Writing, art, music. Arts Without Boundaries lives up to its name by providing assistance in all areas of the arts.
This year as part of efforts to get quality instruments into the hands of student musicians, the organization is encouraging families to check their closets for unused band or orchestra instruments they can donate to the organization. Darrell Tunnicliff, board president for AWB, believes in the importance of quality instruments for young players. The arts engage students, particularly those who struggle to find their niche.
“I’m a firm believer that all of the arts are related,” Tunnicliff said. “Our ultimate goal is to keep kids in school. Some of our schools have 20 percent chronic absenteeism and many have high drop-out rates. Kids who are engaged don’t drop out of school.”
AWB has purchased $46,000 in instruments in the past few years, but the organization’s ability to buy instruments has not kept up with the demand, Tunnicliff said.
Rocky Mountain College students earn 3 credits for providing students free music lessons and Tunnicliff said he is working with MSU Billings to find musicians there to help out in the program. He is also working with elementary schools to offer free after-school programs in writing and art.
“I want every student to have access to extra opportunities in the arts,” Tunnicliff said. “We are not competing with the programs already in place in the Billings district but enhancing them.”
If you would like to donate an instrument, Tunnicliff suggests you take it to the neighborhood school. For more information about other ways to help Arts Without Boundaries, go to www.artswithoutboundaries.org.