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Federal Grant to Bolster Kennedy Center Work in Arts Education

Efforts by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to expand arts education activities—including the integration of the arts across the curriculum—are getting a boost with a $6.6 million federal grant announced today.

The grant comes as Iowa City and Baltimore recently got word that they would be getting assistance from the Kennedy Center to ramp up and improve arts education offerings under the "Any Given Child" initiative. (See my blog post about the Iowa City announcement last month, and this Associated Press story for the news about Baltimore.) The Kennedy Center initiative is already helping other communities, including Sacramento, Calif., Springfield, Mo., and Portland, Ore., evaluate their arts offerings and develop plans to improve them.

"Arts education is essential to stimulating the creativity and innovation that will prove critical to young Americans competing in a knowledge-based, global economy," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a press release issued today.

The new federal aid comes from the U.S. Department of Education's Arts in Education National Program, which saw its funding decline slightly, by $2 million, in the current fiscal year, to $25 million.

Activities to be supported under the $6.6 million grant include:

• professional development for arts educators;

• development and distribution of instructional materials;

• arts-based education programming; and

• community and national outreach to expand partnerships among schools, districts, and communities.

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