Celebrating Arts in Our Schools Month at MNPS

On any given day, in any of our more than 160 schools, you can hear music playing, see students dancing, acting or creating art – all brilliant examples of vibrant arts education programs providing students an opportunity to tap into their creative power and find their voice.

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Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) joins school districts across the country in recognizing the month of March as Music in Our Schools Month, Youth Art Month, Theatre in Our Schools Month and Dance in Our Schools Month! We know participation in the arts can transform the lives of students and positively impact their academic, social and emotional growth. This year, MNPS schools will host more than 200 arts events.

Parents and partners are encouraged to attend a MNPS arts event, take photos and share them online using the hashtag #ArtsMoveMNPS!

Here’s a little bit of what arts in our school district looks like:

  • A total of 106 students received a Scholastic Art Award – and one talented Nashville School of the Arts student was recognized as an American Vision Nominee. Additionally, MNPS’ students were recognized with three Silver Medals at the national level for Scholastic Art and Writing Awards: one each for Hume-Fogg Magnet High School, Nashville School of the Arts, and Antioch High School.

  • Unique pieces of work from eight MNPS students were displayed at The Frist Art Museum’s 7th biennial Young Tennessee Artists exhibition. These students were chosen from a pool of 800 students from across the state.

  • MNPS theatre programs were highly competitive at the annual Thespian Competition and the Bobcat Players from John Overton High School were selected to perform their full production of Bonnie and Clyde at this year’s Thespian Conference at Middle Tennessee State University.

  • Arts students throughout the district receive many scholarships for collegiate and summer studies. Two dance students from Nashville School of the Arts – Darby Rystrom (11th grade) and Micah Robinson (10th grade) – have received full scholarships to Atlanta Dance Connection's summer dance intensive, under the direction of Allyne Gartrell.

  • A student exhibition of work from Nashville School of the Arts, Martin Luther King Magnet High School, and Cane Ridge High School inspired by musician Wayne White is on display for a year at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

  • The Country Music Association and CMA Foundation invested more than $320,000 into MNPS music programs, bringing their total investment to more than $12 million.

  • Seventeen vocal ensembles representing seven MNPS schools recently participated in Middle Tennessee Vocal Association Choral Festivals.

  • The GRAMMY Music Education Coalition awarded $250,000 this school year, and will award additional investments over the next few years, to build capacity and directly support the work of music teachers through the hiring of music coaches and a strategic partnership coordinator.

  • Community partners continue to step up to the plate, including:

    • Madewell, which provided $20,000 for high school visual art programs and the School Pride Mural Quilt Project. Additionally, 25 art students from Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School and art teacher Tracy Montoya painted a mural on the side of the new Madewell store site with a professional artist.

    •   U.S. Bank provided $20,000 to support innovative music programs at Napier Elementary School.

    • Bands of America (BOA) is continuing its I-65 corridor support in partnership with the CMA Foundation. The project provides mentorship, resources, and opportunities to teachers and students along the I-65 corridor from Indianapolis to the coast. Last year, teacher Mr. William Jackson was selected for the program. This year, Mr. Will Brooks, a teacher at Hunters Lane High School was selected for this prestigious program and will receive eight mellophones and a new set of timpani from Yamaha for his students along with ongoing mentorship and the opportunity to attend the BOA (Bands of America) summer symposium with two of his students. Click here for more information about the I-65 Corridor project.

“Our vision is to provide every student with equitable access to arts learning opportunities that demonstrate excellence in teaching and learning,” said Jeff Smith, MNPS director of Visual and Performing Arts. “We have made great strides through the hard work and dedication of the faculty, administrators, parents, family members, partners, and community members who have invested in our students. We hope this support for arts education and the growth of our students through the arts continues.”