Monday’s piece in the Globe by Mayor Menino and Laura Perille “Arts Education Needs to be Protected” highlights Boston’s wonderful efforts to bring access to a high-quality arts education to all of its students. As the article cites, and as I write in my recent article in Educational Leadership magazine “All Students are Artists,” arts education is proven both qualitatively and quantitatively to engage students who otherwise can struggle to connect with school.

We at Boston Arts Academy are grateful to play a role in this effort to provide arts education to the city’s public school students. We’ve partnered with both the Dever-McCormack and the Edison for years with our Academy Strings program. This summer, we will be piloting Four Strings Academy (FSA), founded by Mariana-Green Hill. FSA is a summer program run through the Center for Arts in Education at Boston Arts Academy to provide summer strings instruction. We hope to expand this type of program to the other arts disciplines in future summers. Our Center is also piloting a program called Alumni Creative Corps, where we are training BAA graduates to teach the arts in other district schools where principals and teachers have defined a need for such opportunities.

It is abundantly clear that Boston needs and deserves the arts. This year, BAA had a total of 947 applicants. 659 came to audition- the greatest number we have received to date. We admitted 153 students to join BAA in September 2012, the most we could accept, given our facilities and resources. We are thankful for the opportunity to work with many principals, administrators and teachers, to visit schools, and to educate students and families about BAA- and we are proud that out of the 153 students accepted, 124 came from Boston Public Schools- over 80% of accepted applicants!

We know firsthand that access to the arts is not a luxury, but a necessity. We will continue our work with Boston Public Schools and beyond through our Center for Arts in Education, and are grateful that the city of Boston is partnering with EdVestors to expand arts education for all students in the city!