The Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence (JHFE) has increased its support for the Anne Frank Bearing Witness Project by 50 percent. This is an education program of The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts that applies teaching strategies developed by Brown University’s ArtsLiteracy Project to provide arts-integrated learning experiences about the history and literature of the Holocaust. JHFE previously contributed $50,000 for each of the last two years of the project. The increased contribution will be used for the 2016-17 school year.
The impact of the increased funding will be noticeable, allowing The Kentucky Center to increase the number of partner schools from eight to 12 and the geographic service area of this program to statewide.
In addition, teachers eligible to apply include those who have been in the Bearing Witness program for one year, and teachers who have attended the 2015 or 2016 Arts-Literacy Academy presented by The Kentucky Center in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education.
The funding will enable the program to establish and introduce an important new component: training descendants of Holocaust survivors to begin sharing their family stories with students. As the numbers of Holocaust survivors are dwindling and their ages advancing, it is now falling on the shoulders of the next generation to keep their stories alive, and to connect with students through living testimony.
The Anne Frank Bearing Witness Project (AFBW) provides teachers with extensive training in strategies designed to connect students more deeply and more empathetically with history by involving them in creating artistic responses to the history and literature. Research and evaluation by professors at the University of Louisville College of Education & Human Development and by Dr. Alan Yaffe, have demonstrated the success of this program in attaining these goals.
The Kentucky Center’s commitment to providing quality arts education programs began with a statewide needs assessment and the hiring of an education director before opening their doors in 1984. Since that time, The Kentucky Center has gained national attention for its Education and Community Arts programs including: ArtsReach, Arts in Healing, School Programs, and Governor’s School for the Arts.