Two schools receive funds for arts programs | NevadaAppeal.com

Two schools receive funds for arts programs

by: Teri Vance

Fritsch Elementary School and Fernley High School were selected to receive state funds from the Nevada Art Council to finance special art projects.

“It is very encouraging to see so many exciting and innovative arts education projects and the individuals who are dedicated to making them happen,” said Laura Rawlings, Arts in Education program coordinator for the Nevada Arts Council.

Fritsch Elementary will receive $800 through the Arts In Education Program to implement a program in which artists will visit the school, exhibit the work of various other artists and teach basic techniques.

It was one of 24 Nevada schools selected by a committee from the arts council.

Rawlings said the committee based its decision on innovation in the school’s proposal, the ability of the school to run the program, and the quality of the proposal.

“Fritsch Elementary exhibited all of these characteristics,” Rawlings said.

Gina Wasley, mother and member of the Parent-Teacher Association, organized the effort between the art council and Fritsch because, she said, that art is frequently the first thing to get cut from a budget.

With the new program, artists will talk to the children and offer them insights on developing their artistic talents.

“It will encourage creativity,” Wasley said. “Hopefully, they will try to become great artists themselves.”

Fernley High School was rewarded $450 to match existing funds.

Local theater artist Mary Bennett will spend a one-week residency in the school.

She will work with the students to strengthen a new drama program with acting workshops in voice projection, improvisation, acting and performance techniques.

Rawlings said that the arts are an essential part of the educational process.

“Ultimately, it’s important to have arts in education because all students learn in different ways,” Rawlings said.

She explained that not all students will be successful in math and science.

“It’s important to give all students avenues to explore so that they can find their own success,” she said.

She added that students who participate in art education score 44 percent higher on scholastic testing, have a lower drop-out rate, and excel more in other subjects than those who are not educated in the arts.