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Programs look to keep arts alive after budget cuts

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-25 20:57:02-05

TULSA -- Tulsa Public Schools partners with local programs to keep art and music alive in the classroom, despite budgets cuts in Oklahoma over the past few years.

"If art and music didn’t exist, pretty much life would be boring," said Juniper Hanson, a fourth grade student at Key Elementary.

The Key Elementary classroom is everything but boring thanks to local musician, Dylan Aycock. He's part of the Artists in the Schools program with TPS. His goal is to show students they don't need expensive instruments to experiment with music.

"You can just do a lot with everyday objects, as you guys can tell with your pencils," said Aycock.

According to the State Department of Education, Oklahoma schools ended more than a thousand fine arts classes between 2014 and 2018.

"I like to listen to music a lot, it just makes me feel happier when I’m sad," said Kaidence Wright, a fourth grade student at Key Elementary.

TPS is the only district in Oklahoma to be part of Any Given Child, a national initiative to implement arts education, despite budget cuts.

"I like two play piano because when I was little my mom used to play Twinkle Little Star to me," said Hanson.

Ahha Tulsa is the lead organization with Any Given Child and Artists in the Schools that connect art, music, and theater to Tulsa classrooms.

"Match kids up with these experiences so by the time they enter high school go into ninth grade, they’ve been exposed to all the arts and culture that Tulsa has to offer," said Holly Becker, Executive Director of Ahha.

Last year 30 percent of public school students in Oklahoma went to a school with no fine arts classes. TPS is doing everything they can not to be part of that statistic.

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