Any Given Child Bethlehem Reveals Plan and Vision for Arts Education in Bethlehem


Largest collective impact project in the Lehigh Valley benefitting arts education

Bethlehem, PA, May 10, 2019 – On May 7, Any Given Child Bethlehem announced the program’s strategies and plan to implement arts opportunities within Bethlehem Area schools and unveiled the updated branding and new Any Given Child Bethlehem website. Students who participate in art-related activities are three times more likely to be awarded for school attendance. Studies show that both curricular and extracurricular art studies and activities help keep high-risk dropout students stay in school. In September 2017, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts chose Bethlehem as the 24th site – first in Pennsylvania – to incorporate the program into the Bethlehem Area School District (BASD). A collaboration of over 50 members of our community from over 30 organizations worked together to create and define the project’s vision and goals.

“What was most noteworthy is that, by and large, no matter what our backgrounds or experiences, job title or organizational sector or size of organization, we established these values and goals rather quickly and with a steadfast passion that I found as equally inspiring as the vision itself,” says Andy Cassano, Director and Managing Partner of Any Given Child Bethlehem and Administrative Director at Zoellner Arts Center.

Any Given Child Bethlehem, newly branded today as pARTners – Ensuring the Arts for Bethlehem Students, established a powerful set of goals that includes providing every BASD student a rich, community-based arts experience from kindergarten through eighth grade. The program will expand music, literary and visual arts instruction and use arts to support the social and emotional needs of students. Through these goals, Any Given Child Bethlehem seeks to establish a professional learning program to support arts integration into the BASD curriculum, evaluate success, and establish a sustainable governance and communication structure all while positively impacting every BASD K-8 student.

“The growing number of pARTners in support of Bethlehem Area School District students shows that our local arts community is dedicated not only to enhancing the students’ educational experience, but also maintaining the prominence of the arts in the Bethlehem community,” said Dr. Jack Silva, Assistant Superintendent & Chief Academic Officer of the Bethlehem Area School District.

The announcement, held at Nitschmann Middle School, began with a gathering of community supporters surrounded by artwork created by Bethlehem Area School District students. Once inside the school’s state of the art auditorium, performances by the Broughal Middle School chorus and the Nitschmann Jazz Band entertained and impressed attendees. Along with Cassano and Silva, Broughal Middle School vocal music teacher and steering committee member, Amy Putlock, spoke of the importance of Any Given Child Bethlehem’s work. Other members of the community including Lissette Santana, PPL Corporation, Alex Karras, Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez’s office, and Kassie Hilgert, ArtsQuest, expressed the importance of arts education for our students and their futures.

“At PPL, we strongly believe in the need to energize arts education which will in turn foster creativity and innovation,” says Lissette Santana, PPL Corporation. “not only for our students but for businesses and the community as well.”

Mission of pARTners – Ensuring the Arts for Bethlehem Students (in support of Any Given Child Bethlehem)

As the Lehigh Valley’s largest collective impact project for arts education, our goal is to ensure equal access to the arts for Kindergarten through Grade 8 Bethlehem Area School District students. We foresee a learning community where every child experiences, creates and values the arts. For more information, visit or connect on Facebook and Twitter at @pARTnersglv.


Information Provided By:
Tina Hasselbusch