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creativity, culture, community

Cultural Experience Project Kicks Off At Atlanta Botanical Garden On Sept 9

“We are pleased to announce the start of the ninth year of the Cultural Experience Project,” states Camille Russell Love, Director of CEP - 2012 group of school children on trip to ABG - DAYBOOKthe City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “This unique program provides every Atlanta Public Schools student with an opportunity to visit one arts or cultural institution every school year.  With the support of our fabulous sponsors, more than 275,000 admissions have been provided to children and teens so they can attend plays, concerts, performances and trips to museums and area attractions, many for the very first time.  Media are invited to join us on Monday, September 9 at 9:30 am as we celebrate our partners in the arts and kick off the first Cultural Experience Project trip of the 2013-2014 school year at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.”

The schedule for September 9 will begin with a networking breakfast from 9:30 am to 10 am. A program with featured sponsors and partners, City Council members, VIPS and dignitaries will take place from 10-10:30 am.  Guests confirmed to attend include Candace Byrd, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Kristina Christy, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and Dr. Linda Anderson, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Atlanta Public Schools. There will be special recognition for this year’s Americans for the Arts BCA 10 Award recipient, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., celebrating the first time an Atlanta company has received this prestigious award. At 10:30 am everyone will be invited to tour Atlanta Botanical Garden and see the Cultural Experience Project in action.

“It is an honor to be a founding partner of the Cultural Experience Project,” Kristina Christy, Director, Corporate Responsibility at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. “One of the primary barriers for youth being able to attend cultural events is the cost of transportation, so we decided that’s how we would get involved. To date we’ve provided more than 6,000 bus trips for the program. At Turner Broadcasting, we are deeply committed to supporting the arts. We believe individuals and communities thrive when they have a strong connection to the arts.”

“Atlanta Public Schools is excited to continue its partnership with the City of Atlanta’s Cultural Experience Project,” Dr. Linda Anderson, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Atlanta Public Schools. “As a result of this ongoing partnership, our students have been able to participate in rich learning opportunities that introduce them to some of our city’s premier venues for the arts, while deepening their understanding and appreciation for the arts as well.  Just as importantly, these opportunities extend our students’ learning and reinforce the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards in all content areas.”

On Monday, Sept 9 there will be 1,500 students participating in “Kinder in the Garden” from these schools: Adamsville Primary School, Beecher Hills Elementary School, Benteen Elementary School, Bethune Elementary School, Bolton Academy, Brandon Elementary School, Burgess-Peterson Elementary School, Cascade Elementary School, Fickett Elementary School, Finch Elementary, Hill-Hope Elementary School, Humphries Elementary School, Lin Elementary School, Peyton Forest Elementary School, Thomasville Heights Elementary School and Usher Elementary School.  Later in the year, an additional 3,000 kindergarten students from 32 other Atlanta Public Schools will experience the program.

What is “Kinder in the Garden?” With the Garden as their classroom, excited kindergartners are introduced to ways in which plants and animals differ. During their visit, children explore diverse living collections, observe giant leaves in the Tropical Rotunda and small leaves in the Desert House, smell fragrant orchids and view colorful Poison Dart Frogs. For little ones, the Butterfly Maze in the Children’s Garden has been recently updated with new plantings, such as Loropetalim ‘Ever Red’, a gorgeous cultivar with brilliant red blooms. In the Gnome Garden, various shade-loving plants peak children’s curiosity and imagination. The new “Imaginary Worlds” living sculptures exhibit is sure to delight!  The lessons at the Atlanta Botanical Garden meet Georgia Performance Standards.

The mission of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is to develop and maintain plant collections for display, education, research, conservation and enjoyment.  The Garden is located adjacent to Piedmont Park at 1345 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, GA, 30309.

Sponsors for this year’s Cultural Experience Project include the National Endowment for the Arts, The Zeist Foundation Inc., Turner Broadcasting Inc., The Charles Loridans Foundation, The Mark and Evelyn Trammell Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, The High Museum Art Access Program, and The City of Atlanta.

The Cultural Experience Project was launched during the 2005-2006 school year to afford every Atlanta Public Schools (APS) student from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade the opportunity to experience the city’s premier art and cultural venues. The City of Atlanta’s vision is for every student in APS to have minimally one onsite cultural experience at a cultural venue each year that directly ties to Common Core Georgia Performance Standards and curriculum goals. Teacher and student educational materials further the students understanding of arts and culture and compliment the age and grade level-appropriate experiences. The goal of the Cultural Experience Project is to provide every student a chance to experience the wealth of Atlanta’s cultural venues at no cost to the student. The idea is, “one grade, one venue, guaranteed.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Karen Hatchett – karen.hatchett@charter.net

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