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Michigan Youth Arts, on behalf of the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs (MCACA), is providing a total of $60,000 in grants for the 2015 winter/spring cycle of its Arts & Culture Trek grant program. Open to all Michigan K-12 arts educators, the program offers individual grants of up to $500 per school, which will be used to cover the transportation cost of an arts or culture-related field trip. The online application is currently open, and will close on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 at 11:59 p.m.

Since 2012, the Arts & Culture Trek grant has supported field trips for more than 47,200 students throughout the state of Michigan. To apply for the grant, teachers must choose from a list of more than 200 pre-approved arts and cultural institutions that offer educational programming, exhibits, or performances that enhance the arts and humanities curriculum outside the classroom. Popular field trip destinations include the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Flint Institute of Music, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Henry Ford, and the Frederick Meijer Gardens.

“The Arts & Culture Trek grant program has been so successful over the years because it greatly benefits three distinct groups,” said Marianne Dorais, Executive Director of Michigan Youth Arts. “Local arts and cultural institutions see a spike in attendance and ticket sales; teachers are able to strengthen their curricula by incorporating hands-on learning techniques; and students gain access to powerful experiences that they otherwise may have never had.”

A survey released by Michigan Youth Arts, entitled Arts Education in Michigan, revealed that 108,000 students go to school each day without some sort of exposure to music, visual art, theatre, dance, or creative writing. Additionally, 45 percent of schools cited transportation costs as a significant barrier to arts-related field trips.

“MCACA has increased funding for the Arts & Culture Trek grant this year, due to high demand from teachers across the state,” said John Bracey, Executive Director of MCACA. “The value of these field trips also reaches the state level, as the grant requires teachers to write letters to their legislators that describe the positive experiences that their students had. This advocacy aspect of the grant is the driving factor that will help shift the school budgeting landscape to one that is more inclusive of the arts.”

Earlier this year, Michigan Youth Arts and MCACA also teamed up to launch the Art Equipment & Supplies Grant, which offers Michigan K-12 arts educators grants of up to $2,500 to purchase or repair classroom materials.

For more information, or to apply for a grant, please visit michiganyoutharts.org

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