Kyrene students and teachers are set to enjoy enhanced classroom experiences, courtesy of the city of Tempe’s Arts in Schools Grants. A select group of educators will welcome professional artists affiliated with the city of Tempe into their classrooms, bringing added expertise and a fresh perspective. In addition to the invaluable knowledge shared by these artists, the grants will facilitate the purchase of instruments and essential supplies for student theatre productions and various art projects.

Annually, Kyrene teachers vie for the Tempe Arts grants, with provisions allowing up to $750 for supplies. This year, however, Tempe has sweetened the pot. They’ve awarded educators grants of $2,000 to incorporate professional artists into their lesson plans. From this amount, $1,500 compensates the artist, while the remaining $500 goes towards acquiring supplies. Impressively, these resources will remain with the school even after the artist completes their tenure. The lucky beneficiaries of these grants span educators from Kyrene’s fine arts, performing arts, and music departments. The funds will benefit projects and classrooms across four Kyrene institutions for the 2023-24 academic year.

At Kyrene de los Niños, art teacher Linda Sun secured funding, ensuring that Kyrene de los Niños students will receive mentorship from a seasoned artist during this school year.

Over at Kyrene del Norte, music maestro Scott Harnisch will leverage the grant to enhance Kyrene del Norte’s annual drama production.

Meanwhile, C.I. Waggoner’s art instructor, Caitlin Sabato, plans to invest in art supplies for the school’s budding artists. In harmony with her, music teachers Whitney Cuzzolina and Jessica Van Oostrom intend to use their grant to introduce ukuleles to Waggoner’s musical ensemble.

Kyrene Middle School is equally abuzz with excitement. Band director Selena Ryan has acquired funding that promises professional mentorship for the school’s band members. Similarly, chorus director and music educator, Hannah Kimball, will use her grant to provide specialized training for the KMS chorus students. Additionally, orchestra and mariachi teacher Julio Contreras has secured funding that will usher in a seasoned artist to refine students’ skills.

But the benefits don’t end there. Each artist will also conduct a 90-minute professional development workshop tailored for Kyrene teachers in their respective disciplines. These initiatives underscore the commitment to nurturing continuous learning and fostering creativity, substantially elevating the offerings at Kyrene schools.

For more information, visit