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Press Release: Quality Arts Report Draft

News Release
Thursday, September 6, 2012

Media Contact:
Van Schoales, CEO, A+ Denver
(303) 725-1151

Arts Education in Denver Schools: Envisioning Excellence Addressing the gaps and strengths in the arts pipeline in Denver Public Schools

A+ Denver announces the release of a draft of our newest report: Arts Education In Denver Schools: Envisioning Excellence. Together with our Denver Quality Arts Task Force, comprised of 12 leaders in the arts and creative industries and chaired by former Lt. Governor Barbara O’Brien, we identified strengths and weaknesses in DPS arts education as well as made a case for why the arts are critical in education. This report and task force were supported through a generous donation from the Denver Foundation.

We know that arts education plays a significant role in keeping students engaged in school while fostering creative thinking, problem solving, discipline, and communication habits that are all necessary for success in life. While Denver has some of the top-rated arts schools and some great programs within broader-serving schools, many DPS students are unable to access these opportunities due to lack of resources and a limited focus on quality arts in their schools. Our community must provide enough schools or programs throughout the city so that all kids have access to quality arts options regardless of their income or zip code.

A+ Denver is now asking the community to provide feedback on this draft and to send us your ideas on how we can strengthen the arts pipeline in DPS. Specifically, we are asking community members to address the following questions:

Who should take the lead on quality arts education in Denver? How should they do it?
What needs to be done in DPS to improve the overall quality and access to arts programs for DPS students, especially low-income students? How should we measure quality and access?
What responsibilities do our community Arts institutions, the City of Denver and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) have to ensure quality arts for Denver kids? What should they do?
Please forward any comments and suggested recommendations to Lauren Kersey

The mission of A+ Denver is to harness the power of Denver’s civic leadership to build public will and advocate for the changes necessary to dramatically increase student achievement in public education in Denver. We are an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization working to bring the power of Denver’s citizens to the effort of school reform. For more information, please visit