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Showcasing the Arts

Posted: December 9, 2021

Any Given Child - Albuquerque. Reboot 2.0

Welcome message for 2021 from the Governing Board of Any Given Child Albuquerque and Mark Garcia, Executive Director for the Elevated Arts Schools with APS.

WELCOME BACK!  Welcome to our Elevated Arts Schools, Community Partners and Organizations, Teaching Artists and Communities!  Any Given Child Albuquerque and the APS Elevated Arts Schools are excited to continue the work begun over the past few years.  We are ready to share projects that were completed during 2019-2020 and new and projects that are beginning now. 

Any Given Child Albuquerque continues to be a joint venture with several contributing partners: Albuquerque Public Schools, The City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, along with the Albuquerque Community Foundation and McCune Charitable Foundation.  Dr. David Peercy, APS Board President shared this statement: "It is a great honor for APS to be selected to partner with such a nationally recognized and important art organization as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This selection represents the strong emphasis that APS, as well as the Albuquerque community, has on the arts as an educational program within our schools. There is no more important educational program than art to integrate all aspects of diversity within an experiential educational learning experience for our students.”

 Albuquerque Public Schools and the eight Elevated Arts Schools currently participating began to reengage under new leadership in July 2021.  Mark Garcia took the helm from Deborah Elder as the Executive Director for the Office of Innovation.  Thank you Deborah for thoughtful, committed leadership as the Elevated Arts/ Any Given Child Albuquerque initiative took shape over the past few years.  Welcome Mr. Garcia whose vision will lead the initiative forward.

One project completed during 2019-2020 was a series of video lessons created by Any Given Child Teaching Artists and posted on YouTube.  These videos are available to our Albuquerque Community Centers, teachers and families at “Any Given Child ABQ Arts Education Videos.” (link posted above) Topics include writing, poetry, movement and dance, rhythms and music, and art projects of all kinds.  Barbara Peterson, APS Board of Education Committee Chair stated, “Art and music are part of what makes us human.  They engage children intellectually, emotionally, culturally.  As we heal from this hard pandemic, art and music are essential.  Any Given Child is helping us put the arts back into children’s lives every day.  We have empirical evidence that music and art support children’s learning.  More importantly, our hearts tell us that also!” 

Art packs were created to accompany many of the videos so that all the materials needed to present the lessons were packaged for teachers and community center staff.  Providing comprehensive videos and materials allow for unique educational opportunities for children.  Jeff Andersen from Bernalillo County put it this way, “Making sure every student has access to robust educational opportunities is a top priority for the County and ABC Community Schools Partnership. As schools emerge from virtual learning and students begin to recover from the pandemic, arts education is particularly important. Not only does it provide a creative outlet, but the social/emotional and mental health supports inherent in the arts are particularly important right now. It is a joy to collaborate with the Kennedy Center, the City of Albuquerque, and APS to align our resources and work to a day when every student has access to robust arts education experiences.

The Any Given Child Albuquerque governing council began meeting in August 2021 to put in place plans for the year as schools, community centers and teaching artists reengage.  The team includes Mark Garcia, APS, Hakim Bellamy and Diana Delgado, City of Albuquerque, Jeff Andersen, Bernalillo County, and Gina Raskinski and Laurie Johnson from APS.  Mark Garcia stated that arts education “is a great way to give voice to our community and art is a great hook for kids”.  The team is excited to re-connect with our community partners and local organizations to provide support for this ongoing work.