With constant changes occurring in educational expectations, it seems that educators are continually being asked to do more with less, and produce an outcome that is better than before. In these times of trials it is imperative that educators, especially arts educators, explore all avenues, and exhaust all possible resources, in order to create and sustain quality arts opportunities for the kids they teach. Sometimes it’s the lack of knowledge that resources exist, for others it’s the challenge of organizing their time to obtain these resources.
One resource teachers should examine is the Kentucky Arts Council’s TranspARTation grant, a valuable funding source that not only helps expose students to professional level art, but also helps schools align their curricula to the newly adopted Kentucky Academic Standards for the Arts.
Taking effect this past July, the Kentucky Academic Standards for the Arts focus on four processes of the arts: creating, performing/producing/presenting, responding, and connecting. By allowing teachers the use of arts processes, instead of dictation over select content, a keen sense of autonomy is generated and promoted in arts classrooms across the Commonwealth.
Because of this given autonomy, teachers are looking for ways their students can experience the arts outside of the school building. Yes, it’s great to expose students to the dramatic arts through student generated school performances, but what if students could be given the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds the live theater has to offer? What are the barriers to allowing students these opportunities? Money? Scheduling? Resources? Although each of these are important, we should not allow them to stand in the way of offering students quality arts experiences.
The TranspARTation grant is designed to provide Kentucky teachers and students the opportunity to attend quality arts performances outside the school walls through funding for transportation to and from arts performance venues. All Kentucky public and private schools, pre-K through 12, are eligible to apply and grants are awarded yearly. Applying is easy and can be done through the arts council’s website. With no match funding needed, and the dedication of a small amount of time, educators across the Commonwealth can take advantage of this great opportunity for their students to have a quality arts experience.
For more information please visit the Kentucky Arts Council website or contact Jean St. John, the arts council’s arts education director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-564-3757, ext. 486.
Dr. Kyle A. Lee
Coordinator, Visual and Performing Arts
Division of Program Standards
Kentucky Department of Education