LOS ANGELES, Oct. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The LA Fund for Public Education today announced the launch of "Arts Matter," a first of its kind, citywide public art exhibition and fundraising campaign to revitalize arts education in the nation's second largest public school system. The widest reaching public art project in Los Angeles's history, Arts Matter features original works of art by the city's most renowned artists on city buses and outdoor advertising spaces totaling over $4 million in value and approximately 900 million impressions. The campaign will fund the development of innovative "arts integration" curricula for the Los Angeles Unified School District and communicate the essential role of arts education in public schools.
"Arts education is critical for helping students develop creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving abilities," said LA Fund Chair, Megan Chernin. "In a district with nearly 80% of our student population living in poverty, in the heart of the world's creative capital, it is our imperative to ensure our public school students have the resources they need to prepare them for college and their careers."
With studies showing that arts education is one of the most effective ways of teaching essential skills for today's workforce, the need for robust arts education has never been clearer.
"We at CBS are very pleased to be able to give back to the community we serve by joining with the LA Fund and the Los Angeles Unified School District in this important effort," said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation. "The future will belong to creative problem solvers, and this terrific campaign will help prepare the next generation of those unique and valuable colleagues. That just might be the most valuable contribution we can make to the generation that comes after us."
CBS Outdoor is a lead sponsor of the $4 million campaign, with additional outdoor media inventory and services donated by Zenith Media and others. The Arts Matter campaign will be concentrated into four separate 4-week "flights" utilizing city buses and hundreds of billboards, bus shelters, wall postings, mall media and bulletins. The first flight launches with the work of Los Angeles-based artist Barbara Kruger. Her bus wrap, entitled "School Bus," and two additional works of art have been commissioned and will appear throughout Los Angeles during October 2012. Known her bold, eye-catching format and philosophical themes, Kruger's art for Arts Matter features her signature style and addresses directly and urgently the importance of education, especially in the arts. ForYourArt produced the public art initiative on the LA Fund's behalf.
"The LA Fund's Arts Matter campaign performs a great service for our community," said CEO DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. "It brings a bright focus to the fact that arts education is crucial for the success of our vibrant creative economy – if there is no arts education, there can be no companies like DreamWorks Animation. But, beyond this, Arts Matter also reminds us that exposure to the arts is essential for any truly meaningful education. The arts give us a deeper understanding of our world and of ourselves. We must fight to keep them alive and well in our public schools."
Despite a statewide funding crisis that has forced the District to cut nearly $1.5 billion from its annual operating budget, LAUSD is pursuing a bold strategy to ensure that arts education is part of the core curriculum every student receives. On October 9, board member Nury Martinez will introduce an "Arts at the Core" resolution to ensure District policy supports a comprehensive approach to arts education. Proceeds from the Arts Matter campaign will support the implementation of the resolution. "I am so proud that Los Angeles' greatest artists, our corporate partners and community have stepped up in such a unique way to support arts education for our students," said Martinez.
"As the center of the creative economy, every LA student should receive the benefits of daily creative learning. Whether in a college classroom or in the job market, creativity is essential to succeeding in today's world," said LAUSD Superintendent, John Deasy. "I want to thank the LA Fund for spearheading this important campaign, which will bring further attention to the pressing need for robust arts education in all Los Angeles schools."
Multi-platinum recording star Justin Bieber will play a leading role in the "Arts Matter" social media campaign, mobilizing his tens of millions of followers to support robust arts education. "Believe in your dreams. Arts Matter," says Bieber. People can participate in the campaign via Twitter (@LAFund), Facebook (www.facebook.com/lafund), Tumblr (http://lafund.tumblr.com), Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/losangelesfund) and the LA Fund's website (www.lafund.org/#arts-matter).
About the LA Fund for Public Education
The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education is a philanthropic organization dedicated to driving positive change in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The LA Fund invests in innovative, results-oriented programs designed to ensure every student in the nation's second largest school system has a chance to succeed.
SOURCE LA Fund for Public Education