Author: Kimberly Olsen

Meet Melissa Parke of Black Teaching Artist Lab

By Melissa Parke
Published on February 26, 2021

My name is Melissa Parke (she/her), and as Black Teaching Artist Lab (BTAL) Founder and Program Director, my sincerest hope is that by using art— one of the most powerful tools we have for human expression— Pan-African artists will be able to share their individual stories of the lived Black experience with Black students everywhere.

I am a Brooklyn-based artist and first began developing BTAL in the beginning of 2019. During that time, I was working as a community manager for the Brooklyn Creative League (BCL), a co-working space in Brooklyn, New York. Surrounded by social entrepreneurs at BCL, I was inspired to turn my big ideas into a tangible, new reality.

It was really great to be able to have a job to create a community for this demographic. It was cool to interact and build friendships with folks at BCL. They really encouraged me to pursue BTAL and offered great entrepreneurial insight. I am so fortunate to have had that opportunity.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was ultimately laid off from BCL in early 2020. And that’s when I decided it was time to truly focus my energy on building BTAL.

At first, BTAL was called Black Teaching Exchange, and the premise of the program was to bring African American teaching artists to Ghana, in order to explore what American Black culture was. But with the onset of COVID, traveling abroad was no longer an option. So I had to think of ways in which I could bring something more localized to folks. During this time there were so many riots and conversations about race here in America that were happening and I felt that I needed to use this programming that I was developing in order to help move this conversation forward.

Black Teaching Artist Lab, LLC’s (BTAL) mission is to provide Black teaching artists with professional development and travel opportunities in order to become better equipped to teach Black learners and to better understand their own Black identities.

In response to the unmet needs of Black learners here in the United States, I also developed the Afrocentric Social-Emotional Learning framework in the early part of 2020. This framework seeks to help Black learners better understand their own Black identity, the emotions that are associated with being Black in America, and how to manage those emotions through art. The central tenet of the Afrocentric Social-Emotional Learning framework is best described by BTAL’s program associate, Abby Faires:

“We believe Afrocentric Social-Emotional Learning in the arts is a pedagogical framework that will equip Black learners and Black teaching artists to discover who they are (individually, culturally, spiritually); to express their own unique talents; and to uncover how they can serve humanity through their work.”

BTAL’s Afrocentric Social-Emotional Learning workshops are currently being conducted through Zoom and are led by either myself or lead facilitators of color who have been trained to utilize the framework.

Another major aspect of BTAL’s programming is the travel abroad experience (safely launching after the resolution of the global COVID-19 pandemic). The goal here is to have Black teaching artists from the U.S. (as of now) travel to other parts of the African Diaspora, in order to partake in an arts-based cultural exchange, using art to share the experiences of being Black in the U.S. and in other parts of the world.

Being Black in America is an experience that is met with multifaceted hurdles. In some regards, the history and current state of the treatment of Black people in the U.S. makes it difficult to be proud to be an American. However, despite the treatment we have faced, we have contributed to our country’s greatest achievements, both in and out of the arts. It is interesting to explore the Black experience outside of the U.S. and to discover the similarities and differences we share with individuals and cultures in other parts of the Diaspora. What I have found to be most profound is the rich, deep-rootedness to West African culture and tradition that imbues the Diaspora.

Currently, BTAL is working on traveling to Puerto Rico in 2022, with a mission to uplift the Afro-Boricua and community voices on the main island through art workshops.

So, why am I choosing teaching artists to carry out this work?

I believe that Black teaching artists are the social, emotional, and cultural responders for Black learners in the classroom. And by providing these teaching artists with a framework that helps them to better understand their Black identity and culture, as well as the Black identity of their learners through art, I believe we can begin to unlock a vital universal truth: we are all human beings, connected through the human experience.

Black Teaching Artist Lab, LLC (BTAL) strives to provide opportunities for Black teaching artists who are interested in using their own Black experience, identity, and art medium to help shape a more understanding world. To learn more about BTAL, please follow the organization on Instagram @blackteachingartistlab and on the BTAL website: www.blackteachingartistlab.com.

About Melissa
Melissa Parke is a Brooklyn-based creative that is making waves in the arts-education world. Parke initially developed her concept for Black Teaching Artist Lab, LLC at the beginning of 2019, while working as a community manager at Brooklyn Creative League—a co-working space in Brooklyn, New York. Surrounded by successful entrepreneurs and immersed in the social changes that were underway in America, Parke was inspired to turn her big ideas into a tangible, new reality.

Arts Partnership Grants for the 2020-21 School Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 22, 2021
CONTACT: Audrey Cox, ACox16@schools.nyc.gov

The Office of Arts and Special Projects is pleased to announce recipients of Arts Partnership Grants: Arts for English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities and Arts and Family Engagement Grants for the 2020-2021 school year.

For further information, please reference School Allocation Memorandum (SAM) #36, Arts Funding Initiatives. Details can be found under Arts Partnership Grants and Arts+ Family Engagement Grants. A list of approved schools and arts partner organizations for Arts for English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities Grants can be found in Table 5. Table 6 lists approved schools and arts partnerorganizations for Arts and Family Engagement Grants.

Please contact Audrey Cox, Director of Arts Partnerships at the Office of Arts and Special Projects at ACox16@schools.nyc.gov, for more information.

DCLA Awards the Roundtable Additional Funding for the Arts Educator Emergency Relief Fund

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2020
CONTACT: Kimberly Olsen, kolsen@nycaieroundtable.org

 

NEW YORK, NY — The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) recently committed $750,000 for arts education organizations and to support the Arts Educator Emergency Relief Fund. DCLA’s COVID-19 impact survey found that the greatest loss of artistic employment comes from arts education organizations. This funding will support 25 organizations providing arts education programming across the city, as well as support the continuation of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable’s Arts Educator Emergency Relief Fund.  

In Fall 2020, the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable’s Arts Educator Emergency Relief Fund awarded 337 arts educators with its last round of funding. The fund awarded one-time, unrestricted grants up to $1,000 to teaching artists and arts education administrators who were facing serious financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. This new infusion of funding from DCLA will ensure that arts-in-education professionals have access to additional financial support during this time.

We acknowledge that our great city is in crisis, but we at the Roundtable believe that the pathway forward includes investing in arts education as part of the city’s recovery,” says Kimberly Olsen, Executive Director of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable. “The cuts to arts education programs have not only stripped away much-needed resources from young New Yorkers, but jeopardized the livelihood of thousands of artists and cultural workers. We are grateful for support from DCLA to engage in another round of relief funding to support these highly specialized workers.”

The Arts Educator Emergency Relief Fund was originally made possible by the generous support of the New York Community Trust, including funding from the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in the New York Community Trust, and the Booth Ferris Foundation. Both teaching artists and arts education administrators will be eligible to apply with an application opening in the new year. Additional details will be announced January 2021. 

 

About the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable
The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable improves, advances, and advocates for arts education in New York City. NYCAIER is a community of cultural organizations and educators that shares resources, provides professional development, and advocates for the needs of our constituents and the communities they serve. Founded in 1992, NYCAIER builds our efforts around the value that arts education is a right for all NYC students. NYCAIER produces a major annual arts in education conference, Face to Face; monthly professional development programs;  in addition to ongoing advocacy and communications efforts for cultural organizations and teaching artists in every discipline. For more information please visit: www.nycaieroundtable.org.

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Request For Proposals: Developers for the Roundtable’s New Website

The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable is seeking design and development services for a new website for our organization.

The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable is a service organization and a community of arts education practitioners sharing information, providing professional development, and communicating with the public to promote our work in schools and beyond.

Please see the attached Request for Proposal for more information about the Roundtable as well as our website objectives, timeline, and requirements. We kindly request you provide the following information in your proposal:
  • Overview of your company

  • Overview of how you will meet our objectives

  • Explanation of your proposed platform/CMS

  • Outline of your website design & development strategy

  • Proposed website timeline from kickoff to launch

  • Details about your team

  • Recent design & development examples

  • References

  • Any key differentiators about you?

  • Pricing with optional elements line-itemed

  • Terms & conditions

The deadline for receipt of your proposal submission is Tuesday, January 19, 2021. No proposals received after that date will be considered. All proposal submissions will be responded to once a decision has been made. If you have questions concerning this RFP, please contact Executive Director Kimberly Olsen at kolsen@nycaieroundtable.org. We appreciate your consideration of our proposal.

Please address your proposal to: 

Kimberly Olsen
Executive Director
NYC Arts in Education Roundtable
Times Square Station
PO Box 2094
New York, NY 10108

and submit electronically to kolsen@nycaieroundtable.org.

The Roundtable on WNYC Radio: The Impact of Covid on NYC Schools Arts Education Programs

Roundtable Executive Director Kimberly Olsen and members including teaching artist Marissa Ontiveros and Michelle Kotler of Community Word Project were recently featured on WNYC Radio. The interview focused on the impact of COVID-19 on arts education programs in NYC public schools. Almost 80% of teaching artists were furloughed or laid off due to the impact of COVID-19, extremely limiting access to arts education for our city’s youth. The interview shares more insight into how the lives of students and teaching artists have been affected by the pandemic and the ways that teaching artists have been able to cope during these times. Listen to the interview here (5 Minutes):

https://www.wnyc.org/story/other-covid-symptom-struggling-arts-programs-public-schools/

URGENT ADVOCACY ALERT: New York City Council Schedules Hearing on Arts Education

Text: Arts Are Essential.

Posted on December 2, 2020

The following letter was sent out to the Roundtable mailing list on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. To stay up to date with weekly e-blasts about advocacy efforts, best practices, current trends, upcoming events, and more, please subscribe to the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable mailing list.

Scroll down for additional advocacy updates and information on ways to get involved in the #ArtsAreEssential campaign! For more information about the campaign, please click here. (more…)

Can’t Stop the Hustle: 4+ Ways for Teaching Artists to get Financial Relief

By Michelle Cole
Published on October 28, 2020

Covid-19 is messing with the Teaching Artist hustle.

Our profession thrives on togetherness and community. But right now, traveling artist-educators are considered safety risks solely because of the ubiquitous nature of our work. How are we supposed to do what we do during a time when separation is mandated? How can we hustle when it feels like our whole profession is on pause? It makes me wonder, are other Teaching Artists doing ok? Because I’m not. How will we survive this financially? I have suggestions.

Teaching Artists in all disciplines have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic. The range of pandemic adjustments varies for each artist, from reduced hours to course conversion to furloughs. Teaching Artists have had to find ways to pivot to make ends meet. For some, this may have amounted to a career change. For others, it may look like a reconfiguration of teaching practice to remain relevant and adapt to this changing world. No matter the situation, we must remember who we are. We are adaptable, flexible, resilient, and creative in more ways than one. Knowing to pivot when necessary is a part of our job description. Despite the many challenges, teaching artistry is still alive and it is even more vital than ever. What we provide for communities is invaluable. Now, more than ever, it is time to utilize this virtual realm to take advantage of the available financial resources to supplement reduced or lost income so we can continue to provide for our communities.

Money isn’t the only way we’re being affected. Our physical, mental, and emotional health are also negatively impacted. I lost over 75% of my income. I work out – I’ll say – less (does walking back and forth from the kitchen in my pajamas count?). And I am feeling much more isolated- as many people can attest to experiencing. Teaching Artists know how isolating this profession can be, so having gatherings halted, reduced, or completely shut down can be that much more of a strain on both our mental and emotional well-being. We’re going through national ongoing extended trauma that has seen people slipping in and out of depressions and experiencing both anxiety and rising stress levels. Couple that with financial strain to get a recipe for a full breakdown.

But, before the spiral begins, there are solutions! I know the struggle; I experienced it firsthand. If you’re like me and happen to be an artist parent, then your pockets are probably quickly depleting from ravenous children incessantly eating/snacking at home. Times are hard with kids in the house 24/7, curing their boredom with food. So, I asked for help, I sought assistance, and I looked through so many websites to find solutions. These kids have to eat. I am allowing myself to be more vulnerable than I have ever been because this is not the time for pride and ego trips.

Allow me to share what I gathered and please take advantage. There are many funds, grants, and microgrants out there to provide financial relief for artists to help us navigate this unprecedented time. Below you will find a compiled list of the most current and applicable opportunities for teaching artists. This list is not comprehensive of all available emergency funds, nor is this a cure-all. But this may be able to hold us over until we can figure out how to recreate some semblance of stability.

 

Financial Resources for Teaching Artists

(October 2020: List reflects resources available as of October 28, 2020)

Artist Relief Fund

This fund has gone through seven (7) cycles of funding for artists. Two cycles remain. See the dates below.

One time, $5000 unrestricted grant for artists in need of financial assistance due to Covid-19’s impact.
There are two more rounds of applications in 2020:
Cycle VIII: October 22 – November 18 (closes 11:59pm ET)
Cycle IX: November 19 – December 10 (closes 11:59pm ET)
Apply Here
Tip: During the application process, be sure to provide as much detail as possible regarding the impact of Covid-19 on your financial struggles. Save your answers to the questions in a separate document or an e-mail so you can apply again for the next round, in case you don’t get it.

Arts Administrators of Color Network (AAC)

This microgrant is ongoing. No specified end date.

$200 microgrant for US-based BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists and administrators

Apply Here
Tip: If you have a website, update it. If not, be sure to have a web link for your CV/résumé or a contract to show artistic engagement.

Red Bull Arts Microgrant

This application is open on a rolling basis. No specified end date.

$1000 microgrant for artists (and groups) 18+
Award is given to two (2) individuals each month.

Apply Here
Tip: Be detailed about both your ‘artist statement’ and ‘statement of purpose.’ Why do you need this grant money? How will you use it? Distinguish yourself from others. NYC is jam-packed with dope struggling artists.

Max’s Emergency Relief & Resource Fund

This application is open on a rolling basis. No specified end date.

A one-time grant of between $500-$1000 for a specific bill (housing, legal, medical)
Applicants should be self-employed artists who have a steady work history but experiencing a temporary financial setback.
Money is sent directly to the third party, not the individual.

Apply Here (Download Application)
Tip: Be specific about how you will use the awarded money. It is a requirement to send applications by snail mail. This application process is extensive.

Other Resources

The Arts in Education Roundtable has plenty of resources for artists such as financial assistance, professional development, emotional and mental well-being, and more. Click here to find out more about it on their resource page.

Also, check out the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), and Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+) for additional resources and other compiled lists.

I hope this helps to alleviate some of the financial stress. We may be experiencing financial hardship, but we’ll get through this together. Hopefully, this will further ignite Teaching Artists to advocacy so we can establish a union and better protect ourselves in the future. In the meantime, apply for what you can and share this with an artist friend-in-need. Many of these funds are also accepting donations, so if you are someone or know someone that has the means, please consider donating to a fund that supports Teaching Artists right now. We can really use it. Take care of yourself and remember who we are. The hustle will return.

Michelle smiles with reddish short sleeve shirt, close-cropped hair

Michelle Cole, is an educator, choreographer, and dancer. She received her Master’s degree in Dance Education from New York University, Steinhardt and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Florida International University’s Honors College. In 2019, she began her own dance teaching company, Dance Culture LLC, to conduct independent dance residencies at universities, public, private, and independent schools throughout NYC. Michelle became an adjunct faculty member of NYU in 2015, she currently teaches Afro-Caribbean and Hip-Hop Dance. As a choreographer and performer, Michelle has presented and performed in New York, Chicago, Miami, Martha’s Vineyard, Kampala, Uganda and more. She is a member of the Teaching Artist Affairs committee through the Arts in Education Roundtable and an advocate for dance education, social justice, dances of the African diaspora and culturally integrated dance pedagogy.

 

New York City Arts in Education Roundtable Receives Grant to Provide Critical Assistance to Arts Education Community Amid COVID-19

New York Community Trust logo in red and black.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2020
CONTACT: Kimberly Olsen, kolsen@nycaieroundtable.org

Published on July 29, 2020

 

NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable (NYCAIER) is pleased to announce that it has received $465,000 in grant awards from the New York Community Trust (NYCT), including funding from the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in the New York Community Trust, to continue providing critical assistance to New York City’s arts education community which has been among the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The NYC Arts in Education Roundtable has always responded quickly and decisively to the needs of New York’s arts education field,” said Kimberly Olsen, Executive Director of NYCAIER. “As arts education funding and programming are often among the first to be cut during times of sudden economic strife, we are grateful to NYCT for providing us with this important support so that we can continue to offer our community relief and resources to ensure field-wide sustainability through this pandemic.”

This grant will allow NYCAIER to establish an “Arts Educator Emergency Relief Fund” to award at least 300 grants of up to $1,000 to arts educators who are facing serious financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. Both teaching artists and arts education administrators will be eligible to apply with an application opening the week of August 10, 2020. Additional details and application questions will be announced the week of August 3, 2020.

NYCT funding will also enable NYCAIER to continue supporting the sustainability of arts education in New York City through free professional development workshops designed to help arts groups and individuals navigate and respond to rapid changes in the delivery of arts education in New York City. NYCAIER will also utilize newly funded resources to expand its advocacy efforts for the integration of arts education into the New York City Department of Education’s contingency planning for the 2020-2021 school year, including through targeted outreach to public officials and the media, among other programs.

NYCAIER has a longstanding history of preserving and advancing the arts education community in New York City as one of the cultural pillars of the city. This summer, NYCAIER is hosting a seven-week Summer School learning series for arts in education practitioners supported in part by the award from NYCT. The free series will feature weekly professional development sessions focused on digital skills-building, self-care, and collaborative art-making for educators, administrators, and artists.

NYCT’s NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund was created to aid nonprofit service providers struggling with the initial health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The funding allowed nonprofits to transition to online contact with clients and audiences, as well as purchase protective supplies, among other needs. Grants and loans also helped groups facing a loss of operational revenue from facility closings, cancelled programs, and events. Learn more about the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund.

 

About the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable

The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable improves, advances, and advocates for arts education in New York City. NYCAIER is a community of cultural organizations and educators that shares resources, provides professional development, and advocates for the needs of our constituents and the communities they serve. Founded in 1992, NYCAIER builds our efforts around the value that arts education is a right for all NYC students. NYCAIER produces a major annual arts in education conference, Face to Face; monthly professional development programs;  in addition to ongoing advocacy and communications efforts for cultural organizations and teaching artists in every discipline.

For more information please visit: www.nycaieroundtable.org.

Click here to access a PDF version of this press release.

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The NYC Arts in Education Roundtable Elects Seven New Board Members

Pictured: Headshots of NYCAIER's seven new board members with text written across the middle, "Meet Our New Board Members"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kimberly Olsen, kolsen@nycaieroundtable.org                                                                                                             

Published on July 23, 2020

NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable is pleased to announce the election of seven new members to the Roundtable’s Board of Directors: Philip A. Alexander, Stephanie Lee Griffin, Lisa Mitchell, KeriAnne Murphy-Smith, Juan Carlos Salinas, Helen Wheelock, and Michael Wiggins.

“The Roundtable is thrilled to have this wonderful class of experienced and talented leaders join our Board of Directors this year,” said Jennifer DiBella and Sobha Kavanakudiyil, Board Co-Chair, NYC Arts in Education Roundtable. “We know that their demonstrated commitment to arts and community education will advance the work of our vibrant community. We look forward to their long-term impact on the Roundtable and field at large.”

Please click here for a complete list of the Roundtable’s Board of Directors.

 

Meet Our New Board Members

Philip A. Alexander is the Arts in Education Director at Brooklyn Arts Council. He is a creativity catalyst who seeks to inspire and empower others in their own artistry. He partners with artists and educators in pursuit of meaningful and effective arts pedagogy, having held management and leadership positions with such esteemed organizations as Roundabout Theatre Company, Empire State Partnerships, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and the New York State Alliance for Arts Education. He consults in the realms of professional development, assessment and strategic partnership, having supported the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Center for Arts Education, VSArts, and the US Department of Education, among others. Holding a doctorate in theatre history, he is seen regularly at professional gatherings as workshop leader or featured speaker.

 

 

Stephanie Lee Griffin serves as Chief of Staff to the CEO at Roivant. Stephanie joined Roivant Sciences in January 2017 and previously served as Chief Operating Officer at one of Roivant’s subsidiary companies. She also worked in various operating roles across the organization.

Stephanie began her career as a management consultant for the pharmaceutical industry at IQVIA and Huron Consulting Group, where she advised large global pharma and medical device manufacturers. Prior to joining Roivant, Mrs. Lee Griffin worked at Celgene, where she focused on US and global pricing strategy. Mrs. Lee Griffin earned her A.B. in Classics from Brown University and her M.B.A. at Columbia Business School.

 

Lisa Mitchell is the Director of Education and Audience Engagement at Disney Theatrical Group, where she engages students, teachers, and audiences through Broadway performance and student-driven productions. Current and past field positions include: the Audience Engagement Committee (the Broadway League), the Roger Rees Awards advisory board, the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable board, and the American Alliance for Theatre and Education board. Lisa holds a doctoral degree in entrepreneurial leadership in education from Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on developing enduring theater programs in under-resourced schools.

 

 

KeriAnne Murphy-Smith is currently the Finance Manager at 321 Theatrical Management working on a variety of shows including one of her favorites, Wicked. Previously she was the Business Manager at Manhattan Theatre Club, a 23-time Tony Award winning and six-time Pulitzer Prize winning New York City based non-profit theatre company.

She received her B.A. in Theatre at SUNY Plattsburgh before managing The Players Theatre, a commercial off-broadway house located in historic Greenwich Village, New York City. During that time, KeriAnne was also the Executive Director and Production Stage Manager for The Theatre Project and TP&co, companies founded by fellow SUNY Plattsburgh Alumnus, Christian Amato. After 5 years working in the downtown off-broadway circuit, KeriAnne moved to the midtown theatre world where she transitioned into Business and Human Resources. KeriAnne has also spent time working with The College Light Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, and the NYC Fringe Festival. Formerly, she was a freelance Stage Manager for almost 10 years. She currently resides in Astoria, NY with her husband Steve.

 

Juan Carlos Salinas is currently the Director of Education at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. He has developed and implemented curricula based on various artistic disciplines, social activism, and leadership skill-building for more than twenty-five New York City schools and cultural institutions. He is a contributing writer of New York City’s Blueprint for Theater Education and is a contributor for Sing for Hope’s Art U curriculum. He has worked as Education Director of City Lights Youth Theater, Associate Director of Education at Yale Repertory Theater, and Education Manager of Ars Nova and Ballet Hispanico. Recently Juan Carlos oversaw the creation of the BFA Acting program at Long Island University Downtown, Brooklyn in partnership with the New Group Theater Company. Juan Carlos holds an MFA in Non-profit/Arts Management with an emphasis in Education from Yale University.  Juan Carlos is the founder of the Y Tu Tambien, the college access program of the La Unidad Latina Foundation, which unites Latino alumni from across the Ivy League to help students in need gain acceptance into their desired colleges, and provides school and career exploration workshops. He is the current Chair and founding member of the Yale Latino Alumni Association of the Tri State Area, and a founding board member of the Inter- Ivy League Latino Alumni Council. Juan Carlos is a proud native of Rio Grande City, in Starr County, TX.

 

Helen Wheelock is the Director of the CUNY-Creative Arts Team’s Early Learning Program (CAT-ELP), which uses uses interactive drama to strengthen literacy, critical thinking, and essential social-emotional skills among pre-k through 2nd grade students. She joined CAT in 1994 as a teaching artist and worked with the Elementary and Early Childhood programs until 2008, when she was appointed to her current role. Her work at CAT has taken her into classrooms in NYC, nationally and internationally and offered her opportunities to present at conferences and facilitate professional developments for educators on participant-centered pedagogy and drama strategies in the early childhood classroom. As an adjunct faculty member at the CUNY School of Professional Studies, she has taught several  graduate courses including Teaching Through Drama: Storytelling & Puppetry in the Early Years; Role-Play in the Classroom The Uses of Role-Play as a Teaching Tool; and, for the MA in Applied Theatre an Apprenticeship in Early Childhood Drama. Helen holds an MA in Educational Theatre from New York University and a BA in Theatre from Middlebury College.​

 

Michael Wiggins is an arts administrator with a background in theatre and a commitment to working for positive social change.

He is the Director of Engagement and Education for Little Island, a new public park on the West Side of Manhattan. Previous roles include Director of Education at Baltimore Center Stage; Director of Education and Special Projects at Urban Arts Partnership; Teaching Artist Trainer at The Public Theater; Teaching Artist at New Victory Theater; Adjunct professor at The Graduate Program in Educational Theatre at The City College of New York (CCNY) and The Program in Educational Theatre at NYU’s Steinhardt School. He is an alumnus of the NYU Graduate Acting MFA Program (’98).

 

About the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable

The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable improves, advances, and advocates for arts education in New York City. We are a community of organizations and individuals that shares information, provides professional development, and communicates with the public to promote our work in schools and beyond. Founded in 1992, the Roundtable produces a major annual conference, Face to Face; monthly professional development programs; a destination website; and other activities, in addition to ongoing advocacy and communications efforts for over 1,000 individuals and member organizations.

For more information please visit: www.nycaieroundtable.org.

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Latest Memo from NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects (June 24, 2020)

Updates from OASP, NYC Department of Education. Pictured: NYC Department of Education and Office of Arts and Special Projects logos.

Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Earlier today, the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects shared the attached memo with the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable regarding Arts Partnership Grants 2020-2021 (including Arts for English Language Learners/ Students with Disabilities and Arts and Family Engagement Grants).

As it relates to our community’s ongoing advocacy work, the memo states:

“Due to the unprecedented impact of Covid-19, we regret to inform you that the Arts Partnership Grants will not be renewed for 2020-2021. This is devastating news as we know the tremendous impact The Arts for English Language Learners & Students with Disabilities and Arts+Family Engagement grants has had on students, their families, school communities and arts partner organizations. We have always had a vision of supporting sustainability in grants, so we encourage partners and schools to discuss possibilities for continued collaboration within the school’s existing resources. However, we know this is a challenging fiscal climate, and this news will have an impact on arts education partnerships.”

For questions about Arts Partnership Grants, please reach out to Audrey Cox, Director of Arts Partnerships at ACox16@schools.nyc.gov. For any other questions, please reach out to ArtsAndSpecialProjects@schools.nyc.gov.

 


Additional Information

As our community continues to advocate via the “Arts Are Essential” campaign, the Roundtable wishes to share some additional history and context for this budget cut: