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Beaumont Magnet Academy Begins $100,000 Playground Project

Beaumont Magnet Academy has begun work on its arts-inspired playground after winning the $100,000 Dream Big Grant from Farmers Insurance – Thank America’s Teachers last fall.


Beaumont, a Knox County arts magnet school that offers classes in art, music, dance and theater to all of its students, has hired artists and ordered equipment for its project. This week, students, parents, teachers and community groups are adding color to the track.


"This is the first of several projects aimed at bringing the arts into our playground. Beaumont is Knoxville's only elementary arts magnet school,” said Cheryl Burchett, Beaumont art teacher and author of the winning grant proposal. “We are already integrating the arts into our curriculum inside our building, but this grant will help us move that excitement outside to provide more opportunities for children to learn through the arts." 


To connect outdoor play with the school’s arts curriculum, the $100,000 grant will be used to build an outdoor stage and amphitheater, to buy outdoor musical equipment, to create a mosaic with a visiting artist and to add tons of colorful educational games on the track and asphalt area.


Work will continue today from 4-6 p.m. with more painting on the track surrounding the playground. An additional painting party may be scheduled in the near future. A second project starts the first week of May. As part of the grant, local artist Bailey Earith will come to Beaumont to start a mosaic project that all Beaumont students will get to help make and will enhance the entrance to the arts playground.


“Most of the playground projects have had to wait until the students leave for the summer, so we've been doing a lot of planning,” Burchett said. “I'm so excited to not only see the work finally beginning, but to begin with a project where everyone can help! We had kindergarten through fifth grade students helping with this huge painting project. We've had parents painting next to teachers. It's a great way to build our community and it's going to be so meaningful for everyone to look at the finished playground next year and know that they were a part of the process."