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Kennedy Center's school program

October 10, 2009|Associated Press

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is starting a new program that could reinvent arts education for schools struggling with budget cuts and fewer art teachers, organizers said Friday.

The pilot Any Given Child project announced Friday for schools in Sacramento could be expanded to as many as three cities each year, the Washington-based center said. Under the strategy, the Kennedy Center will link local arts groups with schools to help teach students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The groups will draft long-range plans specific to each city to ensure all students have access to music, theater and the visual arts. The Kennedy Center is devoting about $500,000 to begin the program and expects to keep costs low for local schools.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said the initiative could not have come at a better time as school districts face budget cuts. Groups like the Sacramento Theater Company and Crocker Art Museum will also benefit by fostering a new generation of patrons for theater, ballet and art, he said.

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