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Indy Arts Education: Art for Everyone

Indianapolis has a rich and growing art scene.

Now educators, parents and the community at large can tap into it by way of IndyArtsEd.org, an online directory for arts education in Central Indiana.

IndyArtsEd.org began in 2018 as a way to connect teachers with organizations offering arts-education classes and workshops. Think everything from Bollywood dancing and pantomiming to drumming and pottery making. It’s a one-stop shop, of sorts, for educators looking to book field trips and classes for their students, and it has been referred to as the “Angie’s List” of arts education.

“Teachers requested the ability to find everything they need in one location,” says Ernest Disney-Britton, Director of Grant Services and Education Partnerships for the Arts Council of Indianapolis. The directory now has more than 200 offerings by local arts and cultural organizations. “And arts organizations are coming together monthly to learn more about how to leverage the directory in building deeper relationships with schools.”

A 2016 survey of teachers at Indianapolis Public Schools revealed that the biggest barrier to expanding arts education was the research required to find all the many possible programs. “This [IndyArtsEd.org] is going to provide us with the ability to expand field trips and integration opportunities for our kids,” says principal for Center for Inquiry School 2 Andrea Hunley, regarding the launch of the website.

The directory is organized by artistic disciplines that include dance, music, theatre, visual arts, history and heritage, literary arts, media, multi-discipline and storytelling. Users can narrow their search even more by indicating the preferred program type (in-school workshop, out-of-school workshop, field trip, etc.), subject (math, social studies, history, etc.) and even program provider (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indiana Repertory Theatre or Newfields, to name a few). Each entry provides information about what the students will learn, the cost and contact information.

Although IndyArtsEd.org serves all schools in Central Indiana, this resource isn’t just for teachers. Anyone can access the directory for free to find arts education opportunities, including homeschool families, community center programmers and anyone else interested in providing arts education programs for their community, Disney-Britton says.

The directory also has a family-friendly events section (find it under the Resources tab) that lists educational and arts- and-culture-focused events for parents who are looking for some family-centered fun in Indy. It’s also a great way to find summer- and spring-break camps and after-school activities.

For more information about Indy Arts Education and to search the database, visit IndyArtsEd.org.

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