EdVestors Announces $485,000 in Arts Expansion Grants to Boston Public Schools

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EdVestors awards annual grants to schools that will expand and ensure equitable access to quality arts instruction as it marks 15 years of expanding arts education in BPS. Four East Boston public schools awarded grants.

BOSTON (June 10, 2024) – EdVestors, a Boston-based school improvement organization, today awarded $485,000 in grants to over 30 nonprofits working with 60 Boston Public Schools (BPS) to support equitable, quality arts education for the 2024-2025 school year. Since its inception in 2009, BPS Arts Expansion has increased the number of BPS students receiving arts education by nearly 17,000 annually, establishing Boston as a national leader in expanding access to arts education.

“The importance of BPS Arts Expansion and its tangible impact on students cannot be overstated,” said Mary Skipper, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools. “I am grateful for the ongoing partnership between the BPS, EdVestors, funders, and so many others that has made progress possible over 15 years. An enriching arts education is paramount, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic, to help students re-engage with their peers and teachers, provide students with a sense of belonging, and to improve their social-emotional skill development, and overall well-being.”

The announcement of this year’s grants follows the recent annual BPS Citywide Arts Festival, which took place last week on the Boston Common and at the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building. The three-day event celebrated the importance of the arts in BPS and featured music, dance, and theater performances from nearly 1,000 students across the school district. 

“For 15 years, BPS Arts Expansion has played a critical role in increasing equitable access to quality arts education for students across Boston,” said Marinell Rousmaniere, President & CEO of EdVestors. “The arts play an important role in the personal, academic, and social-emotional development of young people. These grants will ensure that Boston continues to lead the way in arts instruction, together with the robust investment made by the Boston Public Schools for the year ahead. None of this is possible without the unwavering support of BPS leadership, the Mayor’s Office, and our dedicated funders and nonprofit partners.” 

The positive impact of arts education goes beyond bringing out the creativity in students. Research has shown that arts education improves student engagement, including increasing attendance among chronically absent students. Students reported greater levels of belonging at school and engagement in learning when their school days included arts education.

BPS Arts Expansion brings together local foundations, the school district, arts organizations, higher education institutions, and the Mayor’s Office. Lead funders include the Barr Foundation, Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser Foundation, The Klarman Family Foundation, Linde Family Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

More information on BPS Arts Expansion is available here.

ABOUT EDVESTORS

EdVestors’ mission is to advance equitable, meaningful education that prepares every Boston student to activate their power and shape their future. EdVestors combines strategic investments, content expertise, and collaborative implementation to drive system-level impact in Boston schools. Since 2002, EdVestors has raised and invested over $42 million in school improvement efforts. We drive toward our mission by activating people and resources; learning and iterating in context; and influencing system change. We believe that continuously attending to all three drivers ensures our activities will create an impact.

School PartnerNeighborhoodArts Partner
Bradley SchoolEast BostonBoston Children’s Chorus
Mario Umana K-8 SchoolEast BostonI Learn America
Mario Umana K-8 School*East Boston Mass Poetry
East Boston High SchoolEast BostonZumix
McKay K-8 SchoolEast BostonZumix
* Denotes first year funding of two-year grant