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New Arts Action! resource kit now available

It’s bright! It’s colorful! And it’s packed with information to help you support arts education in your local schools. What is it? It’s the new Arts Action! Resource Kit from Arts Advocacy WV. Arts Action! is a grassroots advocacy project geared towed helping parents, teachers, artists, school administrators, students and community leaders advocate for quality arts education in local schools. This project works from the premise that most decisions about arts education are made at the local level and that you, the local citizens, have the greatest impact on decision makers in their area. The new Arts Action! Resource Kit will help you organize support in your community for a quality arts education for all students.

The resource kit provides tips on how you can recognize the components of a quality arts education, information about West Virginia State Board of Education policies related to arts education, and strategies for supporting the arts in your local schools. It also contains addresses for websites that house important research on how arts education affects a child’s learning, growth and development.

The packet comes with a carrier that is designed to fit into your filing cabinet. It sports a new Arts Action! logo of small purple handprints overlaid with the words “arts action” in a child’s scrawl accented with colorful music notes. Inside, the pages are peppered with pleasing visual images of crayons, musical instruments, pre-school age ballerina and budding artists. In addition to useful information, the text includes quotes the impact of the arts on society from such noted figures Pablo Picasso and Kermit the Frog.

The Bryan Boyd Creative Group of Charleston designed the packet and a companion website was engineered by Kim Kelly from OuttaSite, Inc. The website should be operational by October 1 under the domain name artsaction.org. These projects funded with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the West Virginia Commission on the Arts/Division of Culture and History, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Office of the Secretary for Arts and Education of West Virginia.

Seven hundred resource kits will be distributed across West Virginia to school systems, arts organizations, and concerned citizens at no charge. For your copy of the Arts Action! Resource Kit, contact Francene Kirk at 304-367-4170.

Dr. Francene Kirk, director of the Arts Action! Project, is an assistant professor in the School of Fine Arts at Fairmont State College. She is available to speak to organizations about arts education at no cost. Contact her at 304-367-4170 or fkirk@mail.fscwv.edu.