In December, supporters of the Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund awarded $60,000 in their annual grant cycle across four areas of impact. Arts for the Schools received a grant in the area of Arts & Culture to fund the first ever music classes for Tahoe Truckee Community School during the Spring and Fall of 2018. The $10,000 grant covers both the salary of the music teacher and new instruments so that fifteen students can receive the benefits of music education.
Arts for the Schools (AFTS) is a nonprofit that fundamentally believes that access and exposure to the arts is essential for all and bring arts education to children, and performing arts to the community. In 1987, legislation in California passed which resulted in funding being cut for arts education in public schools. Since then, AFTS has filled the gaps in visual and performing arts education for children at K-12 schools while also providing access to artistic excellence for the public. For 33 years, AFTS has encouraged children and adults to create, perform, learn, lead, understand, and discover. It tracks its impact on its website (artsfortheschools.org), and, in 2017, they served 21 schools and 8585 students, 1739 of whom were low-income.
Community school students are part of the juvenile justice system or are on probation. These students and their education providers often encounter barriers to ensuring that students have the same access to all disciplines and opportunities as every other student in a school district. Tahoe Truckee Community School does not have a PTO or teacher funds to help support arts education offerings.
“The AFTS board and I are tremendously thankful to the Queen of Hearts for supporting and recognizing the need for this new music program at the Community School. I wish each and every one of you could have been there a few weeks ago when they opened their new instruments for the first time. These students have a deep need to learn music and it will forever impact them,” Eve McEneaney, Executive Director for Arts for the Schools.
Arts programs for at-risk youth can be transforming and empowering. It has been shown that they build hands-on skills and knowledge for students, increase desire to stay in school, and increase emotional intelligence. Just like reading, all students should have equal access to an arts education.
The Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund and Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation are proud to supports Arts for the Schools in their mission to support access and exposure to the arts in North Tahoe-Truckee.