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Arts Commission releases new arts education report touting positive growth


The PACE 2016-2017 Project Report reflects a collection of data on student growth in six elementary schools across the state over the past two years, during which time students received a year-long intensive arts education program. The report looks at multiple key skills and knowledge points of the students including student self-image, engagement in learning, vocabulary development, and writing skills. The report shows the PACE program model has steady, promising results for students across the board.

"The PACE program holds significant potential for making positive impacts on the educational foundations of citizens in Indiana, and for making long-term contributions to the health, growth, and vitality of the state of Indiana," said Dr. Sabol. "Comparisons of findings from the 2015-2016 PACE program and the 2016-2017 program provide an emerging and intriguing portrait of how the PACE program is providing consistent growth and advancement of students' knowledge and skills in the arts."

The PACE program model introduces local arts professionals into the classroom once a week for the entire school year connecting art with language art lessons. Teachers who have been involved for several years find benefit in the arts activities as well as the social-emotional development for their students.

"I believe this program is a wonderful opportunity for our children," said Cynthia Baughman, teacher at Van Buren Elementary School Nashville, Indiana. "Students who have not had much exposure to the arts, museums, etc., are opened to a new world. It is amazing to see their growth from the beginning of the year to how they view art at the end of the year in a totally different light."

Schools that are currently participating in the PACE program are located in South Bend, Michigan City, Fort Wayne, Terre Haute, and Nashville, Indiana. All schools participating in the PACE program meet eligibility criteria of high percentages of free and reduced lunches and below state average of the percentage of students passing ISTEP.

Four PACE grants are available for the 2018-2019 school year with priority given to eligible schools in the areas of Lafayette and surrounding counties, Columbus and surrounding counties, Jeffersonville and surrounding counties, and Evansville and surrounding counties.

For more information about the PACE program, contact Stephanie Haines at 317-232-1274 or email

Read the full PACE assessment report here.

The Indiana Arts Commission is dedicated to the vision of the arts everywhere, every day, for everyone in Indiana.