When school budgets are cut, arts programs are often the first item on the chopping block. Nationally, arts programs are losing their funding at all grade levels. A 2012 U.S. Department of Education report described a dramatic decline in elementary schools offering arts programs, particularly performing arts (learn more).
At Phoenix Rising, art is integrated throughout the curriculum in addition to being a stand-alone weekly workshop. Students get to experience a wide variety of mediums, including woodwork, leatherwork, wood-burning, drawing, portraiture, clay models, batik, chalk and papier mache. Each lesson is related to the theme currently being studied as part of the core curriculum.
Children also have the opportunity to participate in theatrical performances. At our annual Holiday Feast, they perform a show for the community, and in the spring students grades 3-6 choose a play or musical they want to perform and spend several months preparing. Their live shows in the past two years have included mini-versions of Grease and Mamma Mia! that hundreds of people attended. The level of confidence and empowerment the students gained by overcoming stage fright and entertaining large crowds at such a young age has been very obvious to their families and others in the community.