Spring update: Cultural Passport 2011-12

Arts / Article

By  Michelle Berra, Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Since the start of the 2011-2012 school year, Miami-Dade County Public School students have had the opportunity to experience Miami’s vibrant cultural atmosphere through Cultural Passport. Cultural Passport is an innovative educational initiative designed to provide M-DCPS students in grades K-12 with a different cultural field experience each school year.

On March 22, 2012, more than 3,000 second grade students visited the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts to hear The Cleveland Orchestra, in collaboration with Tiempo Libre, perform “¡Musica Fantástica!” as part of the Cultural Passport program. For many of the students, this was their first opportunity to experience an orchestra and visit one of the premier performing arts centers in the world, at no cost to their school. In addition, the experience extended beyond the Knight Concert Hall and into the classroom through CD and print materials made available by the Cleveland Orchestra. Teachers participated in two professional development sessions specifically designed to integrate this orchestra experience with the District’s language arts, reading, social science, and fine arts curriculum.

Twenty-first century skills such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and cooperation are not only skills which students will need to have to thrive in our global economy; they are also skills which permeate the arts and instruction in the arts.  As the latest research in education continues to show the importance of students developing 21st century skills, M-DCPS shows its dedication to the arts and to preparing students for the future by allowing them to participate in integrated cultural experiences throughout the City.