We are thrilled to share a DRAFT report from the Denver Quality Arts Task Force below. Our report makes the case for why we need the arts and provides a snapshot for what exists now in Denver Public Schools. The case for the arts is long and varied; from the links to student achievement, to long-term economic development and to the power that art has in fostering creative and critical thinking skills for students. This report and task force were supported through a generous donation from the Denver Foundation.
A+ and our Quality Arts Task Force feel strongly that arts are an essential component of any excellent public education. Denver has grown dramatically over the last decade in all the arts and there are some wonderful small pockets of excellent arts education in and outside of DPS. Some schools integrate the arts in their curriculum, while other schools have utilized community programs like Mariachi. However, there are relatively few places in or outside of school for low-income Denver students to learn to play music, or develop a deep understanding of some discipline in the arts.
As we finalize our report, A+ would like your feedback. Please take the time to read our report and send us your recommendations and thoughts. Here are a few questions to guide your feedback:
1. Who should take the lead on quality arts education in Denver? How should they do it?
2. 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?
3. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We know that there are very limited funds for the arts so we ask you to be thoughtful in not only what we need more of, but how we can use our current resources more effectively. This conversation is critical now that DPS is asking for additional funding on November 6, which will include a significant increase in funding for the arts.
The A+ task force will be meeting over the next month to finalize the recommendations. We expect to issue the final report with recommendations by first week of October.