New Orleans Receives Planning Grant To Boost Arts Education

Sep 19, 2014

Credit Jason Devaun / Flickr

When schools make budget cuts, art class is usually one of the first things to go. But a new initiative could bring arts education back into New Orleans schools.

New Orleans is now the 16th city to participate in a national program aimed at boosting arts education. The Kennedy Center's Any Given Child program helps K-8 schools come up with long-term plans for arts instruction during the school day.

A 2009 KID SmART study found that almost half of Louisiana schools don't have visual arts or music teachers on staff. Even fewer have dance or theater instructors.

Many schools only offer art through after-school programs and require students to find their own transportation.

Any Given Child doesn't directly fund schools, but helps them figure out how to fill gaps in arts education. In other cities — including Baltimore, Austin and Lafayette — the program led to more funding for arts teachers and field trips to live performances. One school district even brought certified art and music teachers back into every elementary school.

Support for education reporting on WWNO comes from Baptist Community Ministries and Entergy Corporation.