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MECU pledges $50,000 a year to two city arts education programs

Posted at 1:04 PM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 13:04:42-05

BALTIMORE — Two new arts initiatives will get a $50,000 annual boost in funding from Baltimore’s largest credit union.

MECU said it will pledge $200,000 over four years to launch two initiatives from Arts Every Day, a Baltimore-based nonprofit that promotes access to art education for city public school students, the company said in a statement released Thursday.

One of the programs, the Arts Challenge Fund, is designed to incentivize city school principals to expand and sustain current arts instruction, the statement said. The fund will match up to $1,000 of spending on arts materials, instruments, instrument repair, and equipment. Schools interested in pursuing the matching funds can do so online. Submissions will be accepted through the end of the school year.

The second program, Music Ed/Remix, aims to help local musicians collaborate with city school students on original works, record compositions, and stage two musical performances over the school year.

To learn more about either program or to contribute to the programs’ funding, visit the Arts Every Day website.

Fewer than 20 percent of the city’s 79,287 students in the district’s 172 schools are enrolled in both visual art and music, the statement said. Research has consistently show the value of arts education as it increases engagement, empowerment, self-expression, creativity and academic achievement.

“Not only do the arts help young people develop creative thinking and skills in expressing themselves, but they enrich our academic programs and keep students engaged and coming to school every day,” Baltimore City Schools CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises said in a statement. “This new initiative from Arts Every Day and MECU will provide much-needed resources to support and expand access to the arts in our schools, and we thank these great partners for contributing to this essential part of a well-rounded education.“