AAEC ‘s Board knows that “it takes a village” to make positive changes to integrate the arts in Alaska’s classrooms, schools, and communities. It takes school and community individuals, leaders, and groups to bring awareness of why the arts are important in our children’s lives, and to find ways to include the arts in their everyday learning whether in our schools or in our communities. To this end AAEC would like recognize these champions each year with our Champion of the Arts Awards. The Board hopes to make this an annual affair each spring giving one award per region and judging from nominations from each of the 5 regions: Arctic, Interior, Southeast, Southcentral, and Western.
Our first Champion of the Arts hails from Southcentral region’s Kodiak Island and it is the 2012 KIBSD Board of Education: Katie Oliver, Melissa Borton, Peggy Rauwolf, Norm Wooten, Aaron Griffin, CDR Patrick McElligatt, Catherine Le (student representative)
Through the support of the Arts for students the board is preparing students for their future roles in society as well-rounded, critical thinkers who have recognized the importance of the arts and have benefited from the affective learning that accompanies participation in any of the art forms.
Six years ago the Board made a commitment to reinstate instrumental music/band instruction for students at the 6th grade level. Not only was music restored to the 6th grade, opportunities were extended to 5th grade students as well. For the first time in the history of the school, orchestra – string instruction was offered as well. Support vocal music was also enhance by additional offerings at the middle school. Additionally in the area of visual arts, the Board supports growing efforts of the Kodiak High School art club with provides after-school art classes for elementary students. The high school students support their arts efforts through sale of their creations. The board is supportive of the Arts Leadership Team, which serves to training, and engages local artists in Art Teaching Residencies within the town and rural schools.
Because of the KIBSD Board’s continued efforts, high quality student musical productions, theatrical productions, dance production and visual art shows are enjoyed by the community on a regular basis. From the annual Spring Whale Fest to the High School Dance recitals the community has multitudinous opportunities to share the art being made by the community youth.