2021 Mayoral Candidate Arts in Education Questionnaire

Early Voting: June 12-20, 2021  //  Election Day: June 22, 2021

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In April 2021, the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable sent each New York City Mayoral Candidate a survey on arts, education, and culture in New York City, to complement our #ArtsAreEssential campaign. We have published their full responses below, in an effort to provide our membership and constituents with a deeper understanding of each candidate’s views and positions on education-related issues.

Interested in learning more about each candidate’s arts & culture platform? Check out the Arts & Culture Mayoral Forum, hosted by New Yorkers for Culture & Arts with support from the Roundtable as part of their host committee. Click the button below to view the full recording.

 

About Ranked-Choice Voting

“Ranked-choice voting will be used for the June 2021 Primary Election. New York City will use ranked-choice voting for Primary and Special Elections for the following NYC municipal offices:

  • MAYOR
  • PUBLIC ADVOCATE
  • COMPTROLLER
  • BOROUGH PRESIDENT
  • CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS

You can rank up to 5 candidates in order of preference: your 1st choice candidate, your 2nd choice candidate, and so on up to your 5th choice candidate.”

– From Board of Elections in the City of New York (Learn More: https://vote.nyc/page/ranked-choice-voting)

 

 

Mayoral Candidate Responses

1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

The arts have been an intrinsic part of my life for as long as I can remember. I am forever grateful for Ohio’s then-robust arts education programming. I started taking piano lessons in kindergarten. In 2nd grade, my teacher took my class to a room filled with instruments. “Pick any one,” she said. I got a violin, which started a decade of training that culminated with instruction by the Assistant Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, Richard Roberts. The arts were also an outlet and a means for expression from the racism and domestic violence I experienced as a child.

When I applied to college, I submitted a portfolio that included photography, graphic design, and painting. After high school, my first job was teaching chamber music in a summer music camp and serving as the camp’s audio engineer. One of my great thrills was sitting at the sound board at Tanglewood. At Yale, I became the second man to graduate in the Women’s Studies major and the first to concentrate in art history. I worked full-time while attending Yale full-time, starting in exhibit design and construction at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, then in architecture firms where I apprenticed and had a built project before I graduated.

The arts are an intrinsic part of my professional life. I moved to New York City because it is the creative capital of the world and to Brooklyn because Spike Lee was down the street from my Fort Greene apartment and it was the home of hip hop. I designed and built manufactured homes, worked for the architect I.M. Pei, and then helped put the Queens West waterfront development project in the ground, including completing its design and its 1 percent for art program.

I was a Board Member of the Brooklyn Public Library and worked to enable it to become the onramp to digital literacy in Brooklyn.

After that, I helped start a number of companies in and around the arts:

  • hooloo.com, the first e-commerce company in North America for Chinese language books and music
  • Splendid Television, a mini-series production company now owned by Dreamworks
  • Haystack Music, a social music pioneer that created sharable playlists and negotiated the first on-demand music streaming licenses
  • Cookstr, the only recipe website for cookbook recipes
  • Qwire, the platform for managing the process of incorporating music and other IP into network TV

I’m proud of my efforts to bring artists and creators of all kinds closer to their work and to participate in the revenue for that work.

Watching William Forsythe has forever changed my definition of art. I last saw SLIDER performed in 2013 at BAM, which moved me so much I bought tickets to see it again.

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1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

I’ve had countless meaningful interactions with the arts throughout my life. Participating in my high school’s production of Oliver! helped me develop an early and deep love and respect for the arts. As a graduate student in architecture, I learned about and interacted with design in ways that have shaped how I think about every aspect of my life. I still remember watching Kamasi Washington perform at the King’s Theater in Brooklyn as one of the last moments of joy I had before the city shut down amidst the pandemic.

But perhaps my most meaningful interaction with the arts—at least the one that I’ve reflected on the most during this time of pain and crisis—is one that I share with many New Yorkers. It speaks to the ability of the arts to heal entire communities following struggle, and it points to the role that the arts must play in our city’s recovery.

My wife Liza and I were just five blocks from ground zero when the second plane flew over our heads and struck the south tower of the World Trade Center. Like many New Yorkers, we were shaken to our core, and we wondered how the city would recover. But shortly after, Mayor Bloomberg brought artists together to create towers of light that reminded us through the power of art, wherever we were across this city, that we could look up and see in the sky that we were New Yorkers. Those towers commemorated those we’d lost, but they also guided us on a pathway forward for our city.

That experience has since then informed how I view the role of arts in moments of crisis like the one we’re living through today. It’s why my recently published, comprehensive plan to support the city’s Arts & Culture sector begins with the word “healing,” and I’m certain that the arts will once again play that role as we reimagine our city as a place that works for everyone.

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1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

When my daughter immigrated here from Siberia at 13 years of age, I was so very happy to be able to find her wonderful, free after school programs at every museum and arts organization. These after school programs at MOMA, The Met, Museum of New York City, Brooklyn Museum, Superheroes Writing Program in Brooklyn, the Children’s Museum as well as independent theater groups offered Masha a chance to make American friends, learn English and the most important thing – how to think openly. Coming from Russia – the culture and the educational process is very different.

Here in America it was a chance to freely imagine stories and ideas. She went on to be honor student, worked as a high school science aid at Natural History Museum among other arts and cultural awards. As Mayor – I want to fund all independent and grassroots arts organizations as well as the larger institutions to expand programs for all disadvantage kids in the boroughs. From at-risk to new immigrants. The arts are the one way to rebuild NYC after the devastation of Covid.

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1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

My love for the performing arts came at a very young age. I had many meaningful experiences. Several of my relatives have participated in the arts in general.

At the age of eight I attended a private school and the director was devoted to the arts and there I learned more about poetry, theater and my poem was displayed by the director at the school’s lobby. Before my teens, I attended an association for the arts where I practiced art and at the age of twelve I drew the live female and male naked models whom were posing and some whom I had conversations with. I also took sculpture classes sculpting as reference to the live naked models. I attended a widely known private college where I took violin classes and music theory classes. I was invited to perform at Lincoln Center.

My artwork was exhibited at museum and my poem was featured at the NY ballet school. I attended ballet classes during my teenage years, I value both classical and cultural music.

At college I enrolled and completed many theatre classes, playwriting and took acting and other talented courses the college offered. I have acted in front of large audiences and I have gone to see plays. I once was declared at a competition event as most colorful for the costume I presented in.

I have attended various art museums and read and experienced art, music, dance, theatre. I dressed in cultural clothes from the continents as a form of cultural awareness and non-discrimination and I was identified as coming from numerous -which is true, my ancestors, distant relatives come from all the continents of the world.I have read poems, global literature, philosophy, diverse languages. I listen to cultural music and read international news. The performing arts is the animus of motion, of balance, of joy, of emotions, of everlasting performance in action.

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1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

The arts have always been a part of my life and my family. My sister is an artist and worked for an art gallery for many years – most of the art in my home is her work. My son, Alex, plays the saxophone. I truly believe that playing an instrument while in high school significantly lowered his stress and helped get him into college. I love how pervasive art is in our City and how it creates opportunities for joy for all New Yorkers.

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1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

I have had a longstanding, broad and significant commitment to the arts, including as a collector of art, predominantly by Black artists. As the chair of the board of trustees of the Studio Museum in Harlem I have worked to support, promote, and advocate for artists of African descent, as well as work that has been inspired and influenced by Black culture – locally, nationally and internationally. I have also served as a trustee of the Whitney Museum of American art and other arts organizations. My support for the arts also extends to other media, including music, photography, film, dance and performing art.

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1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

I’ve had many incredible experiences with the arts, but the one that was perhaps the most important to my family has to do with my children. Both my children have learning differences, but my daughter especially struggled. It wasn’t until she found the arts (musical theatre) that she really started to come into her own as a learner and gain a different kind of confidence. The arts transformed her experience and (I think) saved her before she became totally lost in school.

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1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

My daughter was diagnosed with Autism at twenty two months old. Early on during extensive therapy it became apparent that she had a love for music. She took an immediate interest to the violin, and we enrolled her in lessons at the age of six. She excelled, learning how to read music while practicing several hours a day. She has played in recitals and school concerts which has built her self confidence and self esteem immensely over the years. Now at age 14 she is still playing and improving each and every day. The discipline, continuity and creativity that the music programs brought to her life helped her grow socially. I know the importance of arts and music programs from firsthand experience.

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1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

I have worked as a performing artist for most of my life. I started out in theater and film and in most recent years have been performing stand-up comedy and radio broadcasting. The arts have been my income, my source of peace, and a way for me to express myself fully. I believe my work has brought others joy, as well as made them think about pressing issues. I was blessed to have performed The Vagina Monologues on Vday during the beginning of the Me Too movement. It was a highly impactful show that moved both men and women to learn about diverse issues facing women of every age and circumstance from sex workers, senior cancer survivors, a lesbian’s first love, a victim of a butal wartime sexual assault, to a woman discovering the magic of her own body. This particular show had an impact on me as well because I was able to see in real time how a piece of art can transform, teach, emotionally connect and change people after experiencing it. Art is a place for people to find commonality through a joint experience, whether as a creator or observer.

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1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

With two young boys and a wife who works as a museum administrator, I’ve taken in a lot of shows and arts experiences. I have to say, my two sons Max and Miles love magic — and Elyse and I have a lot of fun going with them to these shows. There’s nothing better than seeing your kids’ faces light up as their world is expanded right before their eyes. Art, performance, and culture are vehicles to broadening the dreams of our next generation, and that’s why they’re so special to me.

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1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

A conversation I had with my daughter when she was very young, is one of the reasons I am running for mayor. She has always been an artistic child and would like to be an artist full time when she is an adult. In high school, we moved her out of our local public school because of their lack of sufficient arts education programs to one that could properly nurture her passion. One morning she said to me “Mom, I’ve done the math. In order for me to be able to be an artist full time, the most I will be able to afford is $600 per month in rent. Where in New York City can I live for $600 dollars a month?”

Artists are the lifeblood of our city, and are suffering from the affordability crisis plaguing New York City. My daughter should not have to wonder whether or not her city, her home, will have room for her. I am running for mayor so that everyone can live here with dignity. This includes creating spaces and supports for those who fuel our vibrant cultural ecosystem.

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2. What policies or legislation regarding arts education have you supported in the past?

2. What policies or legislation regarding arts education have you supported in the past?

My arts policy is here.

I’m a first-time candidate. While on the School Leadership Team at Brooklyn Tech I tried to champion a replacement for their sole art requirement, an archaic class called DDP, standing for Design, Drafting and Production. Not even digital. This ultimately fed into our fight over the Principal selection process.

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2. What policies or legislation regarding arts education have you supported in the past?

As Housing Commissioner for our city, I worked to expand access to affordable housing—which is a key factor in providing further opportunity for students and educators—and to integrate artistic space within affordable housing.

As Housing Secretary under President Obama, I continued my work of expanding access to affordable housing, working closely with the National Endowment for the Arts to ensure our decisions were aligned with broader efforts to support the arts. As President Obama’s Budget Director overseeing the $4 trillion federal budget, I prioritized investments in education and resources for our students.

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2. What policies or legislation regarding arts education have you supported in the past?

I support any legislation that funds after school programs. I want to see arts in all public schools – especially the underfunded public high schools. More music, more art as I believe children who can excel in these creative endeavors will use these skills to find jobs. Crafts and artisans will have an important role when we build back NYC.

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2. What policies or legislation regarding arts education have you supported in the past?

I have looked favorably towards policies/legislation that increases students’ participation in the arts. I believe in the “culture policy” whereby the arts are expanded. I agree with the concept of the initiatives suchlike:

“Affordable real estate for artists (AREA), DCLA’s Diversity,Equity and Access, Building Community Capacity (BCC), The Mayor’s Grant for Cultural Impact, New York City’s Percent for Art Law, The 2017 New York State P-12 Learning Standards for the Arts, The NYC DOE Blueprints (helps organize lessons),New York Consolidated Laws,Arts and Cultural Affairs Law-ACA 20.05. Legislative findings & determinations, and statements of purpose,Arts K-12 Learning Standards, The New Arts Learning Standards, and there are countless more but too much to mention and they are organized into:

Standards, laws, acts, and other titles of identification.

Each pertains to the arts or/and culture and how to make it progress.

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2. What policies or legislation regarding arts education have you supported in the past?

There is a place for art everywhere–even at the Sanitation Department. I used any opportunity to use arts to connect with communities and educate the public about policy. As Sanitation Commissioner, I supported our artist in residence, Meryl Ukeles, including a retrospective of her work at Queens Museum. I also had an anthropologist in residence and fashion designer in residence, Heron Preston. Heron created a fashion line of decommissioned uniforms to highlight the Sanitation Department’s zero waste goals. I was also proud to work with a muralist, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, who created a piece saying “women are New York’s strongest” on a Sanitation facility.

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2. What policies or legislation regarding arts education have you supported in the past?

While I have not held public office, I have always been an advocate for funding arts education and ensuring equitable access, and I would look forward to continuing that commitment as mayor.

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2. What policies or legislation regarding arts education have you supported in the past?

In the past, I have supported and been a part of multiple programs that support arts education. For example, Phipps Neighborhoods, where I was an executive director and CEO from 2010 to 2020, has visual and performing arts as a part of their after school program for kids and teens. This program brings professional artists and instructors in to allow kids and teens to express themselves through art and help them develop real creative art skills.

Another program I’ve been involved in that supports arts education is The Door. I was an executive director at The Door for four years, and their creative arts program has always been central to their mission. They provide new selections of creative arts classes each semester. These classes are offered on different levels to accommodate kids of every skill set, and encourage kids to pursue their artistic projects in and out of the program! We also hosted many open mic/ talent nights that provide kids with the opportunity to show off what they have learned at the program to family and friends. Organizations that I’ve been involved in, and I personally, have done many things to support the arts and creativity in the past, and would continue to do so as Mayor.

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2. What policies or legislation regarding arts education have you supported in the past?

I have always supported any legislation or policies that have allocated resources to and promoted arts education within our education system. As a councilman in Pensylvania several years ago I fought against the removal of music and art classes from our local school system.

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2. What policies or legislation regarding arts education have you supported in the past?

I have not been in elected office before, but as a private citizen I personally supported the policy called Teaching Artist, in which artists from various fields visit the classroom to teach students their craft.

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2. What policies or legislation regarding arts education have you supported in the past?

When I first became Comptroller, I reviewed every single school across the City and found that far too many NYC children were not receiving vital instruction in the arts, which is not only required by state education law but is viewed as a key and necessary component for whole child development. Then, I mobilized with advocates to get the Department of Education to make an unprecedented $23 million investment in arts education during the 2014-2015 school year. And as Mayor, I will continue making sure that both arts and physical education are treated as the critical components of a well-rounded education that they are – not as any sort of luxury or add-on. I have also stood with leaders in the arts to spotlight the importance of the National Endowment for the Arts and stand up against the Trump administration’s cuts to the critical programs that are so deeply involved in our arts education. I’ve also pushed for reforms to how the City supports arts organizations, venues, and individual artists — from capital and operating funding, to connecting artists with affordable spaces, to shoring up protections for independent workers — and
deepening the cultural sector’s involvement in our childrens’ education.

And as Manhattan Borough President, I worked hand-in-hand with arts organizations to deliver capital and discretionary funding to support local arts.

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2. What policies or legislation regarding arts education have you supported in the past?

I am a first time candidate. However, in the upcoming week I will be releasing my education platform, which funds and expands art programs in every single public school. A Wiley administration would dismantle the high stakes testing machine and instead infuse the arts across the curriculum, providing daily arts education programming for all of the city’s students in every year of the system, including in non-arts focused high schools. My administration proposes redistributing money that is currently being spent on testing contracts, Discovery, test prep, tests, test administration, and test grading to fully fund arts programming in every school, 3K-12th grade. As Mayor, I will end gifted and talented testing, which will free up $5 million for arts funding.

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3. Do you believe arts are essential to NYC public school education? Why or why not?

3. Do you believe arts are essential to NYC public school education? Why or why not?

My education policy is here.

  • Arts are essential to education, anywhere, in any setting. Here are some high-level reasons:
    We know that many forms of intelligence exist; arts represent more than one. And we also know that the arts are closely related to other forms of human learning, from math to physics to poetry. Missing art is to miss entire parts of intellectual development.
  • Arts represent human history, which doesn’t remember those who are merely wealthy. It remembers the artifacts left behind, the artists and the great patrons.
  • Arts are essential for stimulating creating, building self-confidence, understanding excellence and perseverance.
  • Students unmotivated by school often find the arts a reason for attending and persevering.
  • The arts will be especially important as students return to school, post-COVID, in which mental health will be a major component in successfully re-integrating into “normal” school.
  • New York City is the creative capital of the nation. An influx of homegrown creative talent will be essential to maintaining that position. And the arts are a huge component of the city’s economy. We can’t afford not to offer a robust arts education.

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3. Do you believe arts are essential to NYC public school education? Why or why not?

I absolutely believe that the arts are essential to our city’s public school education. My design background as a trained architect has always served as a foundation for developing creative solutions to complex problems. The arts help us see beyond what is to what could be, and that is a vision that benefits every person, no matter their career or background, and allow students to become effective problem-solvers, creative thinkers, and more successful professionals.

As noted in question 1, the arts also play a vital role in healing individuals and communities after moments of crisis. As we emerge from this pandemic, arts education will contribute immensely to bringing students back into supportive school environments where the arts are integrated into their learning in order to process trauma, support differently-abled learners, and find unique pathways back to collaborative, project-based learning.

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3. Do you believe arts are essential to NYC public school education? Why or why not?

Absolutely essential !

I believe in the arts – especially for kids that may not be traditionally “academic” , who can find a way to flourish and find confidence through dance, spoken word, writing and visual art.

I really want to use it for disadvantaged kids so it’s not treated as a “luxury” but as an essential part of the educational system.

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3. Do you believe arts are essential to NYC public school education? Why or why not?

I believe the arts are a form of expression, creativity, and engaging activity -they are essential to education and as a hobby or profession. Art is around us. The art branches consist of the performing arts (music, theatre, dance, drama), visual arts (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film making, architecture, crafts, etc) Literary arts (poetry, journalism, etc) -It has been classified/grouped diversely as “types of art, different forms of art.”

The student will foremost learn through the arts the skills of harmony, imagination, inventiveness, appreciation of aesthetics, the ability to use their reasoning in complex ways, patience, motor skills, serenity, precision, collaboration, perception, and many more.

I believe that art played an important role throughout the time periods. It is visible art as a form of communication and expression (type of journal to record their activities) in the cave paintings (supposedly the first works of art) also known as Rock Art. Then, you can see it in the the history of writing (the pictographs, scripts, calligraphy, alphabet symbols). In the museums is found the evolution of the arts, painting, sculptures, ceramic, artifacts, etc. Public art (usually called outdoor art) are sculptures, art installations, street and graffiti art, murals…are encountered as part of our communities.

It is seen in public spaces, landscape architecture design, art spaces, parks -usually, to calm passersby and to attract tourists.

If there were no art, our five senses would be dull. For (sound) music is found in nature or city life (chirping birds, raindrops, ocean waves, cars honking, sound arts exists by the way), the colors (visual),the taste of food (culinary arts), olfactory art (smell), and even museums are creating 3d versions of paintings for visually impaired people -thus, touch as art or for people: tactile art. Nowadays, robot art (AI) can assist humans with painting art.

Therefore, it is vital that the arts in education be taught to all students, adults, elderly, disabled. Even animals learn the arts performing feats of dancing, musical rhythms, and yes, for real “animal-made art” made by animals. It is quite fascinating the ways in which art/the arts are implemented. Our world is a masterpiece of art as well as outer space with all its colors and splendor. The arts derive from other sectors such as mathematics and how symmetry exists in nature, fractal art patterns in nature, futuristic architecture, 3d art, 3d screensavers, holographic art, planetarium art, and a lot of others.

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3. Do you believe arts are essential to NYC public school education? Why or why not?

Absolutely. As Mayor, I’ll expand arts and music programs in every elementary school, and make sure that our schools have equity in terms of arts funding. Aside from being linked to broader academic success, arts education in itself is invaluable for students. Arts education is critical for communication and problem-solving skills, as well as cultural enrichment and empathy. All public school students must have access to a quality arts education, from pre-K through 12th grade. Arts and culture are what make NYC the city we love. Artists across every medium must be supported, now and once pandemic restrictions are lifted, in order to help drive the City’s economic recovery.

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3. Do you believe arts are essential to NYC public school education? Why or why not?

Arts education is essential. It has been found to enhance cognitive development, creativity and imagination. It provides access to diverse views and cultures, and allows young people to express their own perspective on the world. Through the arts, students develop skills like creativity and imagination, resilience and grit, and a growth mindset to help them master any craft, perform well academically, and succeed in life after school. Studies have shown that students who have arts education benefit from developing better communication skills and that art can help improve their social and cultural understanding, teaching them about the world around them.

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3. Do you believe arts are essential to NYC public school education? Why or why not?

I fully believe that the arts are essential to NYC public school education. Having an outlet for children to express themselves is very important to the health of children, their communities, and our city. While I was executive director at The Door, I was a part of transforming and expanding our mental health services to include many educational, social, and cultural programming for youth, among which, was the only art therapy based GED program in NYC, which was a long overdue and necessary program.

As mayor, I would redirect $450 million, which is currently funding police presence in our schools, to services that will actually benefit our students and keep them safe and healthy, including mental health services and arts programs. I recognize how important the arts are for education and believe that we need to expand arts education moving forward. One way to do this is to bring artists from the community into public schools. Not only would this be a meaningful way for artists to connect with youth, it would show our students the variety of ways that art can be used and enjoyed throughout one’s life. I would also encourage schools to explore using creative arts as a tool to help support mental health for students. Arts are very important to our city’s culture, and our schools should be no different.

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3. Do you believe arts are essential to NYC public school education? Why or why not?

Arts are, without question, essential to education and children’s growth. A child’s social advancement is dependent upon many influences, and arts and music can serve as one of the most positive. It allows children to explore their creative side and serve as an outlet for any frustrations or inhibitions. Special Needs children excel in environments strengthened by consistency, creativity and support, all characteristics of successful arts programs.

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3. Do you believe arts are essential to NYC public school education? Why or why not?

The arts are more important than ever in schools. Students need a form of self expression because of the impact the pandemic has had on so many. Critical activities like reading, writing, self expression, creativity, expressing emotions beyond verbalization are a part of creating culture and bridging gaps between cultures. In addition, art is a mechanism to heal and brings people together to find commonalities through expression. I was so fortunate during my New York City Public School Education to perform in theatrical productions, have rock band and stand-up comedy classes, and be taken to Broadway Shows as field trips for a theater class. This was imperative in my education and in my personal growth, so I know firsthand how important it is for all interested students.

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3. Do you believe arts are essential to NYC public school education? Why or why not?

Yes. The arts are an essential part of our school curriculum, and must be part of our work to support our children. There are countless studies that show that the impact of a robust music program, for example, goes far beyond the band room, to math class, English class and beyond. The research is clear that students who receive high-quality arts instruction perform better across their academic careers. Beyond the numbers, I’ve seen it in action with my own kids, and with hundreds — if not thousands — of New York City students I’ve met during my career in public service. Everyone has a story about an arts class, teacher, field trip, or experience that opened their eyes to the world beyond their own — it’s quintessential to growing up in New York City, with our neighborhoods brimming with creatives and overflowing with culture.

Right now, the City has a challenging future in front of it, particularly in providing comprehensive, holistic, and hands-on education to our children who struggled the most during this pandemic. Arts will play a key role in helping our children recover socio-emotionally and re-engage in school post-pandemic. That’s why we need to have a Mayor in City Hall who understands the intricacies of government, revenue and expenditure, and who can work with the Council to fund expanded arts programs across the city.

As Mayor, I will double down on arts education in our schools and ensure that every school has at least one full-time, certified arts teacher. I will also triple the number of Summer Youth Employment Program and CUNY Cultural Corps slots linked to cultural organizations, designate a youth Artist Laureate in every borough, pursue innovative partnership with New York’s arts and cultural institutions to provide enrichment opportunities for students, and create separate a budget line for arts education to ensure the specific attention its requires, and focus efforts to support schools that lack the basic staffing and facilities necessary and bring them up to standards.

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3. Do you believe arts are essential to NYC public school education? Why or why not?

Yes, daily access to arts education improves social emotional growth, builds transferable skills, and centers marginalised voices and perspectives. It also sets students on a path to participate in one of the most vibrant economic and creative sectors of New York City.

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4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

See my education policy, referenced above.

New York City abounds in resources to provide art therapy, from universities that offer majors and advanced degrees to nonprofits that provide direct services. As Mayor, I will look first to community-based partners to develop the resources for the city’s school system, students and families.

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4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

Helping both students and educators recover from the academic and social-emotional impact of COVID must be a principal consideration in our city’s recovery plans, and is a key priority of my Education Platform. Reopening schools for more students, in a way their families trust is safe, is just the beginning; a generation of students are facing unprecedented challenges in terms of widening opportunity gaps, as well as growing social-emotional needs after the trauma of the pandemic and social isolation. When it comes to supporting learning recovery, students need both content-specific academic supports and ongoing social-emotional and mental health supports. We must commit to a multi-year comprehensive approach that provides targeted support to help our students and educators recover, but goes beyond—reimagining an education system that creates equitable environments that propel all students, particularly those historically marginalized, on a path of opportunity and success.

We must invest in additional mental health services, response to trauma, and other supports, both within and beyond school premises, building on the city’s previous investment in counselors and support staff. This includes building a Mental Health Continuum, as advocates and the City Council have called for, that provides mental health care for students and families in and outside of schools so that they receive coordinated mental health services needed, especially if they are in crisis, rather than relying on 911. Additionally, all educators should receive mental health and self-care support for themselves, alongside mental health and social-emotional learning training to better address their students’ needs in the classroom.

Despite heroic efforts on the part of educators and school leaders, most students experienced sporadic instruction after the abrupt shift to remote learning in the spring of 2020. As our schools and communities recover and rebuild, students will need additional time to address this unparalleled social-emotional, mental health, and academic disruption in a thoughtful, research-based manner. Through initiatives like extended day and/or year, summer programming, year-round schooling, and intensive tutoring, we need to provide additional core academic, enrichment (e.g. visual and performing arts, sports, health and wellness, etc.) and social-emotional opportunities for our students as well as planning and collaboration time for our educators. The right approach will differ by school and community; it should be co-planned with local educators and families to meet the needs of local school communities.

An Education Recovery Corps could utilize the strength of our CUNY students and graduates, and other young people, to partner with educators to support the academic and social-emotional recovery of our elementary and secondary school students. Partially funded through federal AmeriCorps dollars and modeled after existing initiatives like the CUNY Tutor Corps, the College Bridge Program, and City Year, but with a more meaningful living allowance to ensure corps members are fairly paid for their service, an Education Recovery Corps could provide supplemental learning and social-emotional support for younger students, while offering immediate employment in their own communities for CUNY students and graduates, many of whom have faced economic hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Through all of these initiatives we must ensure that arts education and the specific social-emotional benefits that it provides are integrated into our plans, and that the arts are recognized as the valuable tool that they are.

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4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

With my Job training programs – I want to start a WPA for NY for out of work professional artisans, artists and creatives to work with children after school.  Part of my platform is to expand mental health support for poor communities and to address homelessness.  Children impacted by homelessness and Covid, I hope to bring together mental health workers and arts practitioners to use art to help heal traumas.

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4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

Students, teachers, and staff should feel comfortable either virtually or in person classes (generally part time due to COVID) -a warm hospitable environment, that can responsibility handle the concerns of various circumstances. The “Learning & Education” COVID19 tools, resources are resources we see dispersed as helpful links. It is divided into categories and how to best serve their needs. The performing arts or arts can ease stress or traumatic experiences through a novel approach in teaching students about the history of epidemics, diseases, conflicts, wars, viruses, and eventual recovery. As a form of self-expression and communal awareness, the performing arts in general can be a method for healing.

Visual arts can be a form of art therapy where students can draw, paint, sculpt, their emotions, feelings in reference to the pandemic.

Music can contain lyrics and sounds that pacify or are an outpouring of sentiments that tell the audience how to cope.

Theatre, acting can chronicle, narrate, make into plays the timeline of events of past epidemics and their resolutions.

Puppetry, kid songs, coloring books, toys, games, can help younger kids to manage their fears of the pandemic but to have caution (using gloves, masks, goggles). Those tools and resources will be posted on brochures, government websites, educational and schools, university websites for the resources to assist the community such as: Remote learning, grants, funding, relief, paid leave, unions, unemployment benefits, COVID19 safety guidelines, rent relief, business relief, webinars, online forums, meetings, performances, festivals, competitions, tutorials, games, resources for elderly, disabled, children, family, teachers, students, philanthropists, surveys, and so forth.

The giving of gifts to children or adults including: playful musical instruments, geometric art games, music boxes, art sets, dancing shoes, journals, microphones, photography, costumes, magician sets, origami books, do it yourself crafts, tutorials art at home, the arts topics, and plenty more.

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4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

Our school communities have acutely felt impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As students return to school, they must have access to professionals to help them and their families overcome the trauma of the past year. In addition to social workers and guidance counselors in every school, teachers must be trained in trauma-informed education to mitigate stress and nurture interests for students.

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4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

I am committed to ensuring there is a wide array of arts offerings in every school, including in school, after school and weekend programming and education.

Under my plan, DCLA and DOE will facilitate new and expanded partnerships with local arts institutions to procure arts/music equipment, instructors, and space for arts education.

Additionally, I will encourage all local institutions that receive grants from DCLA to work with the DOE and partner with schools in their communities.

Finally, we have to make sure we are spending our money wisely. DOE spent over $400 million on art programs in schools across NYC in 2020. Spending is increasing, but arts education is not optimized across all schools, especially in areas without robust PTAs. DOE’s annual Arts in Schools Report should be better connected to the agency’s policy planning and better incorporated into the Department of Cultural Affairs planning and budgeting.

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4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

Creating supportive, healthy environments in public schools would be one of my top priorities as Mayor. I would put schools first in line for investment in a budget that centers the needs of our students and teachers. Creating a more equitable school system is one of my top 3 priorities as Mayor and, in my first 100 days, I will execute an Educational Equity Executive Order to finally desegregate schools, eliminate disparities, and hold agencies accountable for inequitable educational outcomes. A primary part of eliminating disparities and increasing equity is addressing imbalances and injustices in school funding. Low-income and predominantly Black and brown schools need the most funding and, too often, they get the least. As Mayor, I will immediately direct my administration to examine disparities in funding, resources, and services in relation to demographics and socioeconomic status, so that we can quickly rectify those gaps and build a funding scheme that corrects these inequities in the long term. I will also marshal revenue streams, including rerouting funds from the NYPD, to fully fund the school capital plan to allow for the elimination of school overcrowding; for class size reduction; to eliminate all facilities to be free of mold, asbestos, and lead; and upgrade each building to be properly ventilated and accessible to students with disabilities. These issues are disproportionately present in Black and brown schools, and the pandemic has only made the situation worse. Full funding is an important step in addressing these injustices. Students must feel supported in order to begin healing, and that means ensuring schools have the resources they need.

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4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

It is essential for our students to be able to communicate their fears or confusion in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it may be difficult for them to do such in a standard classroom setting or frightening in a guidance counselor-type setting, within an arts class atmosphere children may be more open and forthcoming. Without the rigidity of academics, children may utilize this opportunity to express any feelings they may have. That is, at it’s core, what arts education is all about. For that reason I would allocate more resources towards training art teachers and instructors on how to counsel children in this regard, incorporating more conversation within the program in order to foster a ‘safe space’ atmosphere.

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4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

I would make sure our public schools have the supplies needed to teach music, sculpting, painting, dance theater, and visual arts to name a few. I will support local district efforts to bring in various types of art therapy, such as writing, poetry, music, and drama therapy. I will allow local schools to decide for themselves what art therapy solutions they wish to engage in but would strongly encourage it as this therapy will help in healing trauma. Idealistically, I would like to see an art therapist in every public school.

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4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

I recently released a 27-point education plan that I believe will take our students from pandemic to lifelong progress and fundamentally transform our educational continuum so that every child has the opportunities they deserve from birth to college or career. In particular, as Mayor, I would address the academic and socio-emotional challenges our 1.1 million public school students are facing — and will continue to shoulder the impacts of for years to come — in the following ways:

  • Significantly expand school-based mental health services: Our students and children have experienced enormous loss during this last year, exacerbating the mental health crisis among our youth. Teen suicide is sadly on the rise and in too many schools, students have no where to turn whether they’re in crisis or experiencing mental health stressors. As Mayor, I would triple the number of social workers in schools and ensure every school is staffed with full-time culturally competent and trauma-informed mental health professions at a national standard of 1:250. Additionally, I would expand small social emotional learning advisories in all middle and high schools, and establish a true mental health continuum to connect students to medical care outside the school setting. Last, I would remove NYPD officers from schools to minimize traumatic interventions, particularly for Black and Latinx students.
  • Create “Fast Track Benefits” to connect families to services within a trusted environment. Families who qualify for various public benefits often do not apply because they are not connected to resources. To meet families and students in-need where they are — at school — I would ensure a benefit coordinator is in every school, to be an advocate for families in need, connect them to resources — from SNAP to the EITC — and guide families through the benefits application process within a trusted environment.
  • Establish free “high dosage tutoring” by creating an NYC Tutoring Corps. Students who have fallen behind during the pandemic need additional attention — and as Mayor, I would mobilize Federal stimulus funds set aside for AmeriCorp and learning loss to launch an NYC tutoring corp to ensure every student has access to high dose group tutoring built into the school day in partnership with higher education institutions like CUNY.

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4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

My education platform proposes making a major new investment to build teams at each school to provide academic intervention for students and assist with their mental health needs. Our students and communities have been traumatized by the pandemic, and they need support beyond the academic. New York City has a successful network of community schools, and, using significant funds from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), we will build on this network by providing increased resources to schools to provide on site services such as healthcare and mental health services and work with community partners at Community Care Centers (CCC) to provide extended day and tutoring services. We will prioritize high needs schools to phase in the program.

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5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

The arts will have a major impact on helping students to become ready to learn, and then maintaining that.

My administration will work to implement robust after-school and summer programs, which would provide a home for the arts every day. Our schools could also follow the precedent of some innovative high schools who set aside one instructional day a week for arts, extra-curriculars, clubs, guidance and college prep.

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5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

As a trained architect, I have a longstanding and deep appreciation of the value of the arts. I know that arts education is critical not just for ensuring all students grow up to be well-rounded members of their communities, but also for providing skills that allow them to be effective problem-solvers, creative thinkers, and more successful professionals. And of course, some of our students will make their careers in the arts as creators, performers or in the host of technical and managerial roles needed by NYC’s huge arts ecosystem.

Critically, in our post-Covid recovery, arts education will play a significant role in helping students reengage with their schools. Thoughtfully integrated arts education will help students process trauma, support differently abled learners, and provide one route to collaborative, project-based learning. The arts will not be optional in my administration.

We will go into further detail on our plans to support arts education in our schools below.

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5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

Arts will be part of the curriculum just like Math. Arts is as important a course as science, history, writing and in fact uses all the other parts of the educational curriculum.

I do think the arts should be flexible as some kids may want to do more performative type arts and some children prefer solo arts practices like digital art.

Flexible arts curriculum that is part of the regular structure.  I would hope teachers find a way to show how all required coursework actually relates to each subject.  A holistic approach to education.

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5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

The arts play an enormous role at schools, universities, as hobbies and in real life. Some studies have shown they expand the cognitive, reasoning, creativity, attentiveness -Therewith, facilitating the other subjects at school.

It soothes the senses as a form of relaxation to those who enjoy it. The arts education curriculum has to fit precisely as the other core curriculum. In addition, if students want to optionally participate in the school’s clubs or afterschool (offering the arts in general) they can do so.

Their parents can enroll them in private, public, religious, cultural classes for the arts learning. This appreciation for the arts will result in a better economy, cultural awareness, and jobs.

The costs of maintaining extra hours in the school day and the pressure it might cause kids to extend the hours will not necessarily produce improved grades. I believe it is the quality of education and not the quantity of hours. The curriculum needs reforming if students are failing and the tests are not clear, the materials not explained, the study sheets, the time between testing too short, the grading method, peer pressure, cyberbullying, bullying, fake mental diagnosis, hostile environment. If the curriculum is erroneous, it is worst if the hours are extended. It defeats the purpose. In college, the student usually has the option to arrange their schedules -in some colleges, Saturday and Sunday classes are available. The flexibility allows students to obtain enhanced grades, and time for other activities. Colleges, school performances (plays, orchestras, club meetings) are announced via posted posters, flyers, emails, loudspeaker announcements. In this way, the students can attend at their own preference. If their area of concentration is the arts, they can in college major on that topic, in high school there are : “High schools for theatre arts, arts & technology, performing arts, music, acting, dance, fashion -each according to the speciality desired.

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5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

Reviving the arts will play a fundamental role in our economic and emotional recovery. As students go back to school, I think we need to be prepared to provide outlets for the trauma of the past year. The arts will be a mechanism by which we collectively process the past year, and can be a lifeline for those who do not have access to mental health services. Arts education should not be stifled in efforts to catch students up, but should have protected time in students’ school days. In addition, instructors should be encouraged to incorporate arts into other subjects, like math and science.

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5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

I am committed to ensuring there is a wide array of arts offerings in every school, including in school, after school and weekend programming and education.

I have called for the use of federal relief funding for education to be used to expand learning opportunities to help students recover from the educational impacts of the pandemic. Arts education and programming would play a critical role in those opportunities.

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5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

Part of building environments where our students can thrive is making self expression through the arts available to everyone. I want to use creative arts as a type of therapy to help children deal with the effects this pandemic has had on their mental health and the ways they interact with their peers. Art therapy is a great way for people to express themselves and deal with their trauma and challenges in a way that makes them feel heard. Creating space where kids and teens can work through the effects COVID-19 has had on them is very important to me. Additionally, I would encourage schools to partner with arts groups. Students would not only benefit from more arts instruction, but they could be assigned projects that simultaneously teach them valuable skills and help these institutions solve pressing problems.

Broadly speaking, I strongly support moving away from standardized testing as the primary way to evaluate students. We have seen that it encourages schools to orient all education towards this test, rather than focusing on holistic education. As Mayor, I will work with DOE to create schools where testing is not the primary focus of schools, allowing us to build more room in the curriculum for arts, physical activity, and community engagement.

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5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

We simply have to ensure that the arts are never diminished within our curriculum. The arts serve as an outlet for children to express and communicate their fears through creativity, while affording teachers the opportunity to answer questions that become clearer through the child’s expression. I understand that a school day is already crowded with academics and other courses, but we must prioritize arts and institute more after-school opportunities if time constraints necessitate such.

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5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

I don’t see having an arts period as crowding or interfering with academic achievement. It needs to be part of the curriculum as it is an integral part of academic achievement. Treating the arts like it is an extra “thing” to squeeze in is the exact opposite of how the arts in schools should be perceived. Students need some form of art in their lives. Students listen to music , they dance, they write creatively to relieve stress in their daily lives. Personally I feel treating the arts as an outsider in the public education system needs to end. The arts need to be integral in the curriculum of the NYC public school system.

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5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

I believe that delivering a robust arts education — as well as additional afterschool (I’ve proposed universal free afterschool) and physical education, and more — is crucial to bringing our kids forward from the pandemic, emotionally and academically. We need both a formal arts curriculum and more free time for expression. Many kids have been dis-engaged from school for over a year, and we need to be creative about how to ensure they have creative outlets in school that help them express and process the experience of COVID.

For example, while I would certainly work to ensure that every school has a dedicated arts instructor and that all students receive required arts programming, I believe we can do more to open opportunities to build the arts into all academic areas. By encouraging partnerships with arts organizations and increased professional development for teachers, schools can create project-based curriculum in nearly any subject that is infused with creativity and active hands-on learning opportunities.

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5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

We know that daily access to arts education improves students’ mental health outcomes, self-confidence, and self-awareness. As such, it is critical to healing from the pandemic, and my platform proposes daily arts education programming for all of the city’s students in every year of the system, including in non-arts focused high schools. In addition, my administration will create a pathway for every child who wants training in the disciplines evaluated in auditions / portfolio assessments for arts high schools, so that students interested in these disciplines do not need private lessons to be eligible to attend.

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6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

I believe that a city 10 times the size of Boston should have 10 arts districts. I will use my power over city planning to create arts districts outside the Manhattan central business district.

In addition, I will ensure a tighter connection between arts organizations and arts education at the university level, with a particular focus on CUNY.

Arts organizations are also small businesses, nonprofit or not. I will create an Urban Innovation Corps of business students and experience business leaders to provide advice and mentorship.

Finally, I will create a loan facility for small businesses, including arts organizations, to help sustain and grow them.

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6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

Since the very launch of my campaign, we have been focused above all else on creating a vision for an equitable, fair, and inclusive New York City, since the future of our city depends not only on our ability to bring back what we had before, but to make something better for everyone. That is why one of the first policies I announced was the naming of our city’s first Chief Equity Officer, responsible for setting and tracking ambitious equity goals, and coordinating across city agencies and departments to ensure we meet them. I’ve launched plans to tackle gaps in opportunity, like my innovative Equity Bonds proposal, and I have released an entire platform focused specifically on Racial Equity.

As with all of my other platforms, we viewed our plans for supporting the Arts & Culture sector through a lens of equity, identifying opportunities within all of our ideas to support artists and communities that have historically received the least investment.

In that spirit, as we develop a system to utilize empty spaces across all five boroughs for Arts & Culture initiatives, we will prioritize providing space to artists and arts organizations that may not have those resources as readability available. As we launch our program to connect every single high school student with at least one paid job, internship, or apprenticeship opportunity in fields including the arts, we will focus on distributing these opportunities in a way that is representative of our student body, and building a more diverse pipeline of arts professionals. We will provide specific supports to arts organizations that qualify as Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and make it easier for them to access those supports.

These are just a few of the many ways that my Arts & Culture plan aims to create a more diverse and equitable arts sector in our city.

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6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

Education is one of my top priorities. Making it accessible and funded equally across all boroughs and neighborhoods. As a father who saw the unfair practice of testing students (my daughter moved here from Russia in 8th grade unprepared to have to test into a “good high school”).  This is such an outdated and ridiculous model. All tax dollars should go to each and every school with equal funds per student. All students should have access to AP and arts classes and these classes should all be funded equitably so parents are not continually doing fundraisers to pay for materials that our tax dollars should be paying for!  I can remember the fundraisers for my daughter’s high school and could not understand this. I pay taxes for this. Why are the school’s not fairly funded? That is  something I plan to solve as Mayor.

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6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

Unfortunately, there continues the ugly reality that persons still discriminate in funding -it is known as philanthropic racial bias, gender bias, cultural bias, ableism (disability bias), and any type of bias or discrimination based on not allowing for equal access just because of that specific bias, prejudice, stereotype, discrimination. The bias can be implicit, inherent, preconceived, or unconscious bias. The bias extends not only to philanthropy but also in offering donations, in grants, contracts, loans, investments, memberships, and in other things. As a consequence, it is noted that frequently colored persons, minority, disabled, cultural, etc organizations are underfunded.

Thus, when arts and cultural organizations are led by people of color and other ostracized groups, it becomes difficult for them to provide their locality and young people a chance to experience and participate in the arts, culture -whereas, the ones with access can do so on a daily or constantly. This establishes racial inequities and long lasting racial gaps.

For that reason, I believe it is needed cultural training, non-discrimination training, and for diverse organizations through incentives to stay connected to the less funded organizations and to recommend to them contact lists that can be of assistance. The acceptance is to gain honesty between organizations and a shared interest of cooperation, vision, and progress.

For instance, America’s Cultural Treasures Initiative called for millions in donation to colored organizations that have been marginalized and underfunded. Each will give much needed grants as contributions. Likewise,

the underfunded organizations can do marketing and contact similar interested organizations. There has to be an independent oversight that monitors any instance of bias or unfair treatment in the funding process or when grantees are receiving from grantors.

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs is one of the biggest funding agency -it gives cultural funding to non-profit cultural organizations via the cultural development fund to be approved for discretionary process. New York foundations provides $75 million funds to help arts nonprofits and cultural organizations and more impacted by COVID19.

I would gather organizations, networks, support associations who are interested in funding the marginalized arts and cultural organizations. Just as the nonprofit finance fund, leveraging a network for equity(lane), Mellon Fund National Performance Network/Visual Artists Networks are helping the marginalized organizations achieve equity.

There are bigger organizations that have been in similar situations and want to help the smaller and it really will bring racial justice, social justice, and good for the economy. There has to be fairer policies, regulations, and greater unity. The selling of art works (from cultural tribes, disabled) photographs, writings can help augment funding. Subscription to poetry books, writing, CD music clubs ,etc.

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6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

Investing in arts and cultural infrastructure, particularly in communities of color, is critical for economic growth, solidifying identity, developing community, and processing trauma. We should be integrating arts investments in our land use negotiations, as well as our efforts surrounding housing and economic development, and improvements to public safety, and transportation and our streetscape. I will use the platform of City Hall to bring landlords together with cultural organizations and artists to bring vibrancy back to our main streets with WPA-style murals and other wonderful art. It is also critical that we systemically mitigate barriers and offer additional support for organizations led by people of color to obtain funding and other resources. In addition, we should be increasing affordable housing to make sure artists are able to stay in their communities.

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6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

I believe we must support an arts community that reflects the voices and experiences of all New Yorkers. I would conduct a review of arts funding to find ways to improve equity, but my main goal will be to grow the pie for everyone, not just shift resources from one group to another. Given my relationships in the private sector and the philanthropic community I am uniquely positioned to do so.

I will also work with the cultural community, and leaders in underrepresented communities, to put in place clear and standard criteria for additional institutions to become CIGs. That could include minimum period of operation, number of annual visitors, stability of private funding and other types of revenue. Would also prioritize diversity – both in terms of neighborhood, demographic, and type of institution.

As part of my Comeback Festival, I have also committed to funding grants for 1000 artists – and I will ensure there is equitable access to this support. This will include:

  • Visual artists (murals, installations, public art and utilizing vacant storefronts as arts spaces etc)
  • Performing arts (music, plays, dance, other shows) use underutilized vacant storefronts and other space to stage pop up shows
  • Storytelling and story collection: Drawing inspiration from the oral history projects funded by the Works Progress Administration, which sought to capture on audio and video interviews with the few surviving americans who had been enslaved or were Civil War veterans, thus creating an invaluable historical record and research tool that preserved in perpetuity their stories, Ray will partnering with Universities on a similar initiative that would provide grants to writers and storytellers of all sorts to capture the stories of New Yorkers to create a historical record of NY during this time. This will then be transitioned into creating a portrait of New York City in advance of the 400th anniversary of its Charter.

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6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

My economic platform focuses on building a solidarity economy, meaning that people and communities are prioritized before developers and large corporations. The arts are an invaluable tool for cultural education and socialization. I believe that grassroots community efforts must be prioritized in our recovery plan. In all communities, but especially in our immigrant communities and communities of color, the arts are a critical part of a neighborhood’s ecosystem.

As Mayor, I would ensure my administration restores and expands funding to arts and cultural institutions, particularly arts groups that primarily serve communities hardest hit by the pandemic. Rather than developing a list of arts groups
in a silo, my administration would actively consult with communities to determine which institutions are most important to them. Further, I would encourage schools to partner with arts groups. Students would not only benefit from more arts instruction, but they could be assigned projects that simultaneously teach them valuable skills and help these institutions solve pressing problems.

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6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

As Mayor, my administration will focus on the equitable distribution of funding and opportunities across our city. We will have a schools chancellor in place whose responsibility is to make sure every child in every community is afforded the same opportunity, with checks and balances to ensure accountability. To do such, we need to streamline the process and eliminate obstacles and bureaucracy. Principals will be tasked with reporting directly to the chancellor any shortcomings of resources and they will be addressed immediately.

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6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

As Mayor I would do my due diligence to ensure that organizations led by people of color are not underfunded so they have the ability to fully support the creative minds of young people in their communities. I would personally oversee that funds are used for their intended purpose and create a sustainable budget for those organizations to work with.

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6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

For recovery of the arts and cultural sectors to be truly meaningful, we can’t be satisfied with simply restoring what we had. We have to acknowledge and address the barriers that have prevented too many New Yorkers from entering and thriving in the art world. High rents for living and work space, tuition costs, meager healthcare and job benefits, ballooning operating expenses — these are all costs that increasingly make New York City an all but impossible place for the once common “struggling artist” to even struggle. To create new on-ramps into the arts and broader supports for those already in the workplace, I will triple the number of city-backed summer jobs in the arts, require City grant recipients to pay decent wages, double down on arts education in city schools, and work with schools, vacant commercial spaces, and houses of worship to create new, long-term rehearsal and exhibition spaces.

As Comptroller, I have worked to increase opportunities for M/WBEs seeking to do business with the city. Through my M/WBE University program, my office has worked directly with M/WBEs to better understand barriers and offer valuable support in navigating the procurement process. Additionally, I issued an annual Making the Grade report card for each City agency, measuring how successful each agency is on spending and contracting with M/WBEs. In FY 2020, less than 6 percent of spending at the Department of Education went to M/WBEs. As mayor I would work to develop a targeted plan to work with the DOE and other agencies that have low M/WBE utilization.

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6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

We must do more to support the arts and cultural organizations that are so central to the vibrancy of our city, which is why I am proud to be a supporter of arts projects such as The Laundromat Project. As Mayor, a major goal of mine is to reprioritize the budget to invest in education and specifically the arts and culturally responsive pedagogy. We cannot develop plans to ensure equitable distribution of resources without centering racial justice, diversity, and inclusion. My education platform prioritizes funding for high-need districts that have been historically underfunded, disinvested, and excluded. This includes solidifying partnerships with CBOs to provide arts and cultural education to our schools that educate a majority of students of color. I will also explore ways to involve arts and cultural organizations within our universal community care model; by bridging connections and accessible pathways between our community centers and locally run arts and cultural organizations.

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The arts are recognized as a core subject area in New York State and at the federal level under the Every Student Succeeds Act. However, while many schools in New York City do provide quality arts instruction, access to this instruction is far from universal. How would you ensure equity in the delivery of arts education in the following key areas:

 

Funding

Pre-COVID, principals consistently cited budget constraints as the chief obstacle to providing arts education in their schools. While schools receive Arts Supplemental Funding through Fair Student Funding each year (SCHOOL ALLOCATION MEMORANDUM NO. 02, FY 2021), as of 2007, principals are not required to spend these funds directly on arts education. Without targeted funding in place, many arts programs have remained bare-bones or been eliminated entirely as more money is needed to make up for other budget shortfalls.

7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

Thanks to the NYS Legislature’s historic 2021 budget, the Foundation Aid formula is now fully funded for the next few years. Let’s make the most of it and seek matching funding from foundations and the private sector.

Every school deserves dedicated arts classrooms appropriate for the media.

Every school deserves qualified arts educators.

Every school deserves funding for materials and field trips.

My administration will commit to those things.

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7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

I will ensure that new and reallocated State and City funding underwrite a new generation of rich and sustained arts education for every public school student in New York City, beginning in Pre-Kindergarten. I am encouraged by the improving fiscal outlook for our schools based on Federal and State recent budget actions and proposals so I expect schools will have the opportunity to strengthen their arts offerings, and most will be eager to do so. I will also work collaboratively with the city’s many outstanding cultural organizations to coordinate private fundraising for arts education that allows them adequate resources for the critical work they do on behalf of our students without crowding out funding they need for their ongoing programming.

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7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

Audit the school and make it a law. If there are funds that not are utilized that school will be penalized.  Money budgeted for the arts – will go for the arts. The funds will not sit around for a rainy day. They will be used to hire arts teachers, materials and coursework.

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7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

Arts education funding grants, independent foundations, private sector donations, public and direct/indirect funding, arts and cultural organizations, and others can assist in the arts revival. The targeted funding has to be made by making the arts education as the central requirements in the student’s core curriculum. Students can sell their works of art: paintings, sculpture, photography, poems, writings, songs, dance movies, videos to agents and the school gets a percentage and sell at school bazaars, festivals, fairs, cultural exhibits, etc.

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7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

We need to ensure that each school is dedicating sufficient funding to arts education. As Mayor, I will move money from Tweed into classrooms. In recent years, DOE administrative costs have ballooned, and we instead should be investing this money directly into students and arts education.

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7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

I am committed to ensuring equitable access to arts education, particularly in underserved communities. Opportunities for students should be the same regardless of what zip code they live in. The fact that some students currently lack access to the best opportunities is unacceptable.

I will leverage every tool in the toolkit to achieve this goal, including city funding, grants, partnerships with nonprofits, and public-private-partnerships.

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7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

Schools will be a top priority in my budget. It is unacceptable that we repeatedly find more money for the NYPD and for tax breaks for developers, but not to ensure that our students have a holistic education. My administration is prepared to expand City revenue in several ways. This includes partnering with local electeds and organizations as we push the state and federal government to equitably tax the rich to generate the funds we need to recover and create a sustainably equitable city. I would also work to increase municipal spending power by introducing a city complementary currency and creating a public bank to generate municipal credit abilities. Additionally, I will work alongside a coalition of cities that will pressure the federal government to provide municipalities with automatic stabilizing spending policies. I also am committed to redistributing City revenue from the NYPD into social services. I plan to divest at least $3 billion from the NYPD and reinvesting that into our schools and public services. These additional funds will go directly into expanding and improving social services, with priority given to our schools. I would also restore and expand funding to the Department of Cultural Affairs, particularly the Cultural After School Adventures program.

Of course, giving schools more funding does not necessarily ensure that school arts programs are well funded. To do that, I would work with my DOE chancellor to systematically evaluate the quality of every school’s arts program. DOE can then work with superintendents and principals to appropriately channel funding towards arts education and programming.

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7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

Our current education system is a bloated bureaucracy that far too often fails to utilize funds on our children, our classrooms and the tools necessary. To eliminate this, we must streamline our education system to ensure funding is being utilized correctly. A direct line of communication between principals, administrators and the Office of the Chancellor must be put in place. We need to hear from every school regarding shortfalls and failures so we can address them quickly and efficiently. Budget reports must be analyzed to ensure proper, responsible spending. Parent leaders will have a voice in my administration so they can attest to what is needed and what is not being addressed. Accountability from the Chancellor to the Mayor’s Office is essential.

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7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

I believe art funding is being robbed by principals to fulfill other budget needs due to unfunded mandates. My administration will push back on all mandates at the state level unless the state commits to funding those mandates at 105% for the first year with continued budget line items in the 5 year forward plan. Art funding and education is more important than do-nothing administrative positions that are required to satisfy someone in Albany or City Council. Cutting the arts budget by 70% is not sustainable when most city schools were not providing the required art education before the pandemic.

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7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

Among the best ways to increase diversity and equity in the arts, expand cultural audiences long-term, and fortify our cultural sector is to build talent and instill an appreciation for the arts at a young age. As I stated earlier, as Comptroller I worked with advocates to win $24 million a year in baselined funding to help improve arts education.

As Mayor, I’ll go further — because what we need in City Hall is someone who will prioritize arts and other hand-on education. We need to focus particularly on equity, and ensure that students in low-income elementary and middle schools, as well as those with a high number of limited-English-proficiency students are provided the quality education they are entitled to. To deliver, as Mayor, I’ll ensure there is at least one full-time certified arts teacher in every school by the end of 2022. I will also expand the number of artists residencies and the number of cultural organizations that maintain partnerships with public schools.

I’ll do that by creating a separate budget line for arts in education to ensure schools get the basic staffing, facilities, and equipment they need as well as partnering with New York’s arts and cultural organizations to leverage space and expand enrichment opportunities. I’ll also work with school leaders to ensure this money is dedicated to arts programming.

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7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

My administration would redistribute money that is currently being spent on testing contracts, Discovery, test prep, tests, test administration, and test grading to fully fund arts programming in every school, 3K-12th grade. As Mayor, I will end gifted and talented testing, which will free up $5 million for arts funding.

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8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

I’m in support of a minimum per-capita dedicated funding in all city schools. Funding must be based on equity. Schools with the greatest need should get more funding per student.

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8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

I support more funding for all public schools to meet the full range of learning and socio-emotional growth their students need, after the crisis of the pandemic led to interrupted learning across the board, and especially to deep cuts to arts education. My administration will advocate for the arts as an important part of each school’s recovery plan. I think the NY State learning standards for the arts, the guidance and about high quality arts education from my education team, and continued reporting on arts spending and standards delivery will together create the right incentives for principals as they shape their school budgets. Arts education is not a one-size-fits-all proposition; funding allocations should answer the needs of the students, with evidence of impact on students’ academic and social-emotional progress.

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8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

I don’t know enough about this to have a fully formed answer. If it’s for fairly funding all schools the same – I am all for it.

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8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

I believe that each school should have dedicated funding that will generate the needed revenue to specifically support the arts education.

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8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

Yes, it is important that we set aside funds to ensure each student has access to a comprehensive arts education.

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8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

I would launch a full review of all aspects of school funding, to ensure it is equitably distributed, and that resources currently being spent on bureaucracy are reinvested in classroom programming, including arts education.

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8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

Yes, every student deserves equal access to the arts in their education. Too often, schools serving Black and Brown children are repeatedly underfunded, then required to use all of their resources to teach to a test, while more holistic education practices are thrown out the window. Restoring per capita arts funding would begin to rectify this. However, we should go beyond per capita funding and work towards equitable funding, where the students most in need have the most support. Wealthier students may have access to the arts through extracurricular activities, while lower income students may have much more limited opportunities to explore the arts. All students should absolutely have arts education in their public schools, but schools with more low-income students likely need more funding to account for this gap.

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8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

I absolutely support the restoration of per capita dedicated funding. We have lost too many crucial programs because of budget deficits and our children are suffering. In New York City children should have access to the finest arts and music programs in the world, and right now they don’t have such. That needs to be corrected.

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8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

I fully support the restoration of per-capita funding for arts education in all city schools. Some students find the best way to express themselves is through the arts and it can be very therapeutic for everyone’s mental health. We must end the false belief that arts education is lesser in value to students than other types of education.

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8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

Yes. Our City is poised to finally fund schools to provide high quality education for every student. With the state’s commitment to fully fund Foundation Aid for schools along with significant funds from the federal government to support schools as they recover from the pandemic, there is no better time to fully commit to dedicated funding for arts education across our schools. Arts education cannot be viewed as a luxury item reserved for the lucky few. It is a vital part of student learning and must be preserved in every child’s school experience.

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8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

Yes, in order to ensure that arts education is protected and maintained across our schools, it is important that it receive dedicated funding.

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State Learning Requirements:

In school year 2019–2020, 65% of middle school students did not meet the NYSED Arts Learning Requirement by the end of eighth grade. Only 44% of elementary schools (grades 1–5) provided all four arts disciplines taught by any instructional provider (down from 54% reported in the 2010–2011 Arts in Schools report).

9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

Yes. But this has to be done in partnership with educators, parents and in the case of high school students with students.

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9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

I fully support the New York State learning standards in the arts, and will work to continue the progress toward meeting them that was interrupted by the pandemic. Specifically:

  • Every elementary school should provide arts instruction through classroom teachers, school-based arts teachers, and cultural arts organizations working in schools.
  • Elementary schools should integrate arts education into student curricula and school-wide learning goals.
  • In middle schools, my administration will ensure that every student who wants to has the opportunity to learn and master a musical instrument.
  • I will also address the long-standing problems around meeting middle school standards mentioned in this question.
  • I have a plan to expand the existing, high-caliber Career and Technical Education and special arts-focused high schools to provide college and career pathways for the arts and arts-related industries that make New York City the arts capital of the nation.
  • Finally, I will ensure that all New York City public schools provide an opportunity for all high school students to watch a live performance at least once before they graduate, and will work with schools and local organizations to provide such opportunities

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9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

Yes I expect the school to be compliant.  Education is key to solving so many issues in this city. I will make it a priority to raise these numbers.

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9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

It is stated in the NYCED that all “NYC public schools are to complete the NYSED instructional requirements for the arts” it is found in every schools yearly compliance review. The DOE utilizes the NYSED requirements as “sequential arts education.”

Whenever an economic crisis or global crisis occurs, budget cuts are for the most part directed towards the arts. Yes, I believe it is time for the NYS and NYC DOEs to properly enforce the arts learning mandates. I urge the NYC DOE and NYS BOE for the future of students to arrange an ameliorated plan of compliance. The DOE’s “blueprint for teaching and learning in the arts” manual should be followed in a suitable manner. The school progress reports along with arts education progress reports to be reviewed. In different years the same problems surface in the audit/compliance report.

It is necessary for regulations/penalties awareness, teachers to complete the course syllabi, student records, student fulfillment of course, the “arts standards implementation resources” group the arts into plausible teaching advice for classrooms. The plans are written down and suggestions overflow of what is at issue is: funding and compliance.

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9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

As Mayor, I would hold my Department of Education accountable to meeting all standards, including those required for arts learning, and work to exceed standards whenever possible. We can’t tolerate anything less.

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9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

I would expect all schools to meet these mandates, and I would hold my school leadership accountable for doing so.

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9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

Yes, I am committed to using my office and platform to demand more from Albany. I will work with students, parents, educators, and advocacy groups to fight for reform.

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9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

Yes, without question. Our public school system has allowed far too many mandates to slide by, including arts learning requirements. I vow to hold the DOE responsible and accountable for meeting these mandates.

Yes, I certainly commit to requesting and participating in hearings and meetings.

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9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

I will fight to democratize the NYC Department of Education so that you never have to wait on any mayor of New York City to ensure that your children get the arts education they need. While the democratization process is ongoing, I will publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates. This enforcement will be a condition of employment for the Department chancellor. I will also call on the State Assembly to fully fund any promised arts education programs for our students. This is beyond an educational issue for me. I view this as a mental health issue as well. It is critical that our students receive help to recover from COVID induced mental anguish. I am convinced that the arts play a vital role in recovery for our students. State funds for mental health should be made available to be used for arts programs to take advantage of their therapeutic nature for people.

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9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

Yes, absolutely. Every child, in every neighborhood in the city, deserves to attend a school that can offer them a complete educational experience — arts included. Acting decisively to correct the current imbalance is not just about the legal obligations at play — it is about ensuring that our education system lives up to the ideals of inclusivity and equity that are at its heart.

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9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

Yes, as a result of schools not meeting the state mandates for arts instruction, scores of children do not receive clear pathways to meaningful arts education. I will require the DOE to live up to its mandate of meeting the NYSED Arts Learning Requirement by the end of eighth grade, understanding how critical arts education is to social emotional development.

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10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

Yes

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10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

Yes

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10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

Yes

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10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

Yes, if elected I will.

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10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

Yes

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10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

No response provided.

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10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

Yes

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10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

No response provided.

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10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

Yes, I will request and participate in those hearings if our arts education requirements are not being met at any point.

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10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

Yes

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10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

Yes

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Certified Arts Teachers:

Certified arts teachers are the cornerstone of a quality, sequential arts education. As of the 2019–2020 school year, there is only one full-time certified arts teacher for every 394 students in the NYC school system. Since March 2020, the reassignment of arts teachers to accommodate remote learning prevented critical arts education services and instruction from reaching students.

11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

  1. The DOE needs to certify more teachers in each of the disciplines. If the DOE can’t find arts teachers to certify, the City can help facilitate partnerships with arts students at CUNY, off-work actors and musicians, and nonprofit organizations to get the right arts professionals in front of the DOE.
  2. The DOE needs to hire 3-5x more arts teachers, which is of course tied in with proper funding of arts in schools.
  3. Remote learning in some form or another is here to stay. I have proposed a Digital School where students can learn principally remotely, and secondarily in person in separated, dedicated school buildings. I will include arts education in such schools.

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11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

As we move away from the pandemic, emergency measures like the reassignment of arts teachers can be reversed. Before the pandemic, data shows that the city was making modest progress every year in increasing the number of certified full-time arts teachers across the system (2856 in 2019-20 up from 2681 in 2015-16). Qualified arts teachers in New York State include elementary school teachers who are certified, but not working in the arts full-time, as well as teaching artists who are arts professionals teaching part-time in our schools. I expect that as principals revitalize their arts programs, middle and high schools in particular will choose to add full-time certified arts teachers. I will also encourage initiatives like a pilot in District 31 that supported elementary school teachers to add supplementary arts certification.

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11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

We are going to certify more arts teachers and hire more per school.

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11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

In New York, a teacher must meet the requirements to teach. The teaching certificate are reviewed by New York Department of Education Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI). “They must complete a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program, take tests, apply for the license, maintain/renew upgrade the license. Before applying for teacher license kit they have to undergo a federal/state criminal history check and Identgo.

In the Bureau of Labor is seen the art teachers’ salaries, bonuses, pensions, sick leave, retirement and health benefits package.

Pay depends on their education, qualifications, years on the job, and other factors. Teacher’s assistants should be paid more and gender equal pay.

Lower income neighborhoods should have equal access and the art equipment, supplies but with protective gear, gloves, goggles. Each school should have an annual report on teachers, grading, report grades for school.

Teachers should have: scholarships, residencies, compensations, housing, aid, training, salary adjustments, transfers, pensions, loan forgiveness, etc. The New York City Art Teachers Association keep persons alert about the policies, meetings, exhibitions, activities within the arts educational setting. It is an association that delves into the pressing current issues.

According to COVID19 risks, cases and closures maps and statistics -it might not be reasonable for teachers to teach full time.

Nonetheless, when vaccines are effective and contagion is managed -then, teachers can arrive back to classrooms even with incentives.

Teacher shortages are occurring due to a variety of causes. The federal, state, districts,

local should look into these causes and implement new regulations, policies, laws that would bring more teachers into the system.

Invest in school supplies, educational, learning, teachers resources. Recruiting teachers from a wide field of applicants can bring diversity. Finding teachers at job fairs, past applicants data, demographics, surveys, recent graduates but striving on getting certified.

The diagnostic on why and where they are leaving or staying in.

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11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

The City should create a pipeline for professional artists and CUNY art students to receive teaching certifications and training in order to be able to be instructors in NYC’s public schools. With the deep local expertise in the arts sector, New York City’s students should have access to a world-class arts education. We should also focus on making sure that we recruit teachers of color.

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11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

As we begin to return to more normal, in person learning, and help our kids catch up from the pandemic year, I will make it a priority to ensure we are returning arts teachers to their previous roles and recruiting additional arts teachers. The school funding included in the federal stimulus, as well as the ongoing increase in state funding resulting from the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, also provides an opportunity to invest in attracting new talent.

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11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

The city should commit more funding to hiring certified arts teachers, as we did in 2014. One potential way to fund these hires is by removing police from schools, which would free up $450 million. For a fraction of that, we could double the number of certified arts teachers in our schools. Additionally, as Mayor I would work closely with the DOE to ensure that the transition away from remote teaching goes smoothly. This includes ensuring that arts teachers are instructing arts classes and that students have access to quality arts education.

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11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

My plan is to streamline the educational bureaucracy that currently exists. We will eliminate inefficient, political appointee positions and allocate that funding back into the classroom, where we can hire more certified teachers and instructors to ensure our children are receiving what they are entitled to.

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11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

If we are going to increase arts education funding, we need art teachers to provide that instruction. I will work with and agitate for increasing the pool of art instructors in New York City schools. We need a system that does not push people away from teaching but draws them in. As a guest lecturer in the public school system, I found our system daunting and unfriendly. We need to make it easier for qualified specialists to teach in our schools even if it is on a part-time or guest teacher basis. I will push our Dept. of Education to make these changes so we can take advantage of the huge arts community available to us in New York City.

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11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

As Mayor, I’ll ensure there is at least one full-time certified art teacher in every school by the end of 2022. At the heart of my approach is my proposal for the nation’s largest teacher residency program — and a goal of minimizing teacher churn and recruiting 7,000 new teachers. Under my proposal, the City would recruit aspiring teachers to work in New York City classrooms for a full year alongside a mentor teacher. These residents would be paid a modest stipend during the program while they complete their studies and earn full certification. The program would help us to add diversity to our teaching ranks while also making sure our newest teachers get the support they deserve.

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11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

To increase the number of certified art teachers in our schools, and retain them, we must better fund and increase access to certification programs, streamline the hiring of qualified arts teachers and specialists, and remove the evaluation of arts teachers currently tied to student performance in subjects other than art.

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Cultural Partnerships:

Last school year, more than 450 arts & cultural organizations partnered with schools in every neighborhood, across all five boroughs. These organizations employ more than 4,500 teaching artists—an essential cultural workforce of artist–educators, 84% of whom report a loss of employment since 2020.

12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

Please see my full Arts Policy at www.chang.nyc/arts-and-education. In summary:
● Fully funding arts education.
● Including arts in workforce development, including internships.
● Creating additional arts districts across New York City.

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12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

Where to begin! My recently released Arts & Culture Platform includes nearly 70 individual policy recommendations, many of which are geared toward not just supporting the arts sector as it recovers from this crisis, but actually addressing longstanding issues that affected the industry prior to the pandemic. At its heart is the acknowledgement that our city is what it is because of the artists who make it a place people want to visit and live in, who strengthen communities, who inspire and motivate us in times of struggle, and who unite us in moments of triumph. And all of this happens often despite the city’s actions, not because of them. At best the city has taken its artists for granted, and at worst, as with our current administration, the city’s views of the arts have bordered on antagonistic. We need to take real action to make it easier for everyone who contributes to the arts, including artists, administrators, and educators, to live, work, and get paid what they deserve in New York City.

As we come out of this pandemic, we will work with experts and arts leaders to reopen arts venues safely and bring audiences back in a way that is clear, enforceable, and takes into account the needs and perspectives of local businesses. Arts & Culture will feature prominently in campaigns that the city will design in partnership with NYC & Company, geared toward getting New Yorkers back to their local businesses and arts venues, and then attracting visitors from across the region, country, and globe. I will set an example, as a candidate and as mayor, by frequently attending arts events across disciplines in all five boroughs.

The city itself will also create more opportunities for artists by partnering with city artists to communicate vital information across our pandemic recovery. And, I will launch a program to utilize empty space for Arts & Culture initiatives to expand work opportunities for artists and access to the arts for communities.

In the longer term, my administration will make getting help and funding from the City as an artist or arts organization of any size as easy and straightforward as possible. And, in an effort to both support arts organizations in all five boroughs and encourage New Yorkers and tourists to experience the great art that’s available in all corners of our city, we will leverage digital tools to create a robust network of organizations and artistic events, promote these, curate specific experiences, and connect them to local businesses through discounts, bundle offers, and other promotional incentives to ensure that the benefits are felt by the entire community.

But economic opportunity is only one of the ways that artists in our city need support. Finding affordable can be a significant challenge for many in our city, including our artists, and I am committed to making housing accessible in all neighborhoods for all New Yorkers. We will look to include studio and rehearsal space in new housing developments and integrate these into existing housing, libraries, and other community buildings to make art spaces more available to artists and members of the neighboring communities. And we will focus on emphasizing diversity of discipline across these spaces so artists can have much easier access to any particular equipment they need to conduct their work and succeed.

Through more flexible zoning, we provide artists with more opportunities to work within their same neighborhoods, reducing the cost and inconvenience associated with committing. We will work with organizations like W.A.G.E. to set standards for compensation and ensure that the City is paying artists fairly—with the expectation that organizations expecting to receive public funds follow similar standards.

Recognizing that often getting paid at all can be a challenge for artists working with the city, we will improve and add accountability to the inefficient contracting and capital grants process, which should also save the city money that could be put toward arts programs. And, recognizing that artists may still fall on hard times now and then, I will use the knowledge of and relationships in the federal government that only I have in this race to ensure that our safety net is strong and that federal investments in programs like unemployment insurance and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reach our artists and arts organizations.

And this is just a few of our ideas!

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12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

As noted earlier – I want to create arts teaching program like WPA and get working artists into the educational system as teachers. Make sure we certify more arts teachers and hire more per school.

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12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

The U.S Bureau of Economic analysis have stated that the “arts and culture sector contributes billions to the New York’s economy, New York City’s creative sector paid billions in total wages. Tourists internationally have flocked towards these sectors annually. In view of this, the most impacted of the sectors included: The tourism, cultural arts, creative sectors. Additionally, world heritage sites and cultural tourism social distancing made revenue drop but open culture (from Mayor’s street activity permit office) permitted with a permit for “socially distanced performances” (venues, outdoors, open streets, et al).

The way to revive jobs in the creative industry is to provide the entertainment online (webinars, forums,…) and to offer COVID19 relief to the employees in those sectors. Philanthropic individuals, organizations, non-profits, federal, state, local, loans can assist in funding.

Arts nonprofits received $1.8 billion in PPP (Paycheck Protection Loans) but much more was needed. The city can come up with new policies and public-private partnerships uniting performers, artists, community, organizations, associations together for strategies to bring back the arts in a safe manner, bring back tourism by first working on increasing local tourism (domestic) to generate revenue.

Artists relief emergency assistance funds, and creative sector local support funds, unemployment benefits, The gradual opening of business and COVID testing, The help for the unemployed and grants, loans.

The state and city and federal -all working together in the COVID19 attempt as well as foundations, alliance, fellowships, donations online.

Technology can assist with robots, drones, AI as they help tourists and the sectors in the recovery efforts, a sustainable, resilient tourism, the art selling (virtual saleroom), movies paid online, streaming performances, live stream countries, zoos, museums, even mapping COVID street art, live theatre (pop up vaccine sites nearby).

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12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

As a critical part of the City’s economy and vitality, the arts must be prioritized in reopening and recovery. We must reimagine how the City uses public space to give arts organizations a bigger footprint in their communities–by reforming our concessions and public art permitting process to unlock hundreds of thousands of square feet of public space, including sidewalks and plazas, for arts and culture—it’s the 21st century, you should be able to get a permit on your smartphone. The City should be creating additional opportunities for teaching artists and other un/underemployed artists to apply their skills to their communities.

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12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

As mayor, I will fund grants for 1000 artists to work in our city. This will ensure that artists can get back to work. Further, as mayor, I will engage targeted cultural institutions to use their resources and expertise to address social issues with public school students: such as, inter-religious dialogue, intercultural dialogue or the historic integration of minorities and immigrants/immigrant experience. This will both support cultural institutions and bring teaching artists, interpreters and curators into schools.

Additionally, my plan calls for better connecting arts businesses to the Department of Small Business Services. We will increase the agency’s focus on supporting small arts and creative businesses that need financial assistance and connecting them with some of the many cultural funding streams that exist in the city. SBS will also help these businesses navigate the City’s small business regulations, especially the unique permitting requirements some arts businesses face. W will also ensure that SBS will prioritize support for culturally inclusive organizations and those located outside of Manhattan, which often lack access to traditional financing and other support structures.

To broaden access to arts in the city’s many communities, I will, as mayor, partner with the city’s 76 Business Improvement Districts, to create Arts Districts. I will work with BID leaders to expand support for arts and arts education, and arts businesses including live music venues, in every neighborhood they serve, and to harness the work of local artists to make communities more vibrant and appealing to visitors. This would include:

  • Creating arts-friendly pedestrian corridors that support cultural storefronts and street performers.
  • Employing local artists in community improvement projects, like those who were tapped to paint murals on benches along Bay Ridge’s 5th Avenue commercial corridor.

The Department of Cultural Affairs will also appoint specific BID liaisons to connect BIDs with local artists.

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12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

My economic platform focuses on building a solidarity economy, meaning that people and communities are prioritized before developers and large corporations. The arts are an invaluable tool for cultural education and socialization. I believe that grassroots community efforts must be prioritized in our recovery plan. I support a tax relief plan for small businesses, including nonprofit arts institutions. Rather than focusing on Wall Street or large corporations as the solution to our recovery, we should focus on providing tax relief, subsidies, and low-to-no interest loans to our small businesses so they can jumpstart our recovery by bringing jobs back to New Yorkers. Further, we should target outreach and City assistance for these programs towards neighborhoods most impacted by the pandemic. This will help to ensure that information and language barriers do not prevent valuable small businesses from getting the relief they deserve. One of the quickest things we can do to support these institutions is an immediate commercial rent moratorium. This is a significant cost for every organization, and a suspension would allow them to regain their footing and rehire artists. In addition to instituting a moratorium, my administration would seek to enact commercial rent stabilization so that organizations can plan out their long-term goals without worrying about an unreasonable rent hike.

Further, a Morales administration would lobby tirelessly at the federal and state level to demand more support. This new stimulus bill will be a great help, but it is not enough. I will fight this so our arts institutions and our communities get the investments they need. I would also ensure my administration restores and expands funding to arts and cultural institutions, particularly arts groups that primarily serve communities hardest hit by the pandemic. Rather than developing a list or arts groups in a silo, my administration would actively consult with communities to determine which institutions are most important to them. Further, I would continue to encourage schools to partner with arts groups. Students would not only benefit from more arts instruction, but they could be assigned projects that simultaneously teach them valuable skills and help these institutions solve pressing problems.

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12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

First, we have to get people back to work. Families are suffering, our children are suffering. We will allocate more funding to allow these hires so we can be more proactive in reaching out to community-based organizations and partnering with such.

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12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

I believe our city can provide a huge role for reviving jobs in the arts and teaching in our schools is a great way to do it. It enlightens our students to the opportunities the arts provide and it can inspire those who are out of work and foster creativity throughout our city. When I restore funding for arts education, I will meet with our partners to find ways that city schools can more effectively use those funds so more students receive the arts education they are entitled to.

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12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

The arts are essential to our city’s economy, our city’s diversity, our city’s cultural vibrancy and the holistic health of our society. The next Mayor must understand that supporting the arts means supporting our diversity. The next Mayor must understand that supporting the arts means supporting our workers and economy — and strengthening the backbone of our city.

The City can play an extremely active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry, and I’ve outlined a few ideas in my economic recovery plan which include: providing $1 billion in direct relief to businesses, venues, and individuals; mobilizing the City to purchase 250,000 tickets at venues around the city and distribute them to frontline workers and students; opening City grants and financial supports to individual artists and for venue operation costs — not just capital costs; and converting vacant retail space into art studios and hubs along commercial corridors throughout the five boroughs.

One of the core challenges artists and people in arts education face is the cost of living in New York. I have a housing plan to build a new generation of deeply affordable housing. But, for artists in particular, rent isn’t just about housing — it’s also about workspace and rehearsal space. One way forward to supporting our artist community while bringing them deeper into our education network is to connect artists to affordable space to rehearse and practice in every neighborhood of every borough — specifically schools. Opening up public school theaters and gymnasiums to dancers, musicians, and actors during the nights, weekends, and summer months will be transformative. There are over 1,000 of these spaces across the city, they are located in every neighborhood, and they have separate entrances apart from the rest of the school building. There’s no reason we shouldn’t make this vital resource available to our arts community and use it to create more opportunities for our students to get involved and connected to local arts communities.

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12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

We must revitalize and fund the creation of robust, long-term partnerships between schools and the city’s vast arts and creative resources, including and especially with grassroots, neighborhood organizations rooted in the community. In addition, the centerpiece of New Deal New York, my economic recovery proposal, is a Works Progress Administration-style infrastructure, stimulus and jobs program which will create up to 100,000 new jobs for New Yorkers. 30,000 will be new jobs through projects that will employ artists, construction, technology, and engineer workers, along with approximately 70,000 indirect jobs for childcare workers, librarians, home healthcare workers, and manufacturers.

As part of the plan, $1 billion in new and accelerated spending will go toward designing a recovery for artists and culture workers, to put the City’s artists and performers back to work by providing performance and studio spaces, and through other capital expenditures that support arts and culture in the City.

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Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Pedagogy:

The NYC Department of Education has committed to incorporating an educational strategy known as Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Pedagogy, “a way of seeing diversity as a source of knowledge.” Studies show that CR-SP learning leads to increased engagement in the classroom, higher graduation rates, and increased self-esteem.

13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

The first thing we need to do is to remove the bias toward Western values and traditions that permeates all arts education and make it culturally appropriate to the diverse communities in NYC.

My administration is committing to a data project to identify and map the communities of New York City, including students in the DOE schools and then use this data to engage with community-based
organizations.

Additionally, I’m committed to NYC being a place that artists can afford to live: something that’s become increasingly difficult, especially for artists of marginalized demographics. My administration will create more affordable housing, end the eviction crisis, and make NYC a more affordable place for everyone. My metric of success will be when NYC becomes a place that artists of all backgrounds can afford again. By keeping diverse artists in our city, we can better fit the needs of diverse students.

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13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

I believe that it is essential that the content discussed in our classrooms and the people leading those discussions mirror the diversity of our student body, as outlined in my Education Platform.

We know that having educators who reflect our students makes a difference; research shows that having a Black teacher by third grade increases a Black student’s likelihood to graduate high school by 7% and to enroll in college by 13%; with two Black teachers, that shoots up to 32%. Yet in New York City, fewer than 44% of our teachers and 47% of our school leaders are people of color compared to 85% of our students. This reality is most stark in communities that the city has underinvested in for too long—in the Bronx for instance, 62% of students are Latinx but only 27% of educators are. We must aim to increase the number of educators and school leaders who identify as people of color to at least 65% of all teachers and 70% of all school leaders over the next ten years, by investing in hiring, preparing and retaining diverse educators, building on the success of programs like NYC Men Teach, to develop additional pipelines and ensure that our educators reflect the diversity of the young people they serve as well as the languages they speak; and ensuring a systemwide focus on and transparency around educator diversity. This is important for our students, but also for economic empowerment in our communities; educator jobs are strong pathways to the middle class.

In terms of preparation, we should work with high schools and CUNY to create early exposure programs and scaffolded pathways to teaching for high school and college students, particularly those interested in working in their own communities; and to build more pathways for diverse educators, including pathways for other educators who are more likely to be of color to become classroom teachers, like paraprofessionals, early childhood educators, after school program employees, and staff in community-based organizations. Critically, both of these pipelines are more likely to include many educators who are bilingual and have special education experience, which would help develop a stronger pipeline of bilingual educators and bilingual special education teachers for our students. We could learn from the High School to Teacher program in Boston Public Schools and the Scaling Education Pathways in Illinois program as models for building strong pipelines of young people already in the city’s schools to become the future educators of color.

But preparation is just the start; schools must be supportive environments for all educators, especially educators of color, that lead to long-term retention, promotion, and diversity at all levels of instruction and administration. Data show that across the city, Latinx teachers have spent an average of 1.2 years less in their current school than White teachers—7.3 years for Latinx teachers vs. 8.5 years on average for White teachers. We must establish systems to retain, support, and elevate diverse educators in schools, including pathways to school leadership; and value the assets in our communities, including community-based leaders, educators of color, and local civil rights leaders, to design high-quality training programs for educators, such as anti-bias training, as well as curricula that increase the cultural responsiveness of education.

Finally, we must build on the work the City Council has done to make data available on teacher diversity, to facilitate focus and transparency. We must hold ourselves accountable for progress through more accessible, actionable data on educator diversity at every level, including data on how educators of color experience the workplace. We should make public longitudinal data on demographics and rates of turnover at the school, district, and borough level.

Reimagining means not just reverting to our pre-COVID normal, but creating schools that center the needs and experiences of students historically marginalized and underserved and foster holistic skills and development for all students. We must work with educators, families, experts in the field of equity and the science of learning, and community-based organizations to lead with a vision for schools that cultivates students’ multiple identities, fosters physical and mental wellness, supports social and emotional development, and develops their cognitive and academic skills. This framework will ensure that students’ identities are supported through culturally responsive practices, that social and emotional development is integrated into every facet of the school environment and instruction, and that a continuum of mental health care for students inside and outside of schools is well articulated. The framework will help all stakeholders understand a complete and integrated vision for school culture, climate, and instruction, and end the confusion over multiple guides, frameworks, and approaches or competing priorities imposed upon school leaders and educators. It will be supported with guidance, protocols, and ongoing professional development so that all school leaders, educators, and staff are equipped to implement it.

In order for this new vision for schools to be successful, we must first dismantle practices that focus on policing and disciplining students and make schools unsafe for many students of color—contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline. We must remove police from schools, starting with schools that employ multiple School Resource Officers (SROs), following the example of cities like Minneapolis, Oakland, Denver, and Portland. Some of the savings should be reinvested in Positivity, Prevention, Relationships, and Response (PPARR) Coordinators, trained in child development, de-escalation, and understanding how trauma and life experiences impact behavior, to create a positive learning environment. Current SROs will be supported in transitioning to these new roles if they are interested and ready to participate in the necessary training, or in being absorbed into the New York Police Department if they prefer to remain in law enforcement.

Removing police officers from schools is just a start; we must remove all vestiges of prison culture: eliminating metal detectors, on-campus arrests and handcuffing (except in the extremely limited circumstances where student and educator safety is actually and immediately in danger), and incident reporting for routine student behavior that leads to police intervention and police records. These practices create a hostile climate instead of a supportive learning environment, and lead to police records that launch students—especially students of color—into the school-to-prison pipeline.

Finally, we must tackle unfair disciplinary practices that disproportionately impact students of color and students with disabilities—and support educators to make these critical shifts. Although suspensions have decreased in the past couple of years, the overall number of suspended students remains far too high, with disproportionate numbers of students of color and students with disabilities receiving punishments that exclude them from the classroom. Educators must receive robust training on alternatives to traditional disciplinary actions like suspension that deprive children of opportunities to learn.

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13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

I am a supporter of multicultural programs. I am an immigrant. I work with immigrants from around the world.  Everyone has interesting cultural histories and I would definitely want children to learn about traditions and arts from all the different communities and learn to celebrate our differences. The children are the future and we can educate racism / biases out through the arts.

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13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

It starts with training teachers on the curriculum they will instruct students on regarding “diversity, races, lifestyle, gender, culture, social class, language, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities, norms, etc.”

The courses will be taught without bias and take into consideration the history of discrimination and oppression and how it is being fixed with new policies and awareness. The instructions to appreciate each student and learn about them and treat parents with respect. Even if the beliefs are not of their own, instructors to be nonjudgmental in their teachings (school ethics, code of conduct). Learning the history of each of the arts, it is immersed in cultural context. The history of music, theater, dance, poetry, etc all brings with them cultural fusion, tradition, social class, et al.

To understand the arts it is to learn about the varied persons who made the eras of great achievements possible.

The courses should be fun and educational, collaborative and welcoming . It can be best catered to students’ preference if demographics is studied and by surveys asking students ,parents and the community what should be added to the curriculum. Games, index cards, videos, cultural toys, exhibitions, class trips, brochures, live performances, and on and on will spark the students’ curiosity and interest in the arts. For students to each bring forward their favorite dance, songs, poems, art, style, and teach other students about it.

Virtual classes are immersive (how to dance, yoga, diverse tasks, crafts and hobbies) to get people involved in arts and cultural appreciation.

Thus, the community, boroughs, will bring back tourism, the arts and economy to flourish.

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13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

We need to have teachers that reflect the diversity of our City. Studies show that when students have teachers who look like them, their outcomes are better. Teachers of color are more likely to empathize with students of color, and provide a culturally responsive curriculum that reflects the needs and abilities of their students. Teachers should also have access to ongoing professional training to ensure they are receiving the most up-to-date guidance on developing culturally-responsive curricula. Teachers should also integrate artistic organizations, projects, and other efforts from the local community.

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13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

As mayor, I will engage targeted cultural institutions to use their resources and expertise to address social issues with public school students: such as inter-religious dialogue, intercultural dialogue or the historic integration of minorities and immigrants/immigrant experience. We know that the arts can help students develop greater social and cultural understanding and our cultural institutions, especially smaller institutions such as the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, El Museo del Barrio, Jewish Museum, Museum of Chinese in America and many many more are well suited for this sort of cross cultural engagement in public schools.

Additionally, we will ensure that those who are instructing our children in the arts are reflective of what Former Mayor David Dinkins called the “gorgeous mosaic” of our city’s diversity.

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13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

I am fully committed to creating culturally responsive schools. I intend to appoint a DOE Chancellor who will be a champion for socially transformative holistic public education and my administration will require culturally responsive and anti-racist curriculum and education, including ensuring all educators and DOE employees are trained in inclusive curriculum, pedagogy, assessments and policies. Additionally, I will advocate for the inclusion of year-round cultural enrichment of the struggles, triumphs and movements led by the diverse communities within our city. This would apply to all curriculum and most certainly to our arts education. Further, as I discussed above, I believe we should hire more certified arts teachers. The city should approach these hirings with CR-SP goals in mind; we should prioritize hiring teachers from the city who are prepared to implement a culturally responsive curriculum.

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13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

New York City is the most diverse city in the country. Our public education system reflects that. I believe in a fair curriculum that encompasses all cultures so our children can grown not only academically but creatively and socially. I will mandate that our arts education programs reflect such.

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13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

My plan for democratizing education calls for bringing local control back to our schools. Since schools will have more of a say in the education of their students, CR-SP will be on the forefront of their minds. It is our diversity in our neighborhoods that make them vibrant places to live and I want that for our students as well. The arts are a great avenue for thought about diversity and how everyone has a role to play. Arts education should not be a stale policy that comes from my office but one that is protected and nurtured by the school administration and school board. The arts are a wonderful way for students to share their culture and their own unique identity.

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13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

We need culturally responsive education — and a big part is diversifying our teaching staff. Our teaching workforce and our curriculum need to reflect our students’ lived experience. Only 40% of our teaching staff in NYC are people of color, in a system that’s 80% students of color. A major reason for the lack of diversity within our teaching staff is the lack of support for new teachers – financially and when it comes to training.

Each year, significant numbers of educators leave our schools, whether they leave the City, the public school system, or the teaching profession completely. I believe that too often our schools lose good teachers – talented and promising educators – because their training did not adequately prepare them for the very real challenges they came to face in classrooms. To address this teacher churn, I have proposed a landmark teacher residency program, the largest in the nation, that would make an unparalleled investment in teacher preparation. Under my proposal, the City would recruit 1,000 aspiring teachers from diverse backgrounds to work in New York City classrooms for a full year alongside a highly skilled mentor teacher. These residents would be paid a modest stipend during the program while they complete their studies and earn full certification. The program would help us to add diversity to our teaching ranks while also making sure our newest teachers get the support they deserve.

We also need to ensure our projects, books and resources are grounded in the rich diversity of New York’s student population. That needs to involve including arts-based teaching strategy used by non-arts teachers to engage students in learning, it needs to include creating outlets for students during the school days such as free sketching and journaling time, and other curricular tools to ensure arts is integrated across a reorientation toward culturally responsive education.

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13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

CR-SP is grounded in the belief that children bring diverse, indispensable sources of knowledge to classrooms. When this knowledge is incorporated into pedagogy and celebrated, we see positive academic, social, and emotional outcomes. Blending academic study with critical thinking around contemporary issues allows students to incorporate their identities and experiences into their learning, ensuring that students will have more positive and engaging experiences in school.

CR-SP also helps students develop cross-cultural competencies, a deep empathy for others, and a deeper understanding of themselves. These skills will help students feel empowered as change-makers in society and show them that women, people of color, and those from historically marginalized communities can hold influential positions in society.

Arts education is an incredible opportunity for students to communicate and reflect on their own identities through artistic expression. We will invest in our teacher pipeline by implementing hiring practices and “grow your own” programs that have a demonstrated history of effective recruitment and retention of BIPOC educators in high needs schools. Increasing the number of teachers of color in arts positions is an important step in ensuring culturally responsive pedagogy is implemented with fidelity and more importantly, reaffirms and celebrates student identity.

As such, we will use the arts to support our schools in becoming more representative of all cultures and lived experiences, so that our students can see that the arts belong to them, and learn about other students and/or communities whose experiences vary from their own.

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Candidate Videos

Candidates were given the option to supplement their answers to this questionnaire with a brief video response highlighting their thoughts, ideas, attitude, or position toward arts in education. We received the following from Art Chang and Shaun Donovan:

Art Chang

Shaun Donovan


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NYC AiE Roundtable