For the past few years, Comcast has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to teach youth not just basic computer hardware and software skills but advanced digital-arts technology involving graphic design, digital photography, music, filmmaking and robotics. Comcast sponsors the Boys & Girls Club Club Tech program across the country, which touches upon each of these disciplines.
Now BGCA is taking a step further by establishing a National Advisory Council for the Arts. I am excited to participate on behalf of Comcast, along with a broad range of accomplished artists, performers and musicians from across the country.
With research and funding from the Wallace Foundation, we will work with BGCA to develop what we think will elevate the quality of various forms of the fine and visual arts, performing arts, digital arts and arts education among Clubs nationwide. The rationale for this work is clear: research shows that participation in the arts helps to improve cognitive and socio-emotional skills, and it also helps to improve student attendance and overall grades. Furthermore, students who are engaged in the arts exhibit a greater desire to learn and a higher aptitude for how to learn.
It is my hope that this initiative will help strengthen the partnership Comcast already has with Boys & Girls Clubs of America - Comcast supports 2,000 Clubs nationwide - and potentially help build a pipeline for future Comcast and NBCUniversal employees.
This is an exciting step forward for all of us to help keep the arts in our communities and to help our youth get the right start in life. I look forward to the work that lies ahead and to the future leaders we will help develop.