alaska live on-site, engaging in deep study in theater, dance, music, and visual arts.
Friends of NORD, Inc., New Orleans, LA: $35,000–This dance center trains talented inner-city students in a nine-week summer session. Dance students meet with guest artists, bring dance to the community, and finish the session by performing with a guest company.
National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency, located at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20506.