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Portsmouth High School students join hands in front of the Human Rights Garden, one part of their TeachArtsOhio project

How Gritty Are You?

You may remember from one of my earlier articles I wrote about the topic of grit and shared, "Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality." The quote comes from Angela Lee Duckworth, the author of Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance.

As we begin a new school year, I am reminded of Ohio’s teaching artists—and all teachers—who have grit. Year after year, they bring their passion of learning and creativity to the classroom where more than one million of Ohio’s students enjoy the opportunity to explore and experience the arts—dance, drama and theatre, media arts, music, and visual arts.

The Ohio Arts Council’s board and staff have “arts education grit.” Together, we invest nearly $1.3 million in arts education through our TeachArtsOhio (TAO), Arts Partnership, Big Yellow School Bus, and Poetry Out Loud programs. This commitment truly demonstrates the power and passion we have for arts education for Ohio’s children.

This year we launched our newest arts education grant program: TeachArtsOhio. This innovative and forward-thinking program brings schools and community organizations together with teaching artists to share engaging, personal, high-quality arts learning experiences. Engagements can vary from short introductory exposures to residencies lasting a full school year. Creative and experienced teaching artists, through TAO grant awards, offer learners the opportunity to participate in a unique creative process, bridge cultural differences, develop fresh ways of learning through the arts, and realize lasting benefits from in-person contact and collaboration with professional artists who are experienced in working with school-age children and youth.

Big Yellow School Bus grants provide funding for school field trips to cultural centers by defraying transportation costs. These grants play an important role in arts education efforts, providing exposure to arts events otherwise inaccessible to many students. Let the Ohio Arts Council help your school provide professional arts experiences for your students—this grant program has a rolling deadline throughout the year to meet your planning needs.

Poetry Out Loud (POL), a countrywide program administered by the National Endowment for the Arts, encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. POL helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary heritage and contemporary life.

Last but not least, the OAC’s Arts Partnership grant program supports arts education projects throughout the state. From funding art-making to research, professional development to planning, the grant meets a variety of needs in Ohio’s arts education community.

As school doors fly open, bells ring, marching bands take the field, and Ohio’s educators and teaching artists show their grit—let us all applaud and support the value of arts education to a complete education. Our kids are worth it!

Until we meet,
Donna Collins' signature

Donna S. Collins
Executive Director

Photo courtesy of April Deacon, professional art educator at Portsmouth High School, a TeachArtsOhio grant recipient.

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