EFA provides K-12 schools with a diversity of free arts education enhancement programs, including:
- Aesthetic Education Program | Aesthetic Education (AE) is a learner-centered, discovery-based curricular program that helps students make meaning of aesthetic experience by putting the artwork at the center of study. AE develops analytical and critical thinking skills in students through hands-on art-making activities, reflective questioning, and contextual information and research.
- Alternative Arts Initiative | The Alternative Arts Initiative provides opportunities for students in non-traditional education settings to participate in and engage with the arts. Teaching Artists collaborate with administrators and educators to design specialized residencies for students to apply the creative process in the development and exhibition of their own work. To expand and deepen these artistic experiences, the Teaching Artists guide students through the viewing and responding to works of art.
- PACE Program | Explore! Create! Perform! The PACE Program engages K-8 students in creative movement and drama residencies that spark imagination and personal expression. Residencies teach the elements of the art form, emphasize artistic exploration and the creative process, and celebrate the students’ creative work. To deepen the students’ understanding and inspire their own original work, classes have the option of attending a professional dance or theater performance.
- EFA Presents! Program | EFA Presents! provides schools with easy access to performances and visual arts exhibitions from around the world. These acclaimed works of art are available to schools at little to no cost, depending on student grade level and the individual work of art. EFA includes an education guide and a limited bus rebate to assist with field trip transportation.
- EFA Bus Rebate | Since 2003, EFA has provided bus transportation rebates for schools to participate in high-quality arts and cultural field trips taken within Kalamazoo County. The program supports the annual attendance of more than 20,000 students in select arts education programming offered by EFA and partnering organizations. Schools contribute $25 per bus round-trip and EFA reimburses the balance at the end of each school year.
- Grant Programs | With support from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, EFA awards and manages up to $150,000 annually in grants and scholarships to help fund and enhance arts initiatives for Kalamazoo County students, schools, and educators. Available grants include artistic project grants for schools, artistic development grants for educators, student arts scholarships, and student artistic equipment grants.