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West Maple Elementary Awarded Grant for DIA Field Trip

The Michigan Youth Arts Association and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs awarded $70,000 in grants to area schools this month.

Several students in one school located in Bloomfield Township will experience the Detroit Institute of Arts through a special grant for arts and cultural field trips this spring.

The Michigan Youth Arts Association and program co-sponsor, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, recently announced a total of $70,000 in grants to Michigan schools. The money is used to defray the cost of transportation for arts and culture-related field trips as part of the state's Arts and Culture Trek Grant program.

West Maple Elementary School — which is located off of Inkster Road in Bloomfield Township, but in the Birmingham Public Schools — is among the recipients, according to the MYAA. The school received $500 to take a trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The program will support field trips for 19,439 students in 190 schools across the state. Destinations will include The Henry Ford, Arab American National Museum, Detroit Zoo, Holocaust Memorial Center, Detroit Institute of Arts and many others.

"It has been abundantly clear, through the arts education survey, that there are so many kids, who without the support of this program, would never have the opportunity to experience the incredible arts and cultural activities our Michigan organizations can provide," said John Bracey, executive director of MCACA.

"For some of these kids these trips may well represent a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to not only discover the arts, but also uncover the artist within," he added.

Originally, MCACA committed $45,000 for the spring cycle of the program. However, Michigan Youth Arts received an unexpected surplus of applications, totaling $93,000 in requests from educators throughout the state.

In response to the demonstrated need, the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation contributed an additional $25,000 to the program, bringing the total award amount to $70,000 to be distributed this spring.

"The Arts & Culture Trek Grant provides opportunities that encourage young people to experience the arts outside the classroom and bring what they have learned back inside the classroom," said Pamella DeVos in a statement. "The quality of these field trips are not only important for their educational growth, but also teaches students to appreciate the many different kinds of artistic expressions that can enrich their lives." 

The DeVos Foundation has also issued a 1:1 challenge grant with a match of up to $25,000 for the Fall/Winter of 2013. Michigan Youth Arts is currently seeking matching funds to ensure these educational field trips continue to take place. 

To apply for the grant, educators can chose from a list of various arts and cultural institutions that offer educational programming, exhibits and performances that enhance the arts and humanities curriculum outside the classroom. Reviewers score applicants on four basic components

  • Eligibility
  • Educational goals
  • Collaboration with the hosting organization
  • Need of the school

Applications are reviewed by a volunteer review panel consisting of arts educators and professionals in the arts. For more information on the program, go to michiganyoutharts.org/grants.

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