This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Through June 7, community members and students can participate in Arts in Action, a selection of cultural activities hosted by the city’s Office of Arts, Culture & the Creative Economy and the Mayor’s Office of Education.
The 2018 Community Survey on Education found that participants rated school climate and investing in music and arts curriculum as the most important areas for the School District to improve. Among parents of children attending schools in the District and students, investing in music and arts curriculum was the top response.
The Arts in Action: Community Schools Series was initiated in direct response to the survey results. It will include dance workshops, concerts, puppet and live theater, and a community art exhibition.
Community schools are public schools that have full-time coordinators who work with the city and with service providers to address needs and bring resources to the school, such as medical services or job training, for families, students, and neighbors.
Kelly Lee, chief cultural officer, said the Community Schools Series is designed to increase community engagement and foster the arts.
“The arts continue to have a positive impact on our youth and communities,” Lee said. “We hope that as this series grows, Philadelphians can rely on community schools as places to find cultural experiences that bring neighborhoods together.”
Susan Gobreski, the city’s community schools director, said an important issue that they hope to address is providing more cultural events for neighborhoods of community schools.
“One of the most consistent things we’ve heard from community school stakeholders is that they would love more social and cultural opportunities in the neighborhoods where they live,” said Gobreski.
On May 19, Murrell Dobbins CTE High School held a performance by the dance group Rennie Harris Awe-Inspiring Works (RHAW), featuring a hip-hop dance workshop.
Suzann Christine, a local pop, R&B, and soul musician, will perform May 25 alongside students from her nonprofit, SCH Creative & Performing Arts, at James Logan Elementary School.
Other events can be found here.