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April 26, 2010

What is Arts Partners?

What do they do in Wichita?

Heather Bohrer

Arts Partners, an affiliate of Young Audiences, Inc., is a comprehensive educational program that integrates visual and performing arts into all areas of the curriculum through the planned use of community cultural resources. They inspire creativity and learning by using the arts to enhance the classroom experience for PreK-12 students in collaboration with teaching artists and community cultural organizations. Arts Partners is designed to create a partnership that includes representatives of school districts, teaching artists, and area arts and cultural organizations.

Arts Partners believes that using the arts for learning allows students to better express themselves, develop higher-order thinking skills, enhance their creativity and strengthen their problem-solving abilities. Arts Partners programs are also designed to promote self-esteem and encourage life-long learning.

Several factors resulted in Wichita being chosen to initiate this comprehensive community partnership to develop an innovative arts-in-education program in the public schools:
The Wichita Public School District’s long-term commitment to arts education.
The capacity of cultural organizations to produce in-depth education programs.
The presence of private sector financial resources to support quality arts education.
The willingness of the Wichita Community Foundation to serve as the new organization’s convener until Arts Partners could be established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation in 1998 was also an important factor.

What makes Wichita’s Arts Partners unique?

Wichita’s Arts Partners is the first affiliate of Young Audiences to be organized as a separate non-profit rather than part of a Young Audiences chapter, the first to be implemented district-wide from the start in a major school district with nearly 49,000 students, and the first to develop with the support of so many major community arts organizations.

You can learn more about them on their website.

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