Hundreds of students, parents, and other local residents gathered this morning to celebrate a program that's bringing together arts and education. The Davenport School District held a ribbon cutting and open house for its new Creative Arts Academy, at its hub at the Davenport Public Library.
The academy incorporates arts in its curriculum, and partners with local cultural institutions. And the new hub features two large classrooms and a computer lab. Ron May, division chair for performing arts at the academy, calls it a major investment at a time when school districts across the country are cutting arts programs.
"It's valued as an extra. It's valued as something where--well, if we have to cut something, then that's what we're going to cut. Here comes a school where they are doing the opposite of what the trend is, and we're using the five different disciplines. This isn't a music school. This isn't an art school. This is an arts academy where we reflect all of those."
Ravel Sickler is one of the school's 87 students who will spend a few hours every day at the hub. He's excited about the program.
"Because I know it'd keep me going forth with my career and it would help me take a step further in my life. Most schools are lacking on the ability of the five divisions like music, art, and theater, and our school is focusing on them."
Renovation of space at the downtown library cost $217,000 and included contributions from private donors.