Art department receives $95,000 to train Fort Worth ISD teachers

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    The art and art history department will receive a $95,000 federal grant to support a summer workshop program for art teachers working for the Fort Worth Independent School District, a U.S. congresswoman said.

    Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, said at a press conference Friday that the money is a portion of a $941,570 federal grant for the Fort Worth ISD. The grant is the biggest federal grant for fine arts the school district has ever received, Granger said.

    “Often times the arts are the first causality of shrinking budgets,” Granger said. “This grant is a result of hard work by the city.”

    TCU was granted $95,000 to help improve arts education in Fort Worth, Granger said.

    With the money from the grant, the Fort Worth ISD will work in a three-year program with the university and other partners to conduct professional camps in the summer to train art educators and other instructional staff in music, dance, drama and visual arts, Granger said. The program will start in summer 2009.

    Fort Worth was picked because of its wide range of partners of the arts and the high quality standards they hold, said Michael Ryan, executive director of fine arts for Fort Worth ISD and a 1974 TCU graduate.

    The primary partners working with the Fort Worth ISD are TCU, the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Performing Arts Fort Worth, Casa Manana, the Fort Worth Opera, the Fort Worth Symphony and Imagination Celebration. Forty other organizations are also working on the program, Ryan said.

    The university will be a resourceful tool for teachers and their students, said Amanda Allison, professor and coordinator of the TCU art education program. The program will also affect students because everything the teachers learn will go back to the students, resulting in higher-quality instruction, she said.

    Granger said 24 school districts in the United States were picked to receive this grant.

    The Fort Worth ISD wrote the proposal for the grant in February and announced the award Friday at Bass Hall.

    “I am thrilled at the opportunities this grant will bring to students and teachers in Fort Worth,” Granger said. “The arts add a beauty and depth to life that all our children should enjoy.”