The goal of the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child program is to assist communities in developing and implementing a plan for expanded arts education in their schools, ensuring access and equity for all students in grades K-8. Springfield is one of only 27 cities across the nation selected to participate in this initiative.


For many students, access to arts education during their school years is sporadic and uneven. They may have access during some years and none during others. When they do participate in arts education, students may have uneven access to content—learning in or through some art forms and not others. Additionally, equity is an issue. Students in some schools have less access to arts education than students in other schools.

A strong district arts education plan is achieved when all students, in Kindergarten through grade 8, have ongoing and equal access to learning in and through all the arts—dance, music, theater, visual arts, and media arts.


Mosaic Arts Collective mission is to remove barriers, as well as create opportunities for students of color regarding accessibility, and representation in the arts through a collaborative program partnership with the Springfield Little Theatre Education Program, a long-time Springfield “Any Given Child” partner organization. This is accomplished through accessibility to outside the Districts’ instruction through additional learning opportunities in visual art, voice, dance, acting, stagecraft and film. Mosaic has already provided these types instructional enrichment through a diversified production of Moana Jr., as an outside the school day experience by engaging District students in a professionally-staged, performances available to the entire community.

The Missouri State University Director of Opera, Dr. Ann Marie Wilcox-Daehn has initiated an on school site experience serving students in Grades Kindergarten through Grade Six. “Little Red‘s Most Unusual Day, written by John Davies, which features music by Gioachino Rossini and Jacques Offenbach. Supported by University student developed curricular materials designed to assist teachers in preparing students prior to the performances, those materials include District-music-curriculum aligned, vocabulary, stage directions, rhythm, storytelling and voice.

Virtual Program Delivery Strategies


Moxie Cinema

In partnership with Springfield Public Schools, Moxie Cinema developed and launched the Visual Literacy Experience, an in-theater workshop program for third-graders that challenges them to be thoughtful viewers by critically assessing and decoding what they see on screen. Students not only become more aware of how meaning is created and shared visually, but they gain tools to become better communicators themselves. The engaging and entertaining 90-minute program incorporates film stills, clips, short films, and group discussion to highlight and explore filmmaking fundamentals and how key techniques are used to communicate meaning. The curriculum ties closely to grade level learning standards, and participating educators receive a detailed guide with suggested in-class companion activities. The program, currently in a pilot of 10 SPS schools, is offered at no charge to schools thanks to a grant from the Springfield Regional Arts Council and support from Moxie members, with the goal of expanding the initiative district-wide.

"Any Given Child" in practice...

Springfield Art Museum

Each year, the Springfield Art Museum welcomes all SPS 5th graders to its galleries. Since many students are visiting a museum for the first time, tours are designed to introduce students to a variety of ways that they can actively engage with art. Students explore the museum in small groups, often led by practicing artists. Activities encourage students to observe, interpret and discuss, making connections between their own experiences and the art that they encounter. Our goal is for students to feel comfortable, confident and excited about returning to a museum.

Missouri State University Dance

Missouri State University has been a presenting agency with Any Given Child since 2013. All SPS eighth-grade students have the opportunity to attend two performances at the university. A theatre production is hosted in the fall, and a dance performance is hosted each spring, lending a unique experience as exposure to dance as an art form is limited in public schools. Students are given the opportunity to interact with performers. SPS has prepared teacher curriculum guides linked to the performances with pre-experience and post-experience guides.

Springfield Little Theatre

Springfield Little Theatre’s “Literature to Life” presentation strives to promote literacy and inspire students to have a greater appreciation of the arts. Springfield Little Theatre has been a long time partner in providing programming for Grade 4 students, as part of a community partnership with the Springfield “Any Given Child” Program, with transportation to the performances underwritten by the Springfield Public Schools PTA Council. Attending a Springfield Little Theatre play or musical at the historic Landers Theatre is often a young person’s first exposure to a live theatre performance. All fourth grade students will receive language arts curricular and performance-related learning activities for both their classroom and to take home, designed to promote additional learning opportunities through reading, as well as exposure to the performing arts.

Springfield Ballet

Since 1996, Springfield Ballet has provided busing for every second grader in the Springfield Public Schools system to attend a live, abridged performance of The Nutcracker at the historic Landers Theatre. This program is designed to expose all children to the art of ballet at an early age as part of the Any Given Child initiative. To enhance the learning experience, lesson plans are provided to the schools to be completed before attending the performance. For many of the children, this is their first experience being in a live theatre setting and viewing classical ballet. More than 46,000 students have been a part of this outreach project since it began!

Springfield Ballet is proud to be a part of Springfield's Any Given Child initiative, which seeks to bring access, balance, and equity to each child's arts education, using a model that combines the resources of Springfield Public Schools, local art groups, and the Kennedy Center for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Springfield Ballet's Second Grade Performances of The Nutcracker act as the second grade component of this program. "Offering a strong arts education component benefits students in their intellectual, personal, and social development," said Darrell M. Ayers, Kennedy Center Vice President of Education. "We want to ensure that every child receives a solid, meaningful arts education from kindergarten through eighth grade."

Study Guide for the Nutcracker.


Plotline is a film & media school that teaches the skills and knowledge to create original short films. As an Agency Partner of Springfield Any Given Child, they bring that programming into Springfield Public Schools to multiple grade levels. Teach hands on skills like video editing, screenwriting, cinematography and directing in a hands on environment. Student films of the program are screened theatrically.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra

Since 1969, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s annual Young People's Concerts have impacted over 250,000 fourth grade children from all Springfield R-12 district schools, 50 area school districts, and students from private, parochial and home schools in Southwest Missouri. Each of the Young People's Concerts is specifically designed to be an in-depth learning experience and an opportunity to listen to live symphonic music and to gain valuable exposure to the elements of musical styles and eras.

The Springfield Symphony works with Springfield Public Schools and the Springfield arts community as members of the Any Given Child program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Selected because of a demonstrated commitment to the improvement of education in and through the arts, the Symphony participates in collaborative efforts to provide equity and access in arts education for all students.

My Studio To Go

The My Studio to Go program provides Springfield Public School students access to art supplies and creative ideas. Inspired by the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child Program and SPS’s Backpack Program, this initiative gives grade school students who may not necessarily have the means to explore the arts extra opportunities to discover and enrich their natural talents.

Peter and The Wolf at Drury University

For more than 40 years, Springfield third-graders have attended a special performance of "Peter and the Wolf" at Drury University. The 1936 work by Sergei Prokofiev is designed to teach children about the orchestra through an easy-to-understand fairy tale about a boy and his animal friends being stalked by a wolf. Each character is represented by a different instrument and musical motif, helping build connections between the animated, colorful performers and their musical accompaniments. Prior to the performance, third-grade teachers are provided curriculum to help "Peter and the Wolf" come alive for their students. The composer's biography, audio examples, illustrations of instruments and more help students make connections to the power of music and performance, as well as encouraging them to be engaged, thoughtful audience members.

Study Guide for Peter and the Wolf by Breana Kavanaugh, Fine Arts and World Language Coordinator at Springfield Public Schools.

Springfield Regional Opera

The Springfield Regional Opera has provided world-class, Missouri-made opera performances to Southwest Missouri since 1979, and as part of our mission to make this art form more accessible to the community, the SRO annually produces an education tour that introduces opera to over a thousand students in the Springfield Public School System. Our goal is to make opera and art song approachable to younger viewers in the hopes that they will continue to explore and benefit from this wonderful art form for life. We are proud to be a presenting organization for Any Given Child.

Sculpture Walk Springfield

Sculpture Walk Springfield (SWS) is a privately funded grass roots organization dedicated to encouraging the artistic transformation of Springfield through outdoor sculpture, thus enhancing the quality of life and promoting economic vitality. Founded in 2014, the organization presents sculptures in the downtown and adjacent Jordan Valley Park on an annual rotating basis. The vision is to create a museum without walls with access to all. The sculptures, on loan from the artists, are on display for 10 months and then replaced with a new collection each April.

Host Organization

Springfield Regional Arts Council & Any Given Child

Springfield “Any Given Child” Fast Facts

Archival Programming from our 10 year partnership with the Kennedy Center

Early Program Highlights

MSU Programming Outreach

Springfield “Any Given Child” Action Plan

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