MECU Credit Union Continues Support of Arts Expansion in Baltimore City Public Schools
The credit union has pledged $50,000 to Arts Every Day for 2019-2020 Academic YearSeptember 25, 2019
Baltimore, MD (September 25, 2019) – MECU Credit Union has pledged a second year of $50,000 to support two Arts Every Day initiatives as part of its four-year, $200,000 commitment to arts expansion in Baltimore City Public Schools. The Arts Challenge Fund and the MECU Music Ed/Remix Program enhance arts education for students in Baltimore City Public Schools in a time when budgets for arts disciplines are declining nationwide.
Arts Every Day (AED) is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to the arts for every student, in every Baltimore City school, every day. In addition to impacting over 22,000 students and 1,200 educators each year through the Arts Integration Schools Program, Arts Every Day serves as a partner to the Baltimore City Public School district in implementing the Fine Arts Strategic Plan established in 2017.
The Arts Challenge Fund launched in 2018 with the support of MECU Credit Union’s annual funding commitment. The program is designed to incentivize Baltimore City Public Schools principals to expand and sustain arts instruction through certified arts educators. During the 2018-2019 academic year, the Arts Challenge Fund awarded $30,000 to support the purchase and repair of supplies, instruments, and arts equipment, impacting 10,335 students across 32 schools.
“This award was a godsend. Giving students the opportunity to really explore ways of making art has such an impact on them,” said Jaret Bogan, Visual Art Educator at Graceland Park/O'Donnell Heights Elementary/Middle School. “I can tell a student what a kiln is or what a printing press is, but unless they see one in action and get hands-on, it means little to them. This award has touched literally hundreds of children in ways they simply wouldn't have had available to them except for these generous funders. Thank you so very much!”
Through the efforts of the Baltimore Arts Education Initiative, Baltimore City Public Schools gained more than 60 new certified arts teachers for the 2019-2020 academic year, many of which will be teaching in schools that have not had arts instruction before. MECU Credit Union’s 2019 contribution to the Arts Challenge Fund will award up to $2,500 to principals who are launching a new art, music, dance or theatre program and have hired a certified arts teacher. These funds will support the purchase of musical instruments, arts equipment, and additional materials necessary for high quality instruction. Eligible schools can learn more by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2020Challenge.
MECU Credit Union is also the exclusive sponsor of MECU Music Ed/Remix, a program that enables local musicians to collaborate with Baltimore City Public Schools students on original works, record those compositions, and stage two performances over a single school year.
As Baltimore City’s largest credit union, MECU Credit Union is committed to supporting the community by lifting up non-profit agencies in their quest to improve the quality of life for City residents. In 2018, MECU reached out to AED to see how it could help support efforts to enhance arts education in Baltimore City.
“We are very proud to continue supporting arts education in Baltimore City Public Schools through our partnership with Arts Every Day,” said John Hamilton, President and CEO of MECU. “As more Baltimore businesses aid in funding these programs, our students will gain exposure to art and culture to help foster their academic and personal growth.”
Baltimore area businesses and organizations interested in contributing to the Arts Challenge Fund are encouraged to contact Betty Gonzales, Development Coordinator for Arts Every Day. To learn more about the Arts Challenge Fund and MECU Music Ed/Remix, visit www.artseveryday.org.
Established in 1936, MECU is Baltimore City’s largest credit union, with assets of approximately $1.2 billion. MECU has ten branches throughout the Baltimore area and offers a full range of financial products and services for individuals and businesses. The credit union also provides access to over 30,000 free ATMs and top-rated online and mobile banking services. MECU Credit Union has distinguished itself in the Baltimore community by returning nearly $100 million in profits to its members as part of a special dividend program. Learn more about becoming a member at www.mecu.com.
About Arts Every Day
Arts Every Day (AED) is proud to be a driving force in building and sustaining a Baltimore City that values public education through creativity, art, and culture. A 501(c) 3 founded in 2006 as one in only eight organizations originally funded by the Ford Foundation, AED works to ensure all Baltimore City Public Schools students have access to the arts every day through arts education, arts programming, and arts-integrated instruction. Arts Every Day works toward this goal through the forging of partnerships with schools and the arts and cultural community over the long‐term to inspire lasting change. For more information, visit www.artseveryday.org.