The Bader Foundation hosted three powerhouse presentations in regards to Creative Education last Thursday, June 6--Herzfeld Foundation, Milwaukee Public Schools and The PUblic Policy Forum.
After a welcome introduction by Daniel Bader, Bill Haberman, Herzfeld Foundation, shared impassioned comments about why he and his wife, Carmen, support creative education through their foundation. "The arts go to the essence of being human," he stated. "I challenge you to name another species on this planet that makes art." (Read Mr. Haberman's entire speech here.)
Dr. Gregory Thornton, Superintendent of MPS, shared that students with high level of arts participation outperform students with lower participation and makes a bigger difference to kids from low-income families than high-income backgrounds. Sustained involvement in music and theater are highly correlated with math and reading success. *MPS now at 90% attendance--kids coming because of strong arts programming," Dr. Thornton stated. He went on to outline the MPS vision for arts education:
MPS Arts Education Vision:
1. Want every child to have in and out of school arts experiences.
2. Extended opportunities for students in arts-focused schools. (Elm Creative Arts, Kluge School, Milwaukee High School of the Arts)
3. Dual enrollment, strategic partnerships, special summer programs, internships or other experiences for students exploring arts careers (MIAD!).
"The first is a given, not optional, something every student deserves and will get," Dr. Thornton said. "The other two are value-added, will help our community continue to be a vibrant place."
Anne Chapman, a researcher with the Public Policy Forum, shared results from preliminary research funded by the Herzfeld Foundation regarding the potential for implementing a new community-wide model for providing arts education in Milwaukee. "The purpose of the initial research is to illustrate the current context for community-wide arts education efforts as a way to inform discussions, planning, and future decisions related to the shape of a potential arts education framework in Milwaukee, should the community desire to undertake such an effort," Ms. Chapman said. Read the full report here>