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Posted: September 23, 2016

APS, Kennedy Center partnership will lead to more arts ed

District, city, Washington's Kennedy Center to plan for arts opportunities

Kindergarten teacher Otilio Ruiz leads Coronado Elementary choir "Voces de Coronado" in song at Kennedy Center partnership announcement.

The Albuquerque Public Schools and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced an agreement to join forces to provide more arts education opportunities for students.

As part of the Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child initiative, Albuquerque on Thursday became the 22nd community in the nation to join with Washington’s Kennedy Center.

APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy said the district was very excited to begin the partnership. “It was not an easy process—we applied and had to meet with community partners to put the proposal together,” she said.

The first year of the partnership will be a planning year as APS, the Kennedy Center and other partners, including the city of Albuquerque, meet to decide how to expand arts education opportunities for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Barbara Shepherd of the Kennedy Center and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry were at Coronado Elementary School in downtown for the announcement.

Shepherd said that it will be up to the community to chart the course for the best arts education for youth in Albuquerque. “We will facilitate meetings and help guide the process, but each community decides what will work best for them,” Shephard said.

Mayor Berry said that participating in his high school band in Nebraska provided him with an appreciation for the arts. “The band is part of what made my high school experience and I look forward to joining with APS and the Kennedy Center to expand arts education for our community,” Berry said.