A teacher and students gather around a whiteboard and write out details of scenes for a student-created play.

Summer Fun is Fuel for Fall!

It’s not just new school supplies that students carried with them into class for the first day of school this fall! Thanks to Arts for Learning Maryland’s engaging summer programs, thousands of students across Baltimore City and DC have new inspiration from compelling arts-based summer experiences, new curiosity about what’s possible through expression, new friends, and new skills to practice. This all makes for a great new school year! But don’t just take our word for it. Studies show that student engagement in arts-rich experiences leads to not just higher academic achievement, but more active and engaged citizens! What better way to head back to school?

Summer Arts for Learning Academy

Over 2,000 public school students in Baltimore City learned math vocabulary through rap, created patterns to multiply two-digit numbers, counted flower petals, and used self-portraits to practice symmetry and percentages at Summer Arts for Learning Academy (SALA). Over the past several weeks, these students told stories through all sorts of art forms including song, video production, and illustration. They asked themselves, “what if?” and rewrote and reimagined folktales from around the world.

Children are draped in patterned fabric and wearing paper maché masks on a stage. Most are standing, but two are huddled on the ground. One is draped in all black fabric and wearing a black and red mask.
Anansi the Spider: The Musical at SALA at Dorothy I Height

They worked with clay and learned to form pots, and put on musical productions complete with costumes, actors, and musicians. Just imagine all the new ideas and excitement they are bringing with them into the new school year! Take a closer look and hear what teachers and students have to say about SALA in this WMAR-2 news segment!

Summer Arts for Learning Academy, Washington, DC

Femi the Drifish stands in front of students in a lime green classroom lined with white cabinets. The artist's hands are held near his head and the students are imitating his gestures.
Students wrote and choreographed a rap with teaching artist Femi the Drifish at Lawrence E. Boone Elementary School

This year, Summer Arts for Learning Academy (SALA), our award-winning out-of-school time program for Baltimore City Public School students, expanded to Washington DC! The program served more than 400 students at two sites with arts-integrated, engaging learning experiences! Read our blog post on the expansion.

Summer Arts for Learning Academy at Goodnow

Ms. Nadia sits smiling at the end of a long table surrounded with students  working on art projects. There is a red bin sitting in the middle of the table and students reaching inside of it for art supplies.
Students practice visual arts with Ms. Nadia

65 students in grades K-8 from Baltimore City Public Schools attended Summer Arts for Learning at Goodnow. The five-week arts enrichment program was held at East Baltimore’s Goodnow Community Center and is managed by Arts for Learning Maryland. They spent the summer engrossed in enriching activities like visiting museums, they made a TON of art, and they were even welcomed at the Ravens training camp!

Bloomberg Arts Internship

A teenager holds a riveting hammer and is creating a rivet from wire on a steel block. They are wearing large headphones and glasses with a thin piece of white tape near the hinge.
An intern demonstrates riveting at the Baltimore Jewelry Center

35 rising high school seniors gained hands-on, transformational experience working with arts and cultural institutions in Baltimore City while also receiving guidance and mentorship in their college application journeys during the Bloomberg Arts Internship. At the program’s culmination, interns presented portfolios outlining their experiences and spoke about all they learned and the tasks they accomplished at their worksites for seven weeks over the summer.

While this closed out the internship for some students, others will continue their internships through April! These school-year interns will continue receiving support in general and with their college applications while working 5-8 hours per week at their worksites. How awesome is that?