Providing access to a variety of local arts and cultural options for students throughout Indianapolis Public School (IPS) — and beyond — just got a little easier, thanks to a new website launched today by the Arts Council of Indianapolis. 

Teachers throughout central Indiana who want to add these enriching opportunities to their curriculum now have 24/7 access to 100-plus offerings — from classes to events — through IndyArtsEd.org.

There is no fee to use the online directory, which is available to public and private schools, community centers and other organizations. The site is made possible through an $80,000 grant from The Glick Fund.

IndyArtsEd.org is the state’s first online education provider directory and one of several arts education initiatives benefitting K-8 students at IPS and other schools throughout central Indiana. The site is an online directory of services offered by leading central Indiana arts and cultural organizations, including Freetown Village, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Dance Kaleidoscope and more than 25 others. 

The website is part of the Any Given Child Indy campaign launched by IPS and the local arts community in 2016. The campaign was developed with a five-year plan to provide enrichment programs to 23,000 students attending K-8 public schools, both traditional and charter.

“IndyArtsEd.org has the potential to enhance the opportunity for our arts organizations to impact the academic, social and artistic success of thousands of central Indiana students in ways only the arts can,” said Shannon Linker, Arts Council interim president. “Together, Indianapolis Public Schools and the arts community have combined resources to support our collective goal of ensuring access to the arts to every student and adult in central Indiana.”

The short-term objective of IndyArtsEd.org is to eliminate the gaps in access to the arts for students enrolled in schools who have had minimal access to field trips, music, visual art, theater, dance and media arts. The longer-term objective is to provide everyone with increased access to arts education regardless of school district, grade or economic status.

“As an Any Given Child school, our students have the opportunity to participate in hands-on arts activities that expand beyond what we would otherwise be able to offer,” said IPS Center for Inquiry School 2 Principal Andrea Hunley. “When children have the opportunity to see themselves as painters, dancers, singers, storytellers and musicians, they have the opportunity to express themselves in ways that are not constrained to a paper and pencil task. They have the opportunity to shine off of the page.” 

The website includes profiles and logos of participating arts organizations, along with program offerings (including prices). Programs are searchable by discipline (such as dance, music, theatre), but also by the providing arts organizations and by Common Core State Standards.

IPS administrators and teachers are excited about how this new website will enhance learning and opportunities for students.

“Students who participate in the arts develop leadership skills, including decision-making, strategy building, planning and reflection,” said Jenn Day, art teacher at IPS Center for Inquiry School 27. “The arts … are necessary tools for students to develop character and learn habits, behaviors and attitudes that are necessary for success in any field of endeavor.”

Nathan Tuttle, CEO and head of school at IPS’ Edison School of the Arts 47, believes having such easy access to arts and culture in Indianapolis is a win for everyone.

“(We’re) excited about the new platform for schools to look for programs that will suit their arts learning needs, and that Indy’s great arts organizations will be able to post all of the great things their organization has to offer our local schools,” said Tuttle. “This should allow the schools and organizations to fully exhaust all of the great resources available for our students and families!” 

As part of the launch, $1,000 grants are available for the 18 IPS schools that are part of the Any Given Child Indy network of schools. These grants are made possible through funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and can be used toward programs listed on IndyArtsEd.org. Schools can apply for the grant as many times as they want until they reach the $1,000 limit.

Additionally, to help with transportation costs related to offerings on the website, the Arts Council has created a $5,000 transportation fund. These funds are available through January 13, 2019, or until all money has been distributed. All central Indiana schools are eligible to apply.

To learn more about the new website, visit www.IndyArtsEd.org.