2011 Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers
Maritz - Corporate Grant Partner
Maritz, in collaboration with the Arts and Education Council, awarded $20,000 in grants ranging from $150 – 5,000 each to six arts education projects in the St. Louis bi-state area as a part of the Maritz Arts and Education Fund. Maritz and the Arts and Education Council partnered to offer this unique funding opportunity to individual schools and non-profit organizations to support projects and opportunities that encourage creativity in the classroom.
“At Maritz, we are dedicated to empowering people to reach their full potential and ensuring a solid and bright future for generations to come,” says Debbie Schirmer, community affairs manager at Maritz, “and we feel the best way Maritz can have an impact in the communities in which we live and work is to align ourselves with educational endeavors. The partnership with the Arts and Education Council, through the Maritz Arts and Education Fund, not only exemplifies our company’s mission, but also has better connected our two organizations to have a greater impact in the community,” says Debbie.
The following programs received a 2011 Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers Grant:
Good Shepherd Catholic School – Dancing Classrooms
For a 10-week period thirteen students had the opportunity to learn the cultural history and choreography of one of six ballroom dances. Dancing Classrooms is a non-profit social development program aimed at empowering youth, teaching respectful interaction, and promoting teamwork in St. Louis metropolitan area schools through the art of dance. After the completion of the 10-week residency, Good Shepherd students competed in a city-wide competition, the Colors of the Rainbow Team Match.
McCluer High School
The award funded the play The Wiz in honor of African-American Heritage Month. Due to economic conditions, and for the first time ever, McCluer’s theater department finished last year with a deficit. The Martiz funding was used to produce a high quality play and bring in local experts from the Black Rep and other organizations to speak to the student body about African- American theatrical traditions.
Nerinx Hall High School – Missouri Poet Laureate Shares his Word
The award brought Missouri’s Poet Laureate, David Clewall, to Nerinx for Missouri Poet Laureate Shares his Word. Mr. Clewall gave a reading of his poetry to the entire student body.
Springboard –The Red Thread Project
This project draws inspiration from a Chinese proverb that describes how an invisible ‘red thread’ connects us all. Six-hundred students of varying socio-economic backgrounds worked together with resident artists to learn knitting techniques and create their own hat. These hats were connected together with a red thread for a culminating performance event at Laumeier Sculpture Park. The hats were then donated to children in need.
Sumner High School – Ceramic in the City: A Kiln of Urban Education
This project engaged students in a truly hands-on experience, and integrated lessons in art history, chemistry, and physics. A portion of the Maritz funding was used to purchase a kiln, which will be available for students long into the future.
Walbridge Elementary Community Education Center – Arts All Around
The award funded Arts All Around, a diverse arts program including a drum line, flag routine, and visual arts display. Walbridge is considered a ‘turn around’ school within the St. Louis public school system, and does not have access to significant funding for arts and culture endeavors. The arts faculty of Walbridge worked together on Arts All Around to create an opportunity for students to express themselves through a diverse variety of artistic mediums. Arts All Around culminated with a school-wide fine arts event in the spring of 2011.
“At Maritz, we are dedicated to empowering people to reach their full potential, and our philanthropic efforts reflect that same commitment.” -Debbie Schirmer