The 2010-2011 School year was a big year for The Blue Shoe Project. We inspired over 39,000 children, more than any time in our history in a single year, with 80% from underserved areas. This had a lot to do with the shift from campus-based programs to the new performing arts center experience that can accommodate many more children.
We continue to focus on elementary children who are at the beginning of their educational experience. We believe the earlier we can introduce children to music, the better chance we have for driving positive outcomes over their lifetime.
A New Approach
In 2008 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. Children were bused from across the Metroplex to experience the two remaining legends that participated in our first program – Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins and David “Honeyboy” Edwards.
In 2011 we introduced a pilot program building on the lessons learned from the 2008 program. This time children were bused to a local performing arts center in their area to experience the Mr. Blue Shoes program. This would accomplish several key objectives:
- Provide children a true, theater arts experience versus a cafeteria assembly-style program
- Serve many more children more cost effectively
- Allow schools with theater-equipped high schools or performing arts venues to provide a high quality arts experience and at the same time minimize busing expense
This approach proved successful with twelve districts and 26,000 children participating.
2012 and Beyond
In 2012 we will continue to focus our efforts on the performing arts center experience while continuing to provide those districts that lack these types of facilities, campus-based programs. And if all goes well, we will exceed our goals and continue to reach an even greater number of children.