creativity, culture, community
Atlanta, GA —The Cultural Experience Project turns ten and takes on the new school year with a dance! This unique program provides every Atlanta Public School student, ages Pre-K to 12th Grade, with an opportunity to visit at least one arts or cultural event every school year. To date, the program has provided more than 300,000 admissions to plays, concerts, dance performances and trips to museums and area attractions. The opening event for the 10th year of the Cultural Experience Project will take place on Wednesday, September 10 at 9 am at the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University, 80 Forsyth Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303. Media are welcome!
“We are celebrating an important milestone for the Cultural Experience Project,” states Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “As we enter our tenth year of service, we want to applaud our cultural partners, cheer on our sponsors, and give a rousing ovation to the City of Atlanta and Atlanta Public School leaders for their ongoing collaboration. The rewards have been many, as we see how arts and cultural events impact the lives of students. Many gain confidence, excel in their schoolwork, and create bigger and brighter dreams for their futures. As we head into this year’s program, we hope our model inspires other cities to create similar programs in their communities.”
The schedule for September 10 will begin with a networking breakfast from 9-9:40 am, followed by a program with featured partners and dignitaries from 9:45-10:30 am where this year’s Cultural Experience Project trips will be revealed. Highlights of this year’s program will include addresses by APS Superintendent, Dr. Meria Carstarphen and by Atlanta City Council President, Ceasar Mitchell. Everyone is invited to stay for a performance by Giwayen Mata from 11 am – Noon.
“It is our distinct pleasure to host this year’s opening event at Georgia State’s Rialto,” states Leslie Gordon, director of the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University. “We have enthusiastically participated in the Cultural Experience Project for many years because we firmly believe in the power of the arts to inspire, challenge, and shape the lives of our youth.”
Giwayen Mata is the award-winning, dynamic, soul-stirring, all-sistah, dance, percussion, and vocal ensemble who celebrate the richness of traditional Afrika by exhibiting its exemplary art forms. Since 1993 the ensemble has performed traditional, contemporary and original pieces that address issues pertaining to people of color, women, and the environment.
More than 800 students from these schools will attend the event on September 10: Booker T. Washington High School – Health, Sciences and Nutrition Small School; Carver School of the Arts; Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Academy High School; Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. High School; Mays High School; North Atlanta High School; South Atlanta School of Computer Animation and Design; South Atlanta School of Health and Medical Science and Therrell School of Law, Government and Public Policy.
This year’s Cultural Experience Project sponsors include: Turner Broadcasting Inc., Kendeda Fund, Loridans Foundation, Trammell Foundation, Zeist Foundation, JW Foundation Fund of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, PNC Bank and Macy’s.
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, at no cost to the student. The City of Atlanta’s vision is for every student in APS to have minimally one onsite experience at a cultural venue each year that directly ties to Common Core Georgia Performance Standards and curriculum goals. The program provides teacher and student educational materials to further the students understanding, and compliment the age and grade level-appropriate experiences. The goal of the Cultural Experience Project is to enrich and expand the lives of students by opening up the world of arts and culture and inviting them in!