Mayor Alvin Brown speaks on Thursday, August 22, 2013 to students and faculty at Central Riverside Elementary School announcing Jacksonville has been chosen for the Kennedy Center's Any Given Child long-range arts program
The Duval county school district is going to see a boost in the arts, which sits just fine with Jacksonville’s mayor, Alvin Brown, who says he used to dabble in the arts as well as a saxophone player.
"This is a great opportiunity for Jacksonville to be one of fourteen cities nationwide to be selected for this program."
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has chosen Jacksonville for their program Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child, which aims to identify gaps in resources for arts education and creating a plan to fix it.
Mayor Brown says he's glad this will give students a chance to expand their critical thinking skills and develop a love for music or art that they may not have known they had.
Duval Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti says present day students need to be able to problem solve and think creatively and critically in order to solve problems, and he says he believes school districts that invest in making the arts important generate more well-rounded graduates.
"I think so much of the conversation regarding public education has centered around standardized testing, and we know that a child is more than a number, more than a standardized test. We also know that if we want students to be employable after high school and compete in a global economy, they have to be able to critically think, they have to be able to problem solve, they have to take information and analzye it, synthesize it."
Dr. Vitti says it’s really about developing the whole child and says he wants his legacy to be that he restored the arts to Duval County Public Schools.