The Graham Johnson Cultural Arts Endowment believes in the importance of arts in education. Through grants to schools the GJCAE assists schools with bringing artists to schools and to the classroom, thereby enhancing the quality of the learning and by increasing the participation of the student in his or her own education.
Students are at risk of getting lost in the system and art can be a lifeline to capture the attention of a struggling student who may not fit into the tradtional model of lecture and memorization. Art brings education alive and offers opportunities for developing talent, self esteem and cooperation. Through programs we sponsor in schools we facilitate the connection between schools and communities. While schools focus on teaching students to perform well on a test, the arts can teach a student to be creative, to think outside the box, to be a part of a community, to be a good parent, friend and citizen.
The mural above involved high school students from Franklin Academy working with a professional artist, studying the history of their own community, evaluating what makes their community special and working collaboratively to design and complete the project. This mural can be seen on display in downtown Wake Forest on the south wall of The Cotton Company building. Other programs supported in schools include writers-in-residence, storytelling, theatre programs, opera, brass bands and more.