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Indianapolis
Public Schools is committed to providing students access to engaging arts
opportunities, and this is an exciting time for the arts in IPS. While our Any
Given Child

Community Arts Team is working with the Kennedy
Center
to
increase equitable arts access for students in all schools, we’re preparing for
the expansion of our visual and performing arts elementary choice program to a
K-8 school.

 

Edison
School of the Arts will make its debut at the start of the 2016-2017 school
year. Our arts elementary program is currently at Nicholson
Performing Arts Academy

at 46th Street and Central Avenue, but will soon move near downtown
to a larger location closer to our city’s major arts organizations. Earlier
this school year, the IPS Board of School Commissioners approved the reconfiguration of our performing arts
magnets to create a K-8 elementary at Thomas A. Edison School 47. Broad
Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts and Humanities
will gradually phase out
middle grades, and the Nicholson building will become home to our district’s
newest Center for Inquiry school. The new
configuration will provide our youngest musicians and artists consistent
training from Kindergarten through 8th grade before moving on to the
college prep setting of Broad Ripple.

 

“I’m excited
about the opportunities we’ll have with our expansion in the new location,”
said Principal Nathan Tuttle, who currently leads the team at Nicholson. “That
truly is exciting. We’re bringing on some fantastic staff members, and we’re
preparing for a great start at Edison.”

 

The
current part-time dance and theatre teacher roles will expand to full-time
positions at Edison, and the addition of a second visual arts instructor will
increase the overall arts staff at the school by two full-time positions.

 

The
Edison School of the Arts team is preparing to add their own touches to their
new space over the summer; the school will have a large dance studio, black box
theatre and stage for the full performing arts experience. Be on the lookout
for new ensembles from Edison, including a drumline, parade band and an Orff
ensemble – which engages students through music and movement. A digital design
lab will be built in the new location featuring state-of-the-art technology to
support student growth in visual arts.

 

“We’re
currently surpassing our projected enrollment,” said Tuttle, “and we’re
thrilled that 90 percent of our current Nicholson Performing Arts families are
making the move downtown to Edison School of the Arts. I think that says
something about our school climate and culture.”

 

It’s not
only families who are excited about the expansion of our arts elementary
program; several businesses and organizations, including Eli
Lilly
and the
West Indianapolis Development Corporation, are working with the Edison
team to build new community partnerships.

 

“We’re
getting a lot of support for this transition,” said Tuttle. “I’m particularly
pleased with the backing we’ve received from IPS leadership and our families.”

 

There’s
still plenty of performing to be done at Nicholson this school year; a strong
partnership with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra
and Park
Tudor School
will culminate in a group concert on April 21,
and both will join the musicians and actors of Nicholson in the savannah for
“The Lion King” on May 25 and 26.