Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child, a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts program, is designed to assist communities in long-range planning to provide an equitable arts education for all students in grades K-8. Iowa City was selected in 2012 as the eighth Any Given Child site to participate in the program.
Since that time, the Any Given Child (AGC) Board and the AGC District coordinator have actively been assessing the arts education needs at all grade levels in our schools and have added programming to ensure all students experience the arts every year.
Any Given Child supports several arts programs in our schools, including:
KinderTales is presented in partnership with The Iowa Children’s Museum (ICM). KinderTales is an active learning dramatic arts and story-telling experience at the ICM designed to help students strengthen their abilities to communicate thoughts and feelings in an articulate, confident manner—at school and at home.
Live Arts is presented in partnership with Hancher. The program is a field trip for all eighth graders in the district to Hancher to see a theatre performance. This year’s show will be They Called Her Vivaldi.
Symphony Goes to School is presented in partnership with University of Iowa Arts Share. The program is a field trip for all fourth graders in the district to the University of Iowa’s Voxman Music Building to experience a live performance by the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra. The performance is thoughtfully programmed with a variety of musical styles and pieces intended to appeal to the students. Arts Share provides materials in advance of the performance to help familiarize the students with the orchestra, the music to be performed, and appropriate audience behavior.
Music in the Schools brings instrumental ensembles from Orchestra Iowa to each of the district’s elementary schools to perform for first, second, and third graders. First graders hear a performance by a brass quintet. Second graders hear a woodwind quintet and third graders hear a string quartet. The half-hour performances are designed to appeal to elementary-aged children and each feature demonstration and discussion of the instruments in the ensemble. The performances link directly to the general music curriculum as students learn to identify orchestral instruments by both sight and sound.
Every sixth grade art class had the opportunity to learn stop-motion animation with freelance artist, animator and musican Mark Jones, along with Iowa City FilmScene volunteers. Students used the Stop Motion Studio software to design and colorize individual film frames and coordinated with their peers for the final collaborative video of their project.
This is the video that the district’s sixth graders made in 2018.
Members of the CLIMB Theatre troupe provide a workshop and performance for seventh grade classes. Each school works with Any Given Child to determine themes of CLIMB’s performances and workshops.
Disco Intervention brings dance instructors into the junior high schools to provide two sessions of dance and movement for students during their PE classes. Dance styles focus on social dance—line dances that were popular during the disco area—that students can incorporate into their school dance experiences.
KidSing is a one-day honor choir festival designed to provide an entry-level choral experience for kids who enjoy singing. Its purpose is to help participants learn more about how to use their singing voices, how to work with others to create music, and what it is like to sing and perform in a choir. Students nominate themselves for the choir by writing a short essay about their interest in participating in it and music teachers select participants from the nominations.
Opera Iowa brings a 50-minute, audience-interactive opera based upon a familiar children’s tale to each elementary school. In addition to the opera performance, the singers present classroom workshops and performance introductions prior to the performance.
Any Given Child works with area dance instructors who come into the schools to provide two sessions of dance and movement for students during their PE classes. The sessions link directly to the physical education curriculum’s rhythm unit. Dance styles vary by instructor and can include anything from hip-hop to social dancing.