The Smith Center Hosts Celebration of Any Given Child’s Fifth Anniversary
Elaine Wynn, Mayor Carolyn Goodman among attendees recognizing program for arts in education
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child Southern Nevada, The Smith Center hosted an event yesterday, Oct. 4 that recognized all parties involved with successfully launching the national program at a local level. Provided by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Any Given Child assists communities in creating strategic plans to ensure access and equity to quality arts education for local students.
Event attendees included Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Elaine Wynn, Clark County School District (CCSD) Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky, and Mario Rossero, Senior Vice President of Education at the Kennedy Center. Representatives were also present from the many organizations on the Community Arts Team that helped launch the Southern Nevada program.
“The Kennedy Center created something really special that we get to be a part of,” said Smith Center CEO and President, Myron Martin. “Las Vegas was an early city to take this on, so we’re proud of that.”
In Dec. 2010, Las Vegas became the fourth city nationwide to participate in Any Given Child. To roll out this initiative, the Community Arts Team comprised of local arts and education-related organizations collected a year of data and formed a corresponding strategy.
The program has since expanded to 23 cities, Rossero said, but Las Vegas remains the largest Any Given Child program in the U.S. Rossero lauded the efforts of Candy Schneider, President of Education and Outreach at The Smith Center, as well as the Community Arts Team in making the program successful.
“This is a big deal,” said Rossero. “This fifth anniversary really means a lot and you’ve accomplished a lot.”
In the 2011-12 fiscal year, the Southern Nevada program kicked off with 26 pilot CCSD schools and approximately 18,000 students being served with arts resources, as well as 85 teachers participating in arts-integrated professional development workshops. By the 2015-16 fiscal year, this had expanded to approximately 143,000 students from 356 CCSD, charter and private schools being served with arts resources, and 884 teachers participating in professional development workshops.
The arts resources schools have enjoyed include: field trips to venues throughout the community, artist residencies and in-school performances, and professional development for teachers to integrate the arts into math, science, language arts and social studies. Community organizations have provided all of these resources free of charge.
Speaking in her role as president of the Nevada State Board of Education, Wynn praised the success of the program and how it plants seeds of inspiration among local children.
“Maybe (Southern Nevada Any Given Child) will serve as a blueprint for other places as it continues to unfold,” said Wynn.
Recalling how much he was impacted by seeing theatrical productions as a child, Skorkowsky said the program has helped develop CCSD into a leader in fine arts education.
“We have to build that passion in our children and expose them to those opportunities,” said Skorkowsky.
Mayor Goodman lauded how organizations across the community have come together to bring the arts to local students of many age groups.
“I can assure you the city is fully supportive of and behind the arts,” she said. “Especially this program.”
Organizations on the Community Arts Team behind the program include: After-School All Stars, CCSD, the city of Henderson, the Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs, Clark County Parks and Recreation, Discovery Children’s Museum, Las Vegas Arts Commission, Las Vegas Youth Orchestras, Metro Arts Council of Southern Nevada, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Nevada School of the Arts, The Public Education Foundation, The Rainbow Company Youth Theatre, West Las Vegas Arts Center, The Smith Center, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, The Kennedy Center, the Nevada Arts Council and principal leadership from CVT Gilbert and Frank Lamping elementary schools.
Thelma Davis, principal of Robert Lunt Elementary School in Las Vegas, said Any Given Child has provided students at her school with access to the arts they wouldn’t otherwise have. Teachers have also informed her that they have completely changed their teaching styles as a result of professional development to integrate the arts across curriculum areas.
“Without the Southern Nevada Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child initiative, this opportunity (for arts integration) would be just out of reach,” said Davis.
For more information about Any Given Child, visit http://www.thesmithcenter.com/education/ensuring-the-arts-for-any-given-child/.
ABOUT THE SMITH CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
The hallmark of downtown Las Vegas’ 61-acre urban development known as Symphony Park, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a public-private partnership that opened in March 2012. Heralded as the city’s Heart of the Arts®, The Smith Center is an architectural triumph and long-awaited cultural achievement that educates and entertains the citizens of Southern Nevada. The $470 million world-class performing arts center offers a blend of performances by resident companies, first-run touring attractions, lectures and internationally-acclaimed performers in music, theater and dance. The five-acre campus features four performance spaces including the 2,050-seat Reynolds Hall, the 258-seat Cabaret Jazz club, the 240-seat Troesh Studio Theater and the 1.7-acre Donald W. Reynolds Symphony Park for outdoor concerts. Additionally, the campus is home to the Discovery Children’s Museum that opened in March 2013. For more information about The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, please visit www.TheSmithCenter.com. Keep up with news and events on Facebook and follow The Smith Center on Twitter at @SmithCenterLV.