Granted wishes

Mulvane Art Museum received three grants from the Kansas Arts Commission totaling $23,007.

Brandon Bills

Washburn University’s Mulvane Art Museum will continue to be a leader in art education, thanks to state and federal funding.

The Mulvane Art Museum recently received three grants from the Kansas Arts Commission which totaled $23,007, a portion of which was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The grants included $8,007 for operational support, $7,500 for the Art Resources in Topeka Arts in Early Education programs and $7,500 for the ART Arts Beginning in Childhood programs.

“We’re very thankful for the grants received,” said Cindi Morrison, director of the Mulvane Art Museum ,who described the application process for grants as extremely competitive. “Grant money is harder and harder to come by,” she said.

Morrison said the grant for operational support will go toward bringing traveling exhibits to the museum. The grant will pay the exhibits’ fees and shipping costs, which have increased with the price of gas.

Art Resources in Topeka is the museum’s outreach program. ART provides outreach to more than 4,000 children in after school programs, school classrooms and preschool centers throughout the region.

“It’s money well spent,” said Morrison.

With the recent focus on test scores to meet the federal standards of No Child Left Behind, many schools have cut art from their curriculums. Morrison said the goal of ART is to bring art back into the classroom.

“It fits a need that is not being served in Topeka schools,” said Brogan Lasley, educational coordinator and instructor of art education. “The majority of schools are lacking in art education.”

Lasley said that the grants from the Kansas Arts Commission are the largest part of ART’s funding and allow them to continue providing art education to children in Topeka and surrounding communities – a population of children that wouldn’t get art otherwise, according to Lasley.

Lasley cannot stress enough the importance of an education that includes art.

“Art is valuable,” said Lasley. “It makes smarter people.”