October 30, 2017

Mapping next steps for expanding arts education in Philadelphia

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As part of an effort to expand arts education in Philadelphia, Penn GSE's Martin Ihrig helped conduct a 16-month study to identify which public schools have access to art or music education. 

The homepage of the Philadelphia arts ecosystem interactive map, showing activities across the city

The results show that — contrary to what many believe — the majority of School District of Philadelphia schools do offer some form of arts education. Ninety percent of schools in the district offer either art or music education, only 60 percent have both. 

But the study included plans to redesign and increase arts programs, integrate arts into other classes and increase partnerships between schools and the surrounding community, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.  

“How can we be more entrepreneurial when it comes to helping the kids?” Ihrig told the Inquirer. “We structured ourselves this way to solve a public problem.” 

As part of the project – funded by the Neubauer Family Foundation – the school district created a searchable map showing where arts programs are available across the city.  

Read the full Inquirer story here.