The City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs created the Cultural Experience Project to give every Atlanta Public School student, from Pre-Kindergarten through the 12th Grade, the opportunity to experience the city’s premier arts and cultural venues. The vision is for every student in Atlanta Public Schools to have at least one on site experience at an arts and cultural venue each year. The goal is for the students to have an education enhancing encounter that directly ties to the Georgia Learning Performance Standards and curriculum goals.
The CEP provides field trips to APS students that are entirely funded by private donations from Turner Broadcasting, The Zeist Foundation, Loridans Foundation, Keneda Fund, The National Endowment for the Arts Shakespeare in American Communities program and other local businesses and partners. CEP was started under the administration of Mayor Shirley Franklin and has continued under Mayor Kasim Reed. Events are offered free of charge to all APS students and are administered by the APS Fine Arts Department.
“The Cultural Experience Project model ensures that all APS students can access Atlanta’s cultural assets regardless of family finances, where they live, or what school they attend,: said City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs Director Camille Russell Love. “We want every child to have opportunities at no cost to them. Even transportation is funded through a generous grant from Turner Broadcasting.”
“The Cultural Experience Project provides powerful educational experiences for all Atlanta Public School students and provides real-world connections for classroom learning while opening students’ hearts and minds to new intellectual and aesthetic horizons. Many students would never otherwise experience the rich cultural life of the city, and because of this program, new generations of citizens will grow up knowing how to take full advantage of the cultural, civic and artistic wealth here in Atlanta, ” said Raymond Veon, Interim Director, Fine and Performing Arts Department, Teaching and Learning for Atlanta Public Schools.
In its first seven years, the Cultural Experience Project has provided over 233,000 cultural experiences that have enhanced classroom learning to the district’s elementary, middle and high school students. The City of Atlanta envisions the opportunity for 100% of its students to experience the wealth of Atlanta’s cultural venues as a part of a “best in class” education through the Atlanta Public Schools.