Recently, the Lawrence Arts Center received some very exciting news. The National Endowment for the Arts approved an Art Works grant to the Lawrence Arts Center in support of “Laboratory for Creativity,” an initiative to expand access to ARTSpace, the Arts Center’s award-winning out-of-school time STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) curriculum for 1st-5th graders. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.
“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as the Lawrence Arts Center, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”
To build its “Laboratory for Creativity,” the Lawrence Arts Center will partner with the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, the Lawrence Public School District, the University of Kansas, WordCraft, LLC, and Tradewind Energy. The Arts Center’s ARTSpace curriculum will become a laboratory for creativity extending not only beyond the public school day but also outside of the Arts Center. The initiative will increase the number of low-income elementary students receiving the benefits of arts-based learning, establish STEAM-based professional development for the Lawrence public elementary schools, begin the next phase of longitudinal student learning assessment, and result in a fully-tested and evaluated set of lesson plans that will be published in digital format for circulation across the nation.
Many thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts!