By Ryan Strand
Cincinnati Public Schools
On October 17, ArtsWave’s “More Arts More Kids” initiative took its first steps as 2,500 Cincinnati Public School (CPS) third graders attend daytime performances of The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s (TCT) production of “SpongeBob The Musical: Youth Edition” at the Taft Theatre.
“More Arts More Kids” is designed to provide every student in grades 1-6 with an annual arts field trip. This year’s pilot program with CPS will include the third-grade trips to TCT, a visual art field trip to the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) for all fourth graders, funded by Florence Koetters; and a Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Young People’s Concert at Music Hall for a portion of the district’s first graders. Over the following school years, additional grades will be introduced to the arts at venues across the region, with a total of 50,000 kids going on trips over the course of the pilot program.
“At ArtsWave, one of our strategic goals is to ensure every child experiences our region’s arts. We’re thrilled to partner with CPS to offer their students the benefits of engaging with arts programming regardless of their socio-economic status. These trips not only provide students exposure to our amazing arts institutions but also connect them to a larger world of people, places and ideas,” says ArtsWave President and CEO Alecia Kintner.
Such exposure and connection help students develop social-emotional skills such as tolerance and empathy. Additionally, students who attend multiple arts field trips demonstrate higher levels of school engagement, increased conscientiousness and perform better on their end-of-grade standardized tests.
“Cincinnati Public Schools is committed to expanding its cultural experiences in the arts for all students and this is a positive step in the right direction,” Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent and CEO Iranetta Rayborn Wright said. “Our longtime partnership with ArtsWave provides a direct pathway for our students to engage in local arts programming, thus furthering our goal to give our students a well-rounded education that nurtures creativity, ignites innovation and enriches their lives.”
The “More Arts, More Kids” program addresses ArtsWave’s Blueprint for Collective Action goal of Fueling Creativity and Learning in All Kids Through the Arts. ArtsWave regularly invests in arts education to promote the development of 21st-century skills by ensuring that all children in the region, particularly those who may be underserved, have equitable access to meaningful arts experiences.
The “More Arts, More Kids” program is facilitated by ArtsWave and funded, in part, through donors to the 2023 ArtsWave Community Campaign. ArtsWave will continue seeking funds for this program in the upcoming 2024 campaign.
To support ArtsWave and more programs like this, visit artswave.org.
The initial scheduled “More Arts, More Kids” dates and experiences are:
November 20-21, 2023 & March 13 & 19, 2024.
First graders attend Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Young People’s Concerts (YPCs). Running since 1920, YPCs continue to be crucial to establishing musical curiosity and appreciation in children. The concerts help introduce young people to orchestral music and facilitate their love for it. Attendees can look forward to interactive and cross-disciplinary experiences that explore the connections between music and creative writing, and music and geometry.
For more information about the “More Arts, More Kids” initiative, contact Ray Gargano, ArtsWave’s Vice President of Community Investments at email@example.com