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Arts and early childhood development focus of new NEA research

A new NEA report provides a review and gap-analysis of recent research about the arts’ relationship to social-emotional benefits in early childhood.

A new report from the National Endowment for the Arts looks at research on how the arts affect young children from birth to age eight. The news is good, but several research questions remain, according to this literature review.

The Arts in Early Childhood: Social and Emotional Benefits of Arts Participation: A Literature Review and Gap-Analysis (2000-2015) synthesized findings from 18 recent reports in psychology and education research journals. These studies focused on the social and emotional outcomes of young children who participated in art forms such as music, dance, theater, drawing, and painting. These quantitative studies looked at typically developing populations, as well as children with autism spectrum disorder. Among the findings:

  • Social skills and the arts – several studies revealed positive associations between arts activities and developing social skills, such as helping, sharing, caring, and empathizing with others.
  • Parents who reported singing to their child at least three times a week were more likely to report that their child had strong and sophisticated social skills. Children assigned to an eight-week dance group demonstrated improvements in social skill development and reductions in anxiety and aggression compared to a control group.
  • Emotional regulation and the arts – studies showed that the arts help children regulate their emotions, a critical skill for well-adjusted children and adults.
  • Infants who participated in a six-month active music group with singing and dancing had better emotional regulation behaviors than did infants in a passive music group, where music was played in the background while infants did other activities.
  • In another study, children were asked to think of a past negative event. Some of those children then were instructed to draw a house to distract themselves; the other children were instructed either to draw the negative event or to copy another drawing. The children who drew to distract were better able to improve their mood compared to the other children.
  • The role of demographics and development disorders – how do age, gender, income, and development disorders such as autism affect arts learning outcomes?
  • Gender is an important attribute in child development; however, this review did not find gender differences in the link between the arts and social-emotional outcomes.
  • Toddlers from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds who were in schools that included an arts integration program had more positive emotional expression and improved emotional regulation over the course of the school year when compared to a control group of low SES toddlers.
  • Autism, which is usually diagnosed by age three, is a neurological development disorder that impairs social skills, language, and communications. In one study, autistic children ages three to five had more positive outcomes (such as making and maintaining eye contact) when they participated in music sessions than when they took part in play sessions.

The Next Generation of Arts Research

What remains to be done? The report identifies gaps in our understanding of the effects of arts learning on early childhood and social-emotional outcomes. These research gaps also apply to arts research on other age groups and other domains of human development, such as physiological and cognitive growth, which were not examined in this report. The review challenges the research community to address methodological challenges, and to pursue more experimental studies, more reliable and standardized measurement tools, more detailed measurement of the complex nature of social-emotional development, and more large-scale studies.

Download full report here.

Excerpted from news article on the National Endowment for the Arts website.

The Roundtable Announces Face to Face Registration Subsidies for Unaffiliated NYC-based Teaching Artists

The New York State Council on the Arts is supporting registration subsidies for unaffiliated NYC-based teaching artists for Face to Face 2016.

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JANUARY 25, 6:00 PM

The only event of its kind in NYC and the largest in the state, Face to Face is a professional development conference for arts administrators, teaching artists, and others interested in the field of arts in education. The conference strives to demonstrate effective teaching and learning strategies for practitioners in the field of arts in education, as well as to provide forums for discussion of other critical issues such as policy and advocacy, assessment, fundraising, and organizational management. The conference encompasses approximately 35 break-out sessions, keynotes, a plenary session, and two networking events.

Face to Face is held over two days in April at The City College of New York, Shepard Hall. Each year, the conference committee selects a theme which informs choices on keynote speakers and the focal point for the conversation. For example, for the April 2015 conference, the keynote address and the plenary explored arts education in the context of community development.

NYC Teaching Artist Subsidy Project

With the support of the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable is offering 10 subsidies to qualified NYC-based Teaching Artists. Eligible applicants will not otherwise be registered by an organization with which they work. Each subsidy includes the following:

• $75 registration subsidy (registration rates range from $120 to $160 depending on member status and date registered. Registration opens in mid-February 2016).

Recipients must commit to attending the entire two-day conference, from 8:30 AM on Wednesday, April 27 to 4:15 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2016.

Application Process

Eligible applicants must submit the application form, resume, and proof of NYC residency by January 25, 6:00 PM

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of arts education professionals based in NYC. Click here  for NYC RFP.

A parallel program is providing registration & travel subsidies to twenty seven Upstate Arts Educators (including Long Island) for Face to Face 2016. Click here for Upstate project information and RFP.

This program is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Legislature.

 

The Roundtable Announces Face to Face Subsidies for Upstate New York Arts Educators

The New York State Council on the Arts is supporting a new initiative to provide subsidies to 27 Upstate Arts Education Professionals for Face to Face 2016. Parallel program for NYC-based unaffiliated teaching artists also offered.

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JANUARY 25, 2016, 6:00 PM

The only event of its kind in NYC and the largest in the state, Face to Face is a professional development conference for arts administrators, teaching artists, and others interested in the field of arts in education. The conference strives to demonstrate effective teaching and learning strategies for practitioners in the field of arts in education, as well as to provide forums for discussion of other critical issues such as policy and advocacy, assessment, fundraising, and organizational management. The conference encompasses approximately 35 break-out sessions, keynotes, a plenary session, and two networking events.

Face to Face is held over two days in April at The City College of New York, Shepard Hall. Each year, the conference committee selects a theme which informs choices on keynote speakers and the focal point for the conversation. For example, for the April 2015 conference, the keynote address and the plenary explored arts education in the context of community development.

Upstate Outreach Project (including Long Island)

With the support of the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable is offering 27 subsidies to qualified upstate arts educators to attend Face to Face 2016. Each subsidy includes the following:

• $150 travel subsidy from an upstate New York State location to NYC
• $150 accommodation subsidy
• $75 registration subsidy. (Registration rates range from $120 to $160 depending on member status and date or registration. Registration opens in mid-February 2016).

Recipients  must commit to attending the entire two-day conference, from 8:30 AM on Wednesday, April 27 to 4:15 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2016.

Application Process

Eligible applicants must submit the application form and resumé by January 25, 6:00 PM, 2016. Click here to access the RFP.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of arts education professionals based in upstate New York.

A parallel program is providing registration subsidies to ten unafiliated NYC teaching artists for Face to Face 2016. Click here for information and RFP.

 

This program is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Legislature.

 

“How Do I Explain What I Do?”…ugh…do I have to Ms.? By Heleya de Barros

I didn’t want to write this blog.  I tried to back out when a colleague approached me about it using time as an excuse (which is a completely legitimate excuse for any artist/teaching artist…but that’s another post).  But really, it wasn’t about the time. It was because I was afraid.  Afraid of writing it, afraid of not getting it right, afraid of talking about myself, afraid my voice wasn’t worth hearing.

Funny how those lessons you spend your days trying to get across to your students don’t seem to make it through your own thick ego—er–skull sometimes, huh?

So, here goes.

I use theatre for things other than putting on plays. 

I love theatre.  I love making theatre, I love seeing theatre, but what I love the most is when I see theatre’s inherent skills making guest appearances in other areas of people’s lives.  That is what I try to share with students; that theatre can be a useful tool for more than just thespian nerds.  I try to show students that the classroom—any place really—can be a space for play, and experimentation, and for exploration, and where mistakes are not just okay, but celebrated.  That’s not always easy.

In the majority of the programs I work for, students are not electing to be there.  They’ve been required to participate.  Sometimes my “cooperating” classroom teachers have not elected to have me there either.  I am most often met with apprehension, confusion, anxiety, sometimes resentment.  But, there is also curiosity and excitement.  The look of astonishment when you ask them to stand up from their chairs.  The even more astonished face when you ask them to push the desks to the side of the room.  “What is this crazy lady gonna have us do?”  I try to hone in on that curiosity and excitement.

“Try” being the operative word.  This is a job of celebrating the little victories.  Maybe these aren’t the show-stopping moments other youth theatre programs strive for, but they’re the kind of theatre skill guest appearance I love.  So, when I can get an entire class to stand in a circle in actor’s neutral (no, not leaning on the wall, or sitting on the desk, or with your arms crossed) and make eye contact with each other, I celebrate.  I celebrate because just making a circle can be a difficult task.  I celebrate because we don’t give students opportunities to look their peers in the eyes.  They look at phones, at Smart Boards, at worksheets, at text books, or computer screens, but not at the people sitting next to them.  I celebrate because of what might happen when they do look at each other.  Because I can see that standing in neutral is curious and exciting for them.  The room becomes, at once, both still and alive.

Because theatre is alive.  It doesn’t sit on the page in a textbook.  Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to explain what I do.  “I try to get students to stand in a circle and look at each other” doesn’t quite get at the point.

So, Ms., could we stand up?  Can I show you what I do?  I think that will work much better.

 

Huge Arts Education Win in Congress

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) successfully added an amendment to the rewrite of the nation’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) legislation that will integrate the arts into STEM education.

  For arts education proponents, Thanksgiving came early this year.

In the midst of the biggest shakeup of federal education law in over a decade, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) successfully added an amendment to the rewrite of the nation’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) legislation that will integrate the arts into STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math).

This is of particular significance because her amendment was unanimously adopted by voice vote by the joint House-Senate Conference Committee during today’s mark-up of the final ESEA bill. The bill next goes to the House and Senate for final (and likely) passage in early December before landing on the President’s desk. The amendment specifically citing the arts states: “integrating other academic subjects, including the arts, into STEM programs to increase participation in STEM, improve attainment of STEM-related skills, and promote well-rounded education;”

After many years of anticipation, this bipartisan legislation will set new K-12 education policies impacting the nation’s 100,000 schools across the country. See more here.

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) at markup hearing

Report says art education in New York City public schools paying off

A report by the state controller’s office shows the city’s efforts to boost art instruction in the public schools are paying off

The study, completed earlier this month by New York State Controller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office, examined city Education Department data showing 95% of surveyed 2014 city high school grads completed mandatory arts lessons, up from roughly half of students who completed the lessons in a similar 2011 audit.

The report also found the city is doing a better job keeping track of whether kids meet the state’s rules for arts education, which include minimum instructions levels and requirements for certified arts teachers.

“The DOE should be commended for making progress in ensuring students get required arts education,” said DiNapoli.

City Education officials said the huge increase in kids who met state art standards was partially due to better tracking. But an extra $23 million for arts instruction in the education department’s 2015 budget has paid for new art teachers, programs and facilities in the public schools this year, said Paul King, executive director of the department’s Office of Arts and Special Projects.

A new training program for teachers, called Arts Mondays, provides monthly sessions in dance, music, theater and visual arts.

“The new Arts Mondays program is a critical piece of our work to give support to teachers in providing all students with rich and rigorous arts learning,” King said. “This brand-new program brings our art teachers together to share best practices, reflect on their own work with colleagues, and learn from each other.”

Mayor de Blasio vowed on the campaign trail to give every city kid an arts education that meets state standards. He hasn’t quite reached that goal yet, but arts advocates believe the city’s expanded support could signal a new era in the public schools.

“Arts education took a pretty big hit over the last 10 to 15 years,” said Doug Israel, director of research and policy at the non-profit Center for Arts Education.”There’s no longer a dedicated funding line and the increased focus on testing and test prep made it really hard for principals to invest in arts education in city schools.”

He said the city’s recent investment in arts education is a “game changer” for students.

“All the data shows students are more engaged when they have arts as part of the school day curriculum,” Israel said.

Reprinted for NY Daily News Article November 16, 2015.

The Roundtable mourns the loss of esteemed Arts Ed colleague Jessica Wilt

The Roundtable community is saddened to learn that Program Committee member and a former Roundtable board member Jessica Wilt recently lost her 18-month battle with bone cancer.

Jessica believed strongly in the Roundtable’s mission. Her professional expertise and boundless energy truly helped to advance our organization over the many years of her involvement. When Jessica got sick, she chronicled her treatment on social media with characteristic good humor. Even after Jessica left New York for treatment in her home state of Ohio, she remained active in Roundtable affairs. She collaborated with us on #ArtsEdTech events at Apple SoHo and advised us on all manner of social media and tech-y topics. Jessica was vibrant and tenacious, opinionated and funny. She will be missed.

How do I explain what I do? By Yusef Miller for the Roundtable Teaching Artists Affairs Committee

  

            Um, I teach.

            Um, I’m a teacher. But not really?

            I’m an Actor. I work for Arts Education Organizations….What do I DO?

            Um, I’m called a Teaching Artist. A Theatre Teaching Artist.

Okay, I’ll give you the CV one-sentence summary.

I am an advocate for programming that utilizes theatre arts to help achieve literacy and educational objectives within youth populations.

But, that doesn’t really explain what I do. The truth is – I am finding my way. From this finding-my-way place, I have found myself in a system. This system claims to educate young people. This education is supposed to give them direction – school to college to career. But from street to class – they are harassed – presumed to be criminally minded – as they are bagged-checked and body frisked and in some case, manhandled by security – this is their entry to learning. Meanwhile, their Black and Latino families are stretched so far and so thin on a nation’s apathy. To come to school and be mishandled and unheard, students are like,

“Let me express myself, Ms. Let me take the whole class time for you to explore why I walk in late, why I’m eating in class, why I’m yelling back, why I’m speaking without raising my hand, why I need to take a break – to get out of your face, Ms. because you don’t understand that I don’t care what you know; I want to know if you CARE.”

I….I teach theatre as a tool of expression. I’m finding a way to connect to their content and modes of expression. It’s listening without judgment; it’s avoiding the urge to culturally critique. I’m finding a way to apply a theatrical lens to who they are and where they come from, FIRST. It’s like pulling teeth to ask them to tell a non-violent story or to imagine a delivery beyond the World Star videos. But, I’m finding a way to facilitate as community member, ally. Some times who I am appears to be an affront. I’m Black. Male. Educated. An Artist. I have expectations. AND I CARE. I’m never afraid to let them know I care. I’m never afraid to show them I care. I’m never afraid to speak to them frankly, familiarly, like nieces and nephews. I’m never afraid to buck the generational distance. I’m finding my way to impact using the skills I have. They reject what I know on some days. I’m finding varied ways to model the imagination at work. I want them to see the freedom one could gain from developing a character, a world, or rearticulating their circumstances for whatever purpose THEY choose.

I take a breath before delivering a monologue – I give them a thumb – one, two, three, the young audience is in no one’s syncopation. But I get it. I get them. I swallow. I begin my monologue. I hope I’m free enough to quell the side chatter – to ignite their risk taking. I am finding my way, knowing there is a way.

As flawed as that, I am a Theatre Teaching Artist and this is what I do. What do you do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Department of Education Announces 2015-16 Arts Partnership Grants!

Priorities and deadlines for the 2015-16 Arts Partnership Programs are announced.

The NYCDOE Office of Arts and Special Projects has announced the 2015-16 application cycle of the Arts Partnership grants! Brief blurbs and links to their respective RFPs are below (this content is also available on the DOE’s website).

Note that schools are the ones who are eligible to apply, and not cultural partners. Partners should work with schools in developing a proposal, but school leaders must drive the application process, from partner selection, project definition, proposal writing, and ultimately, to proposal submission.

  • Arts for ELLs (English Language Learners) and SWD (Students with Disabilities). Click here to view RFP—Proposal Deadline: 10/13/15

This program helps schools build arts partnerships that enhance arts opportunities for diverse groups of students, with a focus on ELLs and SWD. Grantees receive up to $15,000 to work with experienced local arts organizations to implement school-based arts residencies that boost student achievement in and through the arts, while developing and documenting best practices in arts education.

  • Arts Continuum. Click here to view RFP—Proposal Deadline: 10/27/15

In this program, middle schools and their feeder elementary schools work together, in partnership with NYC arts organizations to bridge and advance students’ arts learning as they transition from elementary to middle school. Each pair of ES/MS grantees shares a grant of up to $24,000 to support the development of residency and curriculum plans to achieve these goals, along with the arts residencies that will help bring schools’ curriculum plans to life.

  • Arts+Family Engagement. Click here to view RFP—Proposal Deadline: 11/10/15

These grants aim to expand parent, family, and community engagement around all aspects of our students’ arts education. Leveraging schools’ existing arts partnerships, this program provides up to $5,000 to support arts partner-coordinated workshops and other events that showcase students’ school-based arts experiences, engage students and family in art-making or learning activities, and demonstrate the power of the arts in the school setting.

If you have any questions, contact Ben Espinosa, Arts Partnership Manager, New York City Department of Education, Office of Arts and Special Projects: bespinosa@schools.nyc.gov

NYSCA Musical Instrument Revolving Loan Fund Now Accepting Applications

The New York State Council on the Arts’ loan program allows eligible non-profits to apply for a low interest loan for the purchase of musical instruments for the presentation/teaching of music. Oct 6 deadline.

The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) accepts applications on an annual basis for loans from the Musical Instrument Revolving Loan Fund (MIRLF). The loan program is competitive and allows eligible non-profit symphonies, ensembles and other types of cultural organizations to apply for a low interest loan for the purchase of musical instruments and certain equipment related to the presentation and/or teaching of music. The purpose of the funds is “to stimulate the professional growth of musicians and symphony orchestras which provide a vital educational and cultural service to the citizens of the state.”

Application Deadline:  5:00 pm Tuesday, October 6, 2015

To download the MIRLF Guidelines & Application, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/MIRLF16

(The file will open in Dropbox. If prompted to sign in, simply close the pop up window. A download button will appear in the upper right hand corner of the screen)

ABOUT

MIRLF was created by legislation in 1983 and was designed to stimulate artistic growth and productivity for professional musicians in symphonies/ensembles, students of music instruction, and cultural organizations by making loans available for eligible nonprofit organizations to purchase musical instruments and certain equipment directly related to the presentation or teaching of music.  To apply for a MIRLF loan, an organization must have received funding from NYSCA in FY13, 14 and 15 and have submitted all required Final Reports.
HOW TO APPLY
Please complete and submit a MIRLF application by the deadline, and submit to rita.putnam@arts.ny.gov.

To download the MIRLF Guidelines & Application,
please visit: http://tinyurl.com/MIRLF16
(The file will open in Dropbox. If prompted to sign in, simply close the pop up window. A download button will appear in the upper right hand corner of the screen)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Application Available: August 27, 2015
Application Deadline:  5:00 pm Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Loan Term:  Up to 8 Years at 3% interest
Location:  New York State

For Further Information, Contact:

Rita Putnam
Phone: (212) 459-8830
rita.putnam@arts.ny.gov
New York State Council on the Arts
300 Park Avenue South, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10010

Submit loan applications to Rita Putnam at rita.putnam@arts.ny.gov
New York State Council on the Arts │300 Park Ave South, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10010
212-459-8800 │www.arts.ny.gov