Imagine that it is the year 2020. What will arts education look like in your community?

Arts education in the Ashland community in 2020 will be robust, vibrant, and palpable.

Students will have choice and access to arts education, whether their interest is to be part of an ensemble, an orchestra, a production, or simply produce pieces of art for their own fulfillment.

Teachers will have access to resources so acquisition of supplies is not a limiting factor when the opportunity and desire to integrate arts education into core curriculum activities presents itself.  Core teachers will appreciate and seek out ways to bring art into their classroom activities on a regular basis.

There will be osmosis between the art world in the larger Ashland community and arts education in the Ashland Middle School community.  Teachers from the Southern Oregon University, the Ashland Art Center, and beyond will spend time with students mentoring their interests in music, theater, visual arts, and digital media.  This connection between school and the arts education in Ashland will enhanced partnerships and be mutually beneficial for students, teachers, and artists alike.

What’s the story you want to tell about your project’s impact?

Our story is that the impact of this robust, vibrant arts education program is changing lives.  Hundreds of students every year are healthier, happier, and more self-confident as a result of their participation in our arts programs.  Students are able to process the hardships of the world around us using tools they are learning while in our art programs to express their feelings.  Whether music allows them to enter a state of mindfulness that soothes an anxious emotional state, or video production allows them to produce a piece that empowers them to educate others about a cause they feel needs a voice.  These activities will become an integral part of their lives, allowing them to live a more fulfilling and empowered life.  Expose to the arts in these middle level years will help students recognize the many careers in art that are possible, and students will seek out internships in the community that will connect them with mentors and opportunities that will reach far beyond their middle school experience.