ACHF Arts Access
Arts organizations build relationships with members of, or organizations that serve, groups that have traditionally been underserved by the arts or by the applicant organization. Real or perceived barriers to participation are identified and addressed. More Minnesotans are able to participate in the arts. We track and record all scholarships and tuition in our DanceWorks database and use reports to ensure that we appropriately allotted funds received for dance scholarships, in order to ensure and promote access to the arts. The Reif Center contributed over $10,000 in additional assistance.
By increasing the amount of available dance scholarships, we were able to provide funds to families in need that could not otherwise have afforded to take dance classes at the Reif Center. We created a program where all first-year dancers in our fundamentals program (pre - 1st grade students) danced for free, and this program, combined with providing assistance to families in great financial need in other levels of our dance classes, allowed our program to grow to our strongest number in years. Our targeted community was low-income families in Itasca County and surrounding areas. Our primary consideration for granting scholarships was family income level, and we gave higher scholarships to the lowest income families. Families with dancers in grades two and above that were over a certain income level were not eligible for scholarships. We know that due to issuing a much smaller level of scholarships in the past (and having to turn away many families due to funding limitations) that there is a need for this type of arts programming assistance. Since the dance program is one we have had in place for over twenty years, we already have a solid relationship with our dancers and dance parents, and that made communicating the details of the expanded scholarship program much easier. 2: We know that there is a need for financial support to introduce and assist folks in this area to participate in the arts. With funds from this program, we were able to allow thirty-nine new students a chance to try their first year of dance at no cost, which has had a tremendous local impact. We also assisted forty-five other dancers through full or partial scholarships in upper division classes. The barriers we identified were communicated to us by dance parents in financially challenging situations. We have an open forum each year in which parents gather to communicate their concerns, and increasingly the concern has been not having adequate income to participate in dance classes. We also have a Reif board-led dance committee and a dance parent team that communicate the needs of dance parents to the Reif Center staff. In all cases, financial constraints were always cited, prompting us to pursue a larger scale tuition program to assist dancers at all levels and to fulfill our vision of allowing first-year fundamental students to dance all year at no cost. The strategy we used to eliminate barriers was provided for directly by the Arts Board grant and from our own financial contributions. We feel that this strategy was very successful and led to an increase in overall dance enrollment.
Other, local or private