Posted: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 – 12:40 AM
The Music Center announced Tuesday that it received a $3 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation to advance the performing arts center’s pioneering work in arts education, which has been an important focus of the organization since its founding in 1964. The three-year grant will be used to create a new initiative called The Annenberg Next Generation Arts Education Program that “motivates students to think creatively and express themselves, encouraging them to be innovative thinkers who are prepared to work strategically in today’s global economy,” said Rachel Moore, The Music Center president/CEO.
“The Music Center is an immense creative force, especially when it comes to bringing important education programs to the community,” said Wallis Annenberg, chairman/president/CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “I’m thrilled to share the power of the arts with children, enabling the next generation to express themselves creatively, take risks freely and advance their critical thinking skills in ways they may have never imagined.”
“What an incredible vote of confidence for The Music Center to receive this important and prestigious grant, which recognizes our long-standing commitment to arts education and its impact,” said Moore. “We know the arts can help build communities and transform lives and are vital to fostering creativity and innovation, skills that are critical to the future leaders of tomorrow. This funding makes it possible for us to create a system of change by providing increased professional development for teachers and offering educators the creative tools to integrate the arts into the classroom; this work will help ensure the next generation has access to quality arts learning experiences that are integrated into core curriculum.”
Funds from the Annenberg Foundation will help The Music Center expand or develop three specific programs, including its work in arts integration partnerships, in which the organization provides intensive professional development with a focus on classroom support; The Music Center’s Institute for Educators, during which master teaching artists work with classroom teachers, immersing educators in multiple arts disciplines during a dedicated week-long intensive course; and Teaching Artist Training, where The Music Center provides extensive training for teaching artists on how to integrate lessons for their art form into curriculum and align with Common Core and the California Department of Education Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards. Monies will also be dedicated to support and expand many of The Music Center’s current arts education programs including The Music Center On Tour, which are professional performances for school assemblies and community groups; student performances; and professional development programs for educators.
In addition, The Music Center will collaborate with the Annenberg Space for Photography since both organizations will present work focused on Cuba as part of the upcoming Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. The Photography Space will present a photo exhibition called Cuba Is, while The Music Center will present a four-day celebration of Cuban performing artists with Cuba Antes/Ahora; Cuba Then/Now. This collaboration will involve opportunities for high school students to participate in an intensive residency involving visual art and dance.
The Music Center anticipates launching new initiatives in year two and three of the grant with the goal of expanding outreach to both teachers and students, including the exploration of local college and university partnerships and after-school programs.
This grant from the Annenberg Foundation follows the award of three additional grants to The Music Center, including monies from Bank of America to support the performing arts organization’s acclaimed Spotlight scholarship and arts training program; support from the California Arts Council for The Music Center On Tour, along with professional development and arts integration partnerships; and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for a newly launched initiative, The Music Center On Location, which takes programming to venues outside The Music Center campus.