State and local public education budget cuts caused full time music and art programs in all Alachua County elementary public schools to be reduced by 50% for the 2008-2009 school year.
JUne 27 2008
A group of concerned citizens established the Elementary Arts Programs Fund at the Gainesville Community Foundation. The account was opened with an initial deposit of $775, with the hope of raising enough money to keep full time music and art programs in elementary schools.
July 08 2008
Alachua County citizens responded to the challenge with vigor. More than 500 clubs, businesses and individuals contributed to raising over $85,000.00 for the Fund, in just a few weeks.
July 10 2008
was the date set by School Board Superintendent Dan Boyd to raise $850,000.00 to reinstate full time elementary art and music programs for the 2008-2009 school year. Without a deadline extension, the committee was unable to raise the full amount.
An Advisory Board, consisting of individuals who advocate for the quality of arts education in all elementary schools was formed, partnering with the Alachua County School Board, and the Gainesville Community Foundation.
nOVEMBER 4 2008
The One Mil Property Tax Initiative was voted on and passed in Alachua County. Not only did this vote bring back full time music and art programs to all of the county's elementary schools, it also provided funding for middle school bands, school library programs, elementary guidance programs and updated classroom technology.
July 1 2009
As the result of a majority vote, the Elementary Art and Music programs were successfully reinstated to full-time status in all 25 Alachua County Public Elementary Schools at the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year.
Friends of Elementary Arts donated $50,000.00 to the Alachua County School Board to be divided equally among elementary school music and art teachers. Each teacher received $1,000.00 to rebuild and improve the arts programs in their respective schools.
The Elementary Arts Program Fund has acquired 501c3 status and becomes known as Friends of Elementary Arts, Inc.
Each year, Friends of Elementary Arts has made $5,000.00 available to elementary music and art teachers to take fifth grade classes to either a docent led tour of the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art or to a concert at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.