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Arts in Society and the Denver Office of Children’s Affairs Fund 2023 Programs

Grants to Pop Culture Classroom from Arts in Society and the Denver Office of Children’s Affairs will fund local arts and education work. 

By Chris Burley

(Jan. 26, 2023) — More Denver-area students will have the chance to design their own video games, make their own comics and board games, create and learn with Pop Culture Classroom in 2023!

Pop Culture Classroom’s expanded work is made possible by generous support from the Redline Contemporary Art Center’s Arts in Society Grant and the Denver Office of Children’s Affairs.

The programs will serve students across the community, using pop culture to improve literacy and learning, encourage creative self-expression, and create inclusive and diverse communities.

American Indian Game Design

Thanks to funding from Redline Contemporary Art Center’s Arts in Society Grant, Pop Culture Classroom will be working with the American Indian Academy of Denver to implement a video game design course.

During the fall 2023 semester, select students will attend a daily class where they will increase literacy, creativity, project management, and STEAM skills through video game creation.

Students will use the Dreams game-creation suite, designed by Media Molecule, to create games with pro-social messages that address issues in their community through an indigenous lens.

After-School and Summer Programming

Pop Culture Classroom has also received a grant from the Denver Office of Children’s Affairs to add additional after-school and summer programming in 2023 with three new partners.

As a part of this grant, PCC will be providing after-school enrichment in the spring and the fall, as well as summer programming for the Discovery Link program at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College, and the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation at two of their locations.

Pop Culture Classroom's workshops are educational and fun!
Pop Culture Classroom’s workshops are educational and fun!

Funding for these programs will allow elementary and middle school students at both locations to develop their creative thinking, critical thinking, literacy, and social emotional skills through learning to make comics and board games, playing customized tabletop roleplaying games, and utilizing other pop culture media.

Literacy Education in Adolescent Detention

Funding from Denver’s Office of Children’s Affairs will also allow PCC to bring the Literacy Education in Adolescent Detention (LEAD) program back to Gilliam Youth Services Center this fall.

Students in the 12-week program will engage in graphic novel book study and comic creation courses with the goal of improving literacy skills and giving students new and engaging creative tools to tell their stories.

Literacy in Detention Setting
Literacy in Detention Settings Program

The Need for Support

With student reading and math scores down and absenteeism up, Pop Culture Classroom’s services offer students a uniquely engaging and effective way to learn, create, and connect through popular culture.

During the pandemic, Pop Culture Classroom lost a significant amount of funding. However — with careful planning, the support of funders like Arts in Society and Denver’s Office of Children’s Affairs, and caring people like you — we’re making a difference with our award-winning programs.

Last year alone, Pop Culture Classroom served thousands of educators, students, and parents with our free online resources, and served thousands more Colorado Front Range students and families with our in-person arts and education programs and community events. 

Nonetheless, more work remains — and we need your help to engage, inspire, educate, and connect kids through comics, video, board, and role-playing games, and other pop culture.

Donate to Help

To fund this year’s efforts, Pop Culture Classroom must raise around $30,000 from caring individuals like you. You can help!

Support arts and education for students in Colorado and beyond with your tax-deductible donation. 

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