Arts Every Day (AED) awards $16,000 to four Baltimore City Public Schools to implement large scale arts installations and collaborations that will have a long-term impact on their students and surrounding community. This year’s projects include painted murals at Dorothy I. Height Elementary and Creative City Public Charter, a memory quilting collaboration with Reginald F. Lewis High School, and a student and a community-run exhibition with Excel Academy.
Arts Every Day is proud to be a driving force in building and sustaining a Baltimore City public school system that embraces creativity, art, and culture as a fundamental requirement for a quality education. Impact Fund is an extension of this work by affording students and teachers the opportunity to collaborate with local artists and community members. All Baltimore City Public Schools were invited to apply and the final four recipients were chosen by a committee of local art and design leaders including: Ernest Shaw, artist and Baltimore City Schools Teacher; Linda Day Clark, photographer and professor ar Coppin State University; Ronald McFadden, Fine Arts Department Chair at Baltimore City Public Schools; Paula Phillips, community artist and professor of the Community Arts MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art; and Noah Smock, Executive Director of Baltimore Community ToolBank.
Each project will host at least one community day or dedication ceremony where schools, artists, local partners and neighboring communities will come together to share the work and celebrate everyone involved. Community Days will take place in June of 2019. One of the 2019 awardees, Reginald F. Lewis High School reflects on how the Impact Fund is important to their community:
The impact of this project is multi-layered. This project was inspired by the death of twoReginald F. Lewis students in the span of just a couple of months…The question of “How has violence affected you?” is a deeply personal and important topic for our students, teachers, and community. The quilt will be on permanent display at Reginald, the warmth of its layers of fiber warming the cinder block walls. – Hannah Sims, Art Teacher at Reginald F. Lewis
The Impact Fund is the only grant exclusively for Baltimore City Public Schools to create large scale arts projects with the intention of supporting large scale permanently installed projects that connect individual schools to local artists and their surrounding community. Since the start of the program in 2014, with support from Point Breeze Credit Union, the initiative has grown from supporting one to two projects per year to a competitive funding opportunity open to all Baltimore City Public Schools. Thanks to the support from a growing family of foundation, corporate and individual supporters, the Impact Fund will support four projects in 2019.
Impact Fund Projects for School Year 2019
Reginald F. Lewis High School: Baltimore Album Peace Quilt
Students from Reginald F. Lewis High School English and Visual Arts classes will collaborate with community partners including: Reginald, F. Lewis PTO and alumni families, Hannah Brancato of FORCE, The Y of Central Maryland, North Barclay Green development, and Towson University art education department to create a quilt in response to the loss of two students within the span of just a couple of months.
The memory of these students will be captured in the quilt as students, families and community members work together to create and connect quilting squares that will not only serve as a moment for everyone involved to connect and heal, but also a chance for student to express how violence has affected their lives. Upon completion, the quilt will be displayed at the North Barclay Green Community Center prior to being permanently installed on the walls of the high school.
Excel Academy: Black Magic Art Show 2.0
Black Magic Art Show 2.0, presented by Luvs Art Project & Excel Academy is a collaborative art project that includes art students of Excel Academy at Francis M. Wood High School, art instructor Anthony McKissic, and Troy Staton, President of Luvs Art Project, housed at New Beginnings Unisex Barbershop. This show opens a new dialogue into the realm of music and social media platforms, purposefully pushing their expressive energies with oral traditions and paintings.
By collaborating with Luvs Art Project, students under the direction of their art instructor, Anthony McKissic, will discuss social themes around the academic work of Dr. Lawrence Brown’s “White L” and “Black Butterfly.” Students have the opportunity to curate and show their work in an exhibit that will introduce leadership and team building skills, foster a connection to their communities, as well as establishing them as exhibiting artists.
Dorothy I. Height Elementary: The HEIGHT of Achievement
The HEIGHT of Achievement is a mural and family paint project honoring Dr. Height, the school’s namesake, in collaboration with Creative Nomads, whose mission is to “enhance the professional development of arts entrepreneurs and to provide access to art, music, and cultural education and programming for youth and families.”
Together, members of Delta Sigma Theta (the sorority Dr. Height belonged to), 5th grade focused youth, families and teachers will work on a mural that will emphasize the excellence of character, achieving goals, and leaving a legacy. As 5th graders transition to middle school, they will have the opportunity to leave a legacy piece that will live in the halls of the school and remind them that as they move through life they will always have the opportunity to leave behind a legacy.
Creative City Public Charter: Place-Based Building Mural
The school community will participate in a collaborative process to design a building mural that reflects their core philosophy of Place-Based Education – the idea that students learn best when learning is authentically tied to real-life experiences and the places with which students are most familiar. Students in grades K-5, their families, their teachers, and nearby Park Heights neighbors will participate in 3 design workshops to bring the ideas of Place-Based Education to life on an exterior mural.