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Dearborn Schools Awarded Grants for Arts and Culture Field Trips

The Michigan Youth Arts Association and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs awarded $70,000 in grants to area schools this month.

Several Dearborn schools are among those being awarded grant funding to take students on arts and culture field trips this spring as part of the Arts and Culture Trek Grant program.

Michigan Youth Arts Association and program co-sponsor the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs this month announced a total of $70,000 in grants to Michigan schools to defray the cost of transportation for an arts and culture related field trip.

The program will support field trips for 19,439 students in 190 schools across the state. Destinations will include The Henry Ford, Arab American National Museum, Detroit Zoo, Holocaust Memorial Center, Detroit Institute of Arts and many others.

Dearborn Christian School, Edsel Ford High School, Becker Elementary and Salina Elementary are among the recipients, according to the MYAA.

Dearborn Christian will take 40 students to the Michigan Opera Theatre; Edsel Ford will take 30 students to the College for Creative Studies; Becker and Salina will each take groups of students to The Henry Ford.

"It has been abundantly clear, through the arts education survey, that there are so many kids, who without the support of this program, would never have the opportunity to experience the incredible arts and cultural activities our Michigan organizations can provide," said John Bracey, executive director of MCACA. "For some of these kids these trips may well represent a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to not only discover the arts, but also uncover the artist within."

Originally, MCACA committed $45,000 for the spring cycle of the program. However, Michigan Youth Arts received an unexpected surplus of applications, totaling $93,000 in requests from educators throughout the state.

In response to the demonstrated need, the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation contributed an additional $25,000 to the program, bringing the total award amount to $70,000 to be distributed this spring.

"The Arts & Culture Trek Grant provides opportunities that encourage young people to experience the arts outside the classroom and bring what they have learned back inside the classroom," said Pamella DeVos in a statement. "The quality of these field trips are not only important for their educational growth, but also teaches students to appreciate the many different kinds of artistic expressions that can enrich their lives." 

The DeVos Foundation has also issued a 1:1 challenge grant with a match of up to $25,000 for the Fall/Winter of 2013. Michigan Youth Arts is currently seeking matching funds to ensure these educational field trips continue to take place. 

To apply for the grant, educators chose from a list of various arts and cultural institutions that offer educational programming, exhibits and performances that enhance the arts and humanities curriculum outside the classroom. Reviewers score applicants on four basic components: eligibility, educational goals, collaboration with the hosting organization and the need of the school. Applications are reviewed by a volunteer review panel consisting of arts educators and professionals in the arts.

For more information on the program, go to michiganyoutharts.org/grants.

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