School Tours at the Johnson Center for the Arts
The Tony Scott "ArtBridges" Educational Program
ArtBridges is an innovative year-round educational outreach to rural schools in Pike County, Alabama, developed in 2010 by the Education Committee of the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center. The TPCAC is the founding organization of the Johnson Center for the Arts (JCA), which opened in 2008 as Pike County’s first and only community arts center. Our mission is the cultural enrichment of the lives of all citizens through exposure to, and education in, the arts. In its five short years of operation, the JCA has become known throughout the state for presenting high-quality visual arts exhibitions with associated educational programs.
Our organization’s objective in developing ArtBridges was to introduce arts education based on Alabama Course of Study Standards across the core curriculum, utilizing the high quality exhibition schedule of the Johnson Center for the Arts as the catalyst. Our goal is to foster appreciation for, and participation in, the arts using artistic expression and educational outreach to cross divides of generational, socioeconomic and cultural differences. ArtBridges has the potential to dramatically raise test scores and re-invigorate the learning process. The early stage success of this project is leading us to grow our educational outreach over the coming years to encompass all grade levels of the City of Troy and Pike County School Systems.
Planning for the ArtBridges program was initiated in March,2010, during meetings held by our staff with both City and County School superintendents at which time needs were identified for their elementary and middle school pupils. We determined that not only was there a great need in the City of Troy, but the greater need was with the six rural, underserved Pike County Schools. Of the 2,310 students, 81% receive free or reduced lunches. Graduation rates for these three years are: 2009-10 students, 80%; 2010-11, 77%, 2011-12, 68%; (Note: A change in the formula for calculating graduation rate caused a decrease in scores.) Only one of Pike County’s rural elementary schools employed a visual arts instructor, the others have instruction in music. The Pike County School System, the Troy City School System and the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center, Inc. are committed to work together to raise the graduation rate.
Through support from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Daniel Foundation of Alabama, the Support the Arts License Tag Advisory Committee, Wells Fargo, the Caring Foundation of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Wal-Mart, Lockheed Martin, and CGI, we have been able to develop a firm foundation to our program. In 2012, the ArtBridges Educational Initiative was renamed the Tony Scott ArtBridges Education Program through a gift from family and friends of the late Tony Scott. It has grown from school tours each fall into a three-phase, year-round program, and continues to grow each year.
You can make "online" payment for ArtBridges through our "Support" page.