Jamaica Plain Schools to Benefit from EdVestors Arts Expansion Grants

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Four Jamaica Plain schools are among 75 schools that are receiving $400,000 worth of arts expansion grants from EdVestors.

EdVestors is working with more than 35 arts partners across the city. These grants for the 2021-2022 school year take on new significance in light of results of a longitudinal study released last month detailing the benefits of arts education, including increased student and parent engagement and improved attendance for all students.

In Jamaica Plain, four schools will receive grants to work with arts partners, and one organization will be the arts partner to schools in different neighborhoods.

The Mission Hill K-8 School and Boston Teachers Union K-8 School are working with Rehearsal for Life, an urban improv organization, as its arts partner.

Community Academy (25 Glen Road) is teaming up with arts partner Transformative Culture Project, which works with youth and adult artists to help them create social and economic power through their art.

The Muniz Academy arts is working with arts partner Humano Multicultural Project.

Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts will be the arts partners for the Boston Green Academy in Brighton and the Lee Pilot Academy in Dorchester.

“These critical grants will ensure that students have continued access to high-quality arts programs, which will be more important than ever as we promote joyful learning environments to support students' recovery next fall,” said Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. “When students permanently return to the classroom after more than a year of disrupted learning, arts instruction will play a pivotal role in helping them re-engage with their peers, teachers, and school communities and will improve their social-emotional skill development and overall well-being.”

Last month, EdVestors released a study entitled “The Arts Advantage: Impacts of Arts Education on Boston Students,” which examined the positive impacts arts education has had through more than 600,000 K-12 student-level observations during 11 school years, 2008-2009 through 2018-2019. Such granular data will be invaluable to policymakers and school districts as they make decisions on allocating funding for the arts – both in the long-term and in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic.

“The new research reinforces the purpose of our ongoing BPS Arts Expansion initiative and confirms what we’ve witnessed firsthand over the years. Arts education is a powerful motivator for students to want to attend and engage at school and enables them to express themselves and succeed in ways they often don’t in other subjects,” said Marinell Rousmaniere, President and CEO of EdVestors. “Thanks to our core funders and dedicated partners, we are embarking on the 13th year of BPS Arts Expansion, with the continued goal of increasing equitable access to quality arts education for all of Boston’s public school students.”

“We look forward to partnering with EdVestors once again for this coming school year,” said Alison Croney Moses, Program Director of the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts. “We’re grateful for the support that allows us to ensure that young people have access to essential experiences for their development.”

Since its inception in 2009, BPS Arts Expansion has leveraged increased public funding for arts teaching positions in BPS schools, resulting in nearly 17,000 additional students receiving arts instruction during the school day. BPS arts educators working in partnership with community-based teaching artists and organizations have made this work possible. The initiative continues to focus on expanding access to equitable arts education and deepening arts experiences, while building systems to sustain a high level of arts education long into the future.

Core donors include the Barr Foundation, the Boston Foundation, The Klarman Family Foundation and Linde Family Foundation. Notably, there has been a significant 5:1 return of increased public investment for every private dollar invested through BPS Arts Expansion.

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