When school budgets get cut, many times one of the first things to go are the arts.
Yet numerous studies have shown that children learn a variety of subjects better when exposed to the arts.
As artsusa.org says:
" ... for certain populations - including young children, students from economically disadvantaged circumstances and students needing remedial instruction - learning in the arts may be uniquely able to advance learning and success in other areas."
It's this need for arts education that By Any Dreams Necessary founder and executive director Garrett Naiman saw and is helping to fill. The organization is a mostly volunteer effort by a collective of artists and educators dedicated to nurturing the creative spirit and educational aspirations of youth.
They're new - only being at it about a year and half - and are still working on getting 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. So far they've awarded half a dozen scholarships, two in 2010 and four in 2011. All the recipients were required to submit an application with both an essay/personal statement component, as well as an original art component.
Some submitted poems, others mini-documentaries or paintings. You may remember back in July when I linked to a poem called "One Oakland" by 2011 scholarship winner Kenya Hall. If you haven't already (or even if you have), go check out Kenya's poem.
This year, they'll be giving away another four scholarships and are hoping to increase both the quantity and amount of the awards soon. The other part of their work is the Artist in Residence program. It places an experienced arts-educator in a public middle school. The goal of the program is to provide art education to students who attend low-resource schools that are unable to consistently provide art in their school day curriculum. By Any Dreams Necessary provides funding for the program, including all art supplies and materials. Currently it has an arts-educator at the Urban Promise Academy off Fruitvale Avenue. The Artist in Residence works with the school in several ways:
If you're interested in learning more or helping out, contact By Any Dreams Necessary here.