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Maryland State Arts Council Announces Grant Awards to Schools

Maryland State Arts Council Announces Grant Awards to Schools

September 15, 2016Press Release

Baltimore, Md. - In celebration of National Arts Education Week, The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) announces grant awards to 194 schools in 18 of Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore City for Fiscal Year 2017. Through these awards, Artists in Residence will visit public and private schools and conduct residencies in performing arts, visual arts, poetry, and playwriting for K-12 students, including underserved, special needs, and juvenile detention center populations. Additionally, grants to 71 "Visiting Performer" artists will enable them to offer discounts to schools and other educational institutions statewide that provide financial support for quality arts performances and workshops for students.

The Maryland State Arts Council's Arts in Education (AiE) Program is designed to promote, strengthen, and enhance the arts and arts education in Maryland's elementary and secondary schools and other community settings through residencies and performances. The MSAC's AiE program is one of the top five in the country in number of students served and grants size.

The MSAC Artist in Residence (AiR) program provides grants to Maryland schools that cover half the cost of a teaching artist residency, including travel. The artists on MSAC's AiR Roster specialize in harnessing the arts as tools for learning and are available to lead hands-on, intensive arts workshops in Maryland schools.

"I want to thank the Maryland State Arts Council for continuing to lead the way as a valued advocate for the arts across our state," said First Lady Yumi Hogan. "Through MSAC's Arts in Education initiatives, Maryland students have the opportunity to foster their ingenuity and their creative spirit, all while ensuring that our state's arts community continues to grow and thrive."

A sample of this year's residencies and performances:

Magical Experiences Arts Company (MEAC), a performing arts company led by founder Joanne Lewis Margolis, works exclusively with people with disabilities. MEAC will provide a therapeutic, interactive residency to the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents, a mental health residential facility in Baltimore County for youth who have been diagnosed with Severe Emotional Disturbances.

Candace Wolf, a storyteller, will provide a residency to Rock Creek Forest Elementary School in Montgomery County called "Honoring Our Elders," a unique program where students interview elders in the community, designed to strengthen students' language arts and public speaking skills, while simultaneously sharpening their ability to analyze the meaning of historical and societal events.

Bomani, also a Young Audiences of Maryland teaching artist, is a seasoned performer and teacher who will travel to Buckingham Elementary in Worcester County on the Lower Eastern Shore, to teach students about the exciting world of hip-hop songwriting while writing verses about subjects they study in class.

MSAC's Visiting Performers include Janice Curtis Greene, currently the President of the Griots' Circle of Maryland and a resident artist with the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. Through Ms. Greene's performance students take a historical journey to freedom through the eyes of African American Woman who have fought for freedom from slavery and against segregation such as Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks.

"The partnerships developed between school-based arts education programs and professional artists elevate and expand the experiences for students," said Ken Skrzesz, Coordinator of Fine Arts for the Maryland State Department of Education. "My visits to arts classrooms across the state have allowed me to witness, first-hand, the power of this collaborative approach and our students' lives are richer for them."

On average, MSAC residencies and performances serve approximately 185,839 students in 497 schools, including 34 Title I schools.