Funding for a middle school STEAM lab and financial support for visual, musical and performing arts were donated to Burbank Unified schools by the Burbank Arts For All Foundation (BAFA) during their fall grant cycle for 2014. Executive Director Trena Pitchford presented a check for $30,585.40, the largest amount ever awarded in one funding cycle, to the Board of Education on Thursday, November 6.
“These grant funds will continue to contribute to a wide variety of arts education programs impacting more than 10,011 Burbank Unified students,” commented BAFA’s Heidi Trotta.
Pitchford was joined during the presentation to the BUSD Board of Education by members of BAFA’s Board of Directors and staff, along with several teachers and principals from Miller Elementary, McKinley Elementary, Jordan, Luther and Muir Middle Schools, John Burroughs and Burbank High Schools, whose programs were funded.
“I want to commend this Board of Education, superintendent and administration regarding the work of creating Burbank Unified School District’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)” commented Pitchford. “Your increased financial commitment to arts education is very much appreciated by our foundation.”
“Burbank Arts for All Foundation is a committed partner to the district’s Board of Education and administration to help our schools and teachers create dynamic, thought-provoking and meaningful opportunities for students to learn through the arts,” she added.
“We see arts education, in its broadest term, as basic instruction for every student in the district and quite possibly a career pathway for our city’s future employees,” Pitchford continued. “This grant cycle, we are thrilled with the investments we have made in partnership with your commitment to arts education.”
In addition to the donation to public school programs made by BAFA, BUSD is contributing $25,883 from the district’s Arts for All funds and parent driven booster clubs and PTA units.
“This is a huge celebration of our district’s Arts For All ‘eco-system’ and partnership with you,” Pitchford told the Board of Education members and BUSD staff.
BAFA’s total funding to Burbank Unified since the foundation was created in 2006 is more than $280,000. The foundation has funded 180 total grants to all schools within the district.
While the total amount requested during the Fall 2014 cycle from 21 grant applications was $58,346.93, BAFA was only able to fund $30,585.40.
“This is the first grant cycle where we worked in partnership with BUSD’s Director of Facilities, Craig Bell, regarding funds requested for facility or classroom upgrades,” said Pitchford. “All grant applications were approved by the Facilities Department before they were considered for funding.”
BAFA’s Fall 2014 funding cycle includes:
• elementary school auditorium upgrades such as lighting instruments that build upon the structural facility upgrades made possible by community-supported Measure S bonds and theater programs
• seed funding for a middle school STEAM lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math)
• visual arts tools and instruments for middle schools
• at the high schools – teaching artists for English Language Arts, auditorium upgrades to be used for theater technical arts instruction, instrumental music tools and instrument replenishment, digital media arts equipment, artwalls for AP European history class and a project in tenth grade English class to create paper maché noses while teaching Cyrano DeBergerac to students with disabilities
• funding to Community Day School for teaching artists to teach visual arts for at-risk students in a mentoring partnership with the Burbank Senior Artists
• matching seed funding for professional development in Visual and Performing Arts for Magnolia Park students and teachers
• In addition to the instruments BUSD provided for elementary school music teachers, BAFA provided funding for the use of iPads in the music classroom.
“These iPads will allow the music teachers to walk through the classroom to address individual student needs rather than be tethered to a laptop computer,” explained Pitchford.
“Thank you again for your commitment to putting creativity in the classroom,” she told the Board of Education. “The arts can be the reason why our students come to school and can provide them the opportunity to attain twenty-first century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity.”