Arts Access Initiative expanding to 25 HISD schools next year 

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The word is out about the benefits of the Arts Access Initiative for students. This school year, the organization has been working with 11 schools in HISD. Out of more than 40 HISD schools that applied to join AAI in the coming 2016–2017 school year, only 14 were selected. The new HISD elementary and middle schools are:

  • Bastian Elementary
  • Codwell Elementary
  • Cornelius Elementary
  • Fleming Middle
  • Fonville Middle
  • Highland Heights Elementary
  • Kennedy Elementary
  • Lyons Elementary
  • Mading Elementary
  • Northline Elementary
  • Park Place Elementary
  • Pugh Elementary
  • Roberts Elementary
  • Valley West Elementary

“In just two years, the Arts Access Initiative coalition will serve close to 17,000 students, providing them with creative learning experiences,” said AAI Director Deborah Lugo. “To become global learners, students need to develop four basic skills: critical thinking, communication skills, collaboration skills, and creativity. There is no single set of subjects that helps build those skills better than arts education. We are also hearing from principals, arts liaisons, and teachers alike that their students are more confident, engaged, wanting to come to school, and applying creative learning in other content areas. We look forward to working with the selected 14 schools next year and adding more schools in subsequent years to fulfill our vision of equity of arts access for all students.”

The AAI coalition includes HISD, the City of Houston, more than 40 arts and cultural organizations, various foundations, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., through the Any Given Child program, and Young Audiences of Houston, which serves as the backbone organization. Their goal is to bring more arts-education programming into each member school.

“Right now, we are working with our new AAI principals and arts liaisons to co-develop customized creative school plans,” said HISD’s Arts Access Coordinator Douglas Torres-Edwards. “The plans ensure that more HISD students will have access to creative experiences, which are critical to a well-rounded education.”

For more information and a video, please see this recent story. See previous stories here and here.