Burbank USD & Burbank Arts for All Foundation Kick Off New School Year

Thu, 09/05/2013 (All day)

Photo: Burbank folks with a big checkOn Wednesday, Burbank Arts for All Foundation brought together members of their community, including parents, teachers, district administrators, and arts supporters, to celebrate their legacy of success and their plans for the future of arts education in the district.

Burbank Unified School District joined Arts for All, Los Angeles County Arts Commission's program to invigorate arts education county-wide, in 2003 and was one of the first five districts to collaborate with Arts for All.  The Burbank Board of Education passed their arts education plan in 2005, focusing the district's work in building out arts education opportunities for every student over the next several years.

Speaking on behalf of the arts education program in Burbank USD, Peggy Flynn, the district's arts coordinator, noted that every student attending Burbank schools has equal access to arts education opportunities, a huge win for the district and community at large.  

One of the struggles some districts face is attaching funding to their arts education plans, but in Burbank, the plan fueled investment.  "This plan has done more to attract money into our district than anything else," Peggy explained.  Leveraging Arts for All's initial $65,000 investment in the district's arts education program, Burbank USD has managed to raise an additional $300,000 from the PTA, boosters, and public and private sources over the past seven years to bring the original plan to fruition.  The district works in tandem with a large number of community and business partners, who widen the reach of its programs and directly invest in their success.

Burbank USD sees its investment in arts education as an investment in their students' future.  Because Burbank is the seat of many creative and entertainment-based businesses, giving their students the tools to compete for local jobs is paramount.  "Secondary school arts education programs align with the creative economy," Peggy explained, to connect students with jobs in the creative field.  "We may be the only district offering media classes in both high schools and middle schools."  That particular expansion was prompted by feedback from high school teachers who noted their students should be better prepared for media classes at the secondary level.  

As the district looks ahead to changes coming through Common Core standards and the Local Control Funding Formula, Burbank USD is emphasizing how the arts are used to access information and enhance learning across disciplines.  

For more information about the good work happening in Burbank schools, visit Burbank Arts for All Foundation's website.