City of Austin receives donation of 100 Gibson guitars

Austin students may be able to play their favorite blues, jazz and rock n' roll hits on guitars soon, as a result of a recent donation from the Gibson Company. On December 17, 2012, the City of Austin received 100 guitars from the Gibson Company to provide new creative learning opportunities to local pupils.

The donation came as part of the Any Given Child partnership that is supported by the City of Austin and Austin Independent School District (AISD). This initiative was created by mindPOP, one of several Austin organizations that helps educate city students.

What is mindPOP's impact on Austin schools?
Dr. Brent Hasty founded mindPOP as a project for the Austin Community Foundation. With mindPOP, students can take advantage arts and cultural opportunities through an initiative that emphasizes creating innovative tools and pilot programs for children.

The Gibson Company's recent donation represents a significant achievement for mindPOP and the Austin community. Nearly 1,400 students will be able to participate in guitar programs at 10 high schools and 11 middle schools throughout the city.

"MindPOP is thrilled to be the recipient of this generous gift as the central convener of this partnership that represents more than 50 community arts organizations providing creative learning opportunities to Austin youth," Hasty said. "These guitars will not only promote the creative development of our students, [Austin students] will develop the habits of mind that support academic skills that will be useful throughout the lives of these young people. We are very grateful for this gift."

Greg Goodman, director of AISD's fine arts programs, noted that the new instruments enable students to learn jazz, blues and much more. Additionally, the guitars could strengthen Austin's creative community and its economy.

The Austin creative sector is profitable, and typically generates more than $4.35 billion annually in economic activity. This metro also has seen its creative sector employment increase by roughly 25 percent over the last five years - outpacing the entire local economy's growth by 15 percent during that time frame.

People who are exploring some of the homes for sale in Austin might appreciate the educational opportunities available to local students. City officials are constantly searching for new ways to enhance the quality of the area's public schools, and local residents can reap the rewards of their efforts.