Equity, Diversity & Inclusion by Christi Wilkins
With support from public funding, our nonprofit, Dramatic Results, has been able to make a life-changing difference in our community. We have been able to reach 30,000 students in underserved public schools who had no access to the arts, and have also been able to provide 400 public classroom teachers with training to integrate the arts into their classrooms. For most students, this is their first time ever getting to participate in an arts program.
Third-party evaluations have shown huge improvements for these students as a direct result of these arts programs. By using art to bring their other core subjects to life, their understanding and skills have improved by 33% in math, 28% in language arts, 18% in engineering, 29% in science, and 38% in art! They also show marked increases in their engagement in their other classes, and in skills essential to life success, including perseverance, teamwork, and creativity.
One example of this is our Summer STEAM Institute in 2017 and 2018, where low-income gifted students experienced a cross-city collaborative program. They engaged in, experienced and became excited about STEAM-subjects through hands-on arts-integrated projects, such as creating their own cardboard boats. They started with 2D drawings, then designed them digitally and printed 3D models, scaled their models to full size in the sand, and finally transformed their prototypes into life-sized cardboard boats and raced them across the Long Beach bay on the last day, cheered on by their families and community members!
We were also able to produce a 4-minute video of our students, impact and a parent voice to help our community better understand and appreciate the impact of the arts.
Please view the video to witness how public funds made it possible for low-income students to experience art programs: