WASHINGTON, DC.- VSA arts and MetLife Foundation today announced their 5th annual "Arts Connect All" grant opportunity for arts organizations to create or enhance inclusive educational programs by strengthening partnerships with local public schools. A maximum of 10 grants of up to $15,000 each will be awarded to selected programs. The application deadline is December 12, 2008.
"Arts Connect All" has three primary goals: to enable more students with disabilities to experience social, cognitive, and cultural development through arts learning alongside their peers without disabilities; to create educational access and inclusion in the arts for students with disabilities; and to document the contributions that arts organizations make to inclusive education in public schools.
"When students with and without disabilities create art together side by side, it leads to awareness, understanding, and respect," said Soula Antoniou, president of VSA arts. "VSA arts is proud to partner with MetLife Foundation to support organizations who are dedicated to promoting inclusion."
"Research shows that the arts play a crucial role in the cognitive development of children," said Sibyl Jacobson, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. "MetLife Foundation supports initiatives to ensure that all children have access to the arts. We are pleased to partner with VSA arts to support the vital role that these organizations play in their communities."
VSA arts and MetLife Foundation invite proposals from arts institutions whose programs incorporate the following: inclusive teaching practices; access to students with all types of disabilities; development of social, cognitive, and artistic skills; involvement of people with disabilities in planning and implementation; building staff, teacher and/or artist knowledge and skill of inclusive practices; and collaboration with public schools that engages students, parents, and school administrators.
Nonprofit performing and exhibiting arts institutions, including museums, theaters and multi-disciplinary arts presenters, who are creating or have established educational programs are encouraged to apply. Arts organizations in the following cities are eligible: Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles, California; San Diego, California; San Francisco, California; Denver, Colorado; Hartford, Connecticut; Tampa, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Detroit, Michigan; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Kansas City, Missouri; St. Louis,
Missouri; Charlotte, North Carolina; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Portland, Oregon; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; Nashville, Tennessee; Houston, Texas; and Seattle, Washington.
Entries will be reviewed and evaluated by an independent panel of professionals with and without disabilities who work in accessible arts programming, arts education, and/or inclusive education. For more information regarding eligibility and selection criteria and to download an application, please visit http://www.vsarts.org.