DETROIT — At a screening of Ovation’s new original series Motor City Rising held at Detroit’s Cobo Center Thursday, Ovation and Comcast Cable jointly announced their co-sponsorship of a program that provides transportation grants to arts and cultural organizations for schools throughout the state of Michigan.
The Arts & Culture Trek Grant Program is run by Michigan Youth Arts, in collaboration with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Ovation and Comcast Cable will donate $50,000, including a cash donation and TV airtime on Comcast to run public service announcements about the program.
The announcement was made by Gaynor Strachan Chun, senior vice president of marketing at Ovation and Mary Beth Halprin, vice president of public relations and community affairs at the Comcast Cable Heartland Region.
Between 2010 and 2011, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs awarded school bus grants to 280 schools, located in over 44 counties, totaling $107,029 in awards. Michigan Youth Arts offered grants of up to $500 to Michigan K-12 schools for the transportation cost of an arts- and culture-related field trip. The destination or performance was chosen by the school from a list of organizations affiliated with MCACA.
Matching funds were needed for the program to continue in the 2012-13 school year. With the Ovation/Comcast Cable co-sponsorship, 40 schools and some 4,000 students will be provided transportation services.
“Ovation’s mission is to allow equal access to the arts for all Americans. That is why this program is a natural for us to support, and is part of our larger arts education strategy,” said Gaynor Strachan Chun. “We are very pleased to partner with our friends at Comcast to ensure Arts & Culture Treks continues to take students on great artistic journeys.”
“Michigan Youth Arts is thrilled to partner with Ovation and Comcast to provide these much needed opportunities to students throughout Michigan,” said Kim Dabbs, Michigan Youth Arts Executive Director. “As we face school budget shortfalls, we are proud to have this program give kids hands on arts and cultural experiences that they may have otherwise gone without. We know that arts education is core to creative children and a creative economy for the next generation.”
“Giving back to the community is part of our Comcast DNA and partnering with Ovation to support the Arts & Culture Trek Grant Program fits our goal of helping shape tomorrow’s leaders through inspirational experiences today,” Halprin said. “Giving 4,000 students a chance to participate in arts- and cultural-related field trips helps foster innovation and creativity in Michigan.”
Michigan Youth Arts has developed guidelines and a campaign to get the word out about the availability of these field-trip grant opportunities and is working with the 16 statewide arts education associations, schools and state departments to ensure a robust pool of applications, as well as market this to the cultural organizations to allow them to notify their school clients to apply for the funding. With Comcast Cable’s contribution of media time, the program’s visibility will be greatly enhanced.
Ovation is the only multi-platform network celebrating art, artists and all forms of artistic story-telling. Its programming tells the stories of artists, their work, and the powerful impact art has on each of us. Ovation programming is a one-of-a-kind mix of original and selectively curated series, films, documentaries and specials. The network reaches a national audience of 51 million homes and is available on cable systems across the country, as well as nationally on DirecTV, Dish, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse. Ovation is also available in HD and VOD (both in standard and high definition). Ovation extends its linear channel experience for viewers online via its popular Web site, www.ovationtv.com. In addition, Ovation is also active in the social media space. See the Ovation Facebook page for the latest information and conversations about the network and the arts: http://Ovtn.tv/fb.
Comcast is principally involved in the operation of cable systems through Comcast Cable and in the development, production and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and other content for global audiences through NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential and business customers. Comcast is the majority owner and manager of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, local television station groups, television production operations, a major motion picture company and theme parks.