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Martha Beckort and Her Dedication to Finding Funding

Martha Beckort has been the media specialist at Lanesville Community Schools for 21 years. In addition to working with grades K-12, Martha collaborates with faculty to coordinate teacher professional development, assemblies, and other events, which is how she first came to Arts for Learning.

“I think I got a flyer in the mail or something,” Martha says, “and we realized how great your performances would work for our assemblies.” That was 15 years ago, and Lanesville Community Schools has been booking our performances ever since.

About five years ago, Martha began applying for grants from the Indiana Arts Commission to bring Arts for Learning workshops to the district. Any grants received by the IAC are automatically matched by the local community foundation, the Harrison County Community Foundation. Thanks to Martha’s effort and dedication, Lanesville Community Schools has received about $10,000 every year for Arts for Learning workshops in the visual arts and music classrooms.

Teaching artist Mac Bellner leads her “Mama I’m Bored – Pioneer Games” workshop at Lanesville Community Schools.

“The children absolutely love [the workshops]!” Martha says, “The students that experience these workshops tell their friends, and then I have students coming up to me asking, ‘When do we get to do the drumming workshop?’” Martha understands how much value these programs have for the children. “It’s an experience they wouldn’t be able to have anywhere else,” she explains.

Grant writing may seem intimidating, but Martha assures teachers it is not. “Staying organized and having strong writing skills is key,” she insists. The regional director for the Indiana Arts Commission as well as the local community foundation sponsor grant-writing workshops in her area, and she highly recommends taking advantage of opportunities like these. Martha also says asking the community to help out is a good option too. “Ask a business to fund a program. You’d be surprised how many say ‘yes.’”

Like most of us who support the arts, Martha recognizes the importance of arts in education programming, but also the difficulties of funding. Her commitment to providing a well-rounded education for students led her to resources that she may not have found without effort and dedication.

Funding the arts is not as daunting as it may seem. For more ideas, check out our resources page here.

4 days ago

Arts for Learning Announces the Creatively Green Family Arts Festival School Winners!


NRG Energy, Inc. and Young Audiences of New Jersey have partnered together again to bring you the NRG Creatively Green Awards Program. With their support, Arts for Learning, the Indiana Affiliate of Young Audiences, is proud to award two Indiana schools with an engaging and dynamic family festival that offers parents and children the chance to participate in hands-on art making to better understand the importance of environmental sustainability.

The winners of this funding are Oaklandon Elementary (Lawrence Township) and New Augusta Public Academy South (Pike Township).

About Arts for Learning:

As the oldest and largest provider of professional arts education programs in the state, Arts for Learning works with more than 65 teaching artists to provide performances, workshops and residencies to more than 61,000 Hoosier students each year at libraries, parks, juvenile detention centers, and community centers. For more information, visit


About NRG:

NRG is at the forefront of changing how people think about and use energy. A Fortune 500 company, NRG is a pioneer in developing cleaner and smarter energy choices for its customers: whether as one of the largest solar power developers in the country, or by building the first privately funded electric vehicle charging infrastructure or by giving customers the latest smart energy solutions to better manage their energy use.  More information is available at Connect with NRG Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy.


How to describe the festival: 

Winning schools receive the unique opportunity to host a family event for up to 300 people, featuring Arts for Learning artists that will celebrate imagination and creativity while promoting a better understanding of individual and community responsibility to protect our planet.  The 2-hour family arts festival consists of dynamic performances by Arts for Learning artists focusing on the importance of protecting our environment; hands-on art making workshops led by Arts for Learning’s professional teaching artists that promote environmental sustainability; and a community art-making project to be played, displayed or shared during the event.


Acknowledging Arts for Learning and its Partners:

Our Creatively Green Family Arts Festival, presented by Arts for Learning, was funded by Young Audiences of New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania and NRG Energy. With their partnership, we will be able to provide students and their families with a fun festival atmosphere while also teaching the importance of protecting our environment through sustainable practices.



January 14, 2015

Spring Funding Resources

Are you ready to create an arts-enriched environment for your students this semester? Use the guide below to find funding resources for your school!

January 12, 2015

Nominate a colleague to be the 2015 Arts Advocate of the Year

Arts for Learning is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Arts Advocate of the Year! Arts for Learning annually recognizes an award winner who demonstrates dedication to arts integration in their classrooms and schools.

From our 2014 winner, Jenny McAllister:

Being selected as the 2014 Arts for Learning Arts Champion was a wonderful honor.  This allowed me to share with others the value of implementing a curriculum for children filled with art and music!!  Showing the ways music and art can foster a life-long love of the arts is very important.  My school supports and encourages activities involving artists from various disciplines allowing me to expose children to things they might not otherwise be a part of.

As a result of this award, the ability to promote public awareness of the influence of arts on the lives of our children is greatly enhanced.   This award has brought about a recognition of the importance of an arts related curriculum in our children’s education.  I am grateful for this opportunity to highlight the arts in our schools and fully support the program of the recognition of Champions of the Arts in the Indianapolis community.

Consider nominating a colleague to be Arts for Learning Teacher of the Year to receive complimentary programming, Arts for Learning gear, and recognition in front of your school and in the media. Nominations can be made here and are being accepted until March 15.


December 8, 2014