The Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative received a grant of $ 106,700 from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to support its ‘Syllabus of Color’ initiative, a three-year program aimed at sowing the seeds of appreciation and mastery of the arts. art among a new generation of black and Latino students.
“Art is essential to the personal and educational development of a young person,” said SBAC president and founder Michèle Des Verney Redwine. The data, however, shows that local black and Latino students are less likely to be regularly involved in arts activities than their white counterparts, Redwine said.
The first level of the project begins with students in grades five through ninth at Booker Middle School and Booker High School.
“This is a community-wide initiative involving school districts, organizations that promote issues relating to African descent communities, non-profit organizations in the region, places of worship, Boys and Girls clubs and the arts community, ”said Redwine.
The grant from the Barancik Foundation will be used to hire teaching artists, community relations officers and a project manager. “We believe that the humanizing influence of the arts is educational and socially essential,” said Teri A Hansen, President and CEO of the Barancik Foundation. “Our goal is to create systemic change by advancing a curriculum that represents the full breadth of diversity in our region.
Redwine said the Syllabus of Color also invites college students studying the arts to volunteer as mentors.
“Young people leading young people are a powerful thing,” Redwine said. “These young ambassadors will encourage middle and high school students to visit museums and artistic spaces and to attend artistic events. Our program is based on hands-on and interactive learning.
Established in 2018, the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative uses the unifying power of the arts to foster inclusion and diversity in the regional cultural landscape. For more information, visit suncoastblackartscollaborative.org.
Submitted by Su Byron