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Posted: December 9, 2021

The Journey Began: A Review of Any Given Child Albuquerque and Elevated Arts Schools

This journey began in 2016 and continues to grow and change. The vision and goals for the organization are presented.

Any Given Child Albuquerque (AGCA) began its journey in 2016 when Superintendent Reedy and then Mayor Berry applied to and was accepted by the John F. Kennedy Center to participate in the Any Given Child program.  The primary goal of the Kennedy Center's Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child program is to assist communities in developing and implementing a plan for expanded arts education in their schools, ensuring access and equity for all students in grades K-8.

 During the 2016-2017 school year, Barbara Shepherd and Deb Brzoska, representatives from the Kennedy Center met monthly with the Albuquerque Community Arts Team (CAT) made up of many local organizations interested in increasing student access to the arts.

The Community Arts Team created the following vision statement and ten-year goals.

Vision:

The Albuquerque Arts Community in partnership with the Albuquerque Public Schools will invest in arts instruction to actualize the potential in the hands of each student to cultivate the wonder of childhood that fosters innovators and to empower their unique expressions of identity in ways that celebrate our diversity and create a flourishing Albuquerque.

Ten Year Goals:

  1. Create arts programs for students that include arts instruction and integration provided by arts specialists, artists, community organizations and classroom teachers in all art forms, for every grade, every year.
  2. Construct culturally relevant arts education that encompasses student identity and diversity, is innovative, and creates a sense of community.
  3. Provide professional development opportunities for teachers, teaching artists and community providers in arts integrations and discipline specific arts education.
  4. Organize systems for clear communication and collection of data to advance advocacy and implementation of community-wide arts policies.
  5. Cultivate funding sources to support implementation of the goals for AGCA.

Any Given Child Albuquerque committees continued to develop processes and hold events for the organization.

  • Elementary and middle schools participated in a needs assessment indicating needs for support in dance and drama.
  • Professional development provided in partnership with Santa Fe Opera and Kennedy Center trainers.
  • Hosted Arts Ed, a media event to share current state of available arts opportunities.
  • Arts Ed included a presentation by Winston Cox, director of Turn Around Arts, another Kennedy Center program.
  • Arts Ed included presentations by students, teachers and community members. 
  • Designed an application process for APS schools to become Elevated Arts Schools.  The schools committed to a three-year reciprocal relationship between the school district and AGCA.
  •  The APS Board of Education supported all APS elementary schools by increasing the number of art and music teachers in the district.
  • Hosted a press conference to introduce the eight new Elevated Arts Schools with Superintendent Reedy, Mayor Keller and Jeannette  McCune from the Kennedy Center.
  • Elevated Arts Schools received training in classroom strategies from MIND POP from Austin Texas.
  • Programming committee developed process for applying to and becoming vetted that artists use to become Teaching Artists with AGCA.
  • Teaching artists applied to AGCA and accepted artists received training from Santa Fe Opera and APS in classroom skills.
  • Teacher training offered at Plunge I, June 2018 and Plunge II, June 2019.  Both events included teachers from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe public schools.
  • Applied for grants and other funding resources to provide pay for teaching artists, supplies and materials and professional development opportunities.
  • Created an organizational framework to systemize processes and structures for AGCA.