The Lawrence Arts Center would like to thank Evergy for its generous support of our ARTspace program. Evergy makes community investments in organizations that align with the company’s mission and focus areas, which include providing “access to opportunities for all ages and backgrounds and basic needs that help people contribute to society.” The ARTspace program provides science, technology, engineering, art, and math (or STEAM) education to 1st-5th graders.
Community Relations Manager Cynthia McCarvel said that Evergy’s $3,500 contribution was part of its commitment to providing more than just energy to their customers.
“Evergy is pleased to support the ARTspace program,” she said. “We want to be a good neighbor, civic leader and community partner in the communities we serve, and your organization is an integral part to improving the quality of life enjoyed by all citizens.”
Recognized by the President’s Council for the Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, ARTspace asks students to connect what they learn within the walls of the Arts Center with what they experience in the wider world. For example, children who enrolled in the ARTspace summer camp “Circus Comes to Town” explored how visual and performing arts meet kinesthesiology and the forces of motion. In “Box City: Chicago,” students learned about city planning and engineering and then created their very own piece of the Chicago cityscape out of cardboard boxes and installed it in the Arts Center lobby.
Evergy is a continuing supporter of the ARTspace program, which has brought joy, curiosity, creativity, and inquiry out of the classroom and into the Arts Center lobby, then out of the Arts Center lobby and into the world. Focused on critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation, the integrated curriculum meets national art and science standards. Since 2014, the Lawrence Arts Center has worked closely with the University of Kansas to carry out an evaluation of ARTspace, including age-appropriate student learning assessments.
Data analyzed by KU researchers showed that ARTspace students performed above the national average in each evaluation area, including engagement in STEAM content, identification with STEM fields, perseverance built as a result of STEAM activities, an increase in critical thinking skills, and growth in positive relationships. These results show the holistic benefit of the ARTspace curriculum as elementary students prepare to navigate the world with grit, curiosity, and critical thinking.