A booming conclusion: Arts Ed impact on EPIC Academy students

We’ve had a seriously fantastic first year at EPIC Academy – amazing students, staff, teaching artists, the whole deal! We had a chat with Resource Coordinator Kelly Christiel here, and check out EPIC’s final performances here. And – brand new on Flickr – see students rocking out with percussion artist Michael Riendeau here. We do all we can to document our programs’ impact; here’s a snippet from a report on our 2011-2012 EPIC program when all is said and done (courtesy of Carrie Rosales, Measurement & Documentation Manager):

Advantages to arts programs like the one at EPIC do not end at artistic inspiration and students’ newfound (or newly uncovered) motivation to build careers in the arts. Resource Coordinator Kelly Christiel observed that students who participated in the after-school programs made gains in positive study habits and healthy decision-making, all proven benefits of arts education. As one student stated, “I have become more active in my academic classes as a result of this program”. A survey completed by students both before and after residencies revealed an overall increase in student engagement; averages rose 5 percent (from 3.2 to 3.4, on a scale of 1 to 4) over a span of only 12 weeks. Survey items that showed the greatest improvement were ability to stay focused in class and willingness to share work with peers. In addition, students reported a notable increase in the ability to learn from criticism, possibly a benefit of observing and critiquing work during arts classes. When asked how Urban Gateways programming has benefitted them, students expressed that they have an improved sense of self as well as increased confidence.

Craving a drumbeat? Photos here, courtesy of Urban Gateways volunteer photographer Jacob Yeung: