West Valley Arts Council (WVAC) received a grant from Thunderbirds Charities for Arts Education Partnerships, to support strengthening arts education in the West Valley. Funding will support program expenses of comprehensive AEP’s which serves the needs of 10,000 students and 34 or more fine arts teachers in Buckeye, Tonopah, Goodyear and Avondale. Many of these elementary schools are Title One. This initiative is tailored for each individual district ensuring that their educational goals for students and teachers are met, and it ensures that the reach and impact of arts education is deepened during and after school.
The goals of the Arts Education Partnership programs are to make quantitative changes in arts education and support teachers and districts in meeting their academic goals and achieving Arizona’s educational standards for the arts. Through the AEP, the Arts Council will strengthen relationships with area school districts, and build on the organization’s belief that the arts and arts education are fundamental to a healthy society; impact a child’s academic achievement throughout their school years and beyond; promote a higher quality of life; and importantly, help develop cross cultural understanding and appreciation.

“Providing accessibility to artistic expression and learning is something we’re very proud of,” said President of Thunderbirds Charities Carlos Sugich. “We’re thrilled to help the West Valley Arts Council and their hands-on approach to the fine arts.”

West Valley Arts Council commits to working with the Heads of Curriculum at each school district to plan professional development schedules for the year, and then integrate arts-based learning techniques into their classrooms; connecting teachers with professional teaching artists who provide standards-based programs in individual classrooms; providing twelve performing arts presentations each year featuring genre and culturally diverse entertainers; and developing resources needed for music teachers to create bands and choirs.