'Any Given Child' Initiative To Benefit Arts Program At Tulsa Public Schools

Tuesday, May 3rd 2011, 12:23 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center for Performing Arts has adopted Tulsa Public Schools for a major new initiative that should help more children learn about the arts.

Right now, at the most, elementary schools have only part time music or art teachers. That will improve some after consolidation.

This new effort from the Kennedy Center will build on that by organizing teachers and arts groups into one system to provide arts education for public schools.

See how Sacramento benefited from the initiative

"Through an audit, a survey of the resources that exists in Tulsa, we'll see if there are any gaps, if there are any places in the community where children are not getting arts resources, it may be that some children are getting more access," Darrell Ayers said. "It's about equity and access to the arts so that we can ensure that every child has access to arts as part of a complete education."

The Kennedy Center Program, called "Any Given Child," starts with a 6 month survey of the available resources. Then recommendations come for the school district and arts groups as to how they could best work together.

"This will ensure that every child no matter what school you're going to, North South East West Midtown, wherever you are in the Tulsa Public Schools system, every child is going to have the same arts experience and that's what we're trying to get to is parity," Ken Busby, Arts & Humanities Council, said.

The announcement comes a day after the Project Schoolhouse vote, which will redistribute resources throughout the schools. The new initiative, at first, will not mean an overall expansion of arts education.

5/2/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Public School Board Approves Plan To Close More Than A Dozen Schools

"I'm not focused on more resources right now, I'm focused on what we need to do to provide every child an equal opportunity in arts and the support will come when we are willing to open ourselves up and say what do we need to do," Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard said.

Tulsa Public Schools says every elementary school should have both art and music teachers next year. The last bond issue is supplying $2.4 million in new money for arts programs.