Author: Kimberly Olsen

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:

URGENT ADVOCACY ALERT: Submit Written Testimony to the New York City Council in Support of Arts Education

NYC Arts in Education Roundtable logo in black and orange.

Posted on May 19, 2020

The following letter was sent out to the Roundtable mailing list on Tuesday, May 19, 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.

Update (June 19, 2020): The NYC Arts in Education Roundtable recently launched the #ArtsAreEssential campaign to preserve arts education funding in the 2020/2021. For more information about the campaign, please click here. 

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Latest Memo from NYC Department of Education Office of Arts & Special Projects

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

Posted on Friday, May 8, 2020

Yesterday, the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects shared the attached memo with the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable regarding the continuation of remote learning services.

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

“…Arts services that are provided remotely in collaboration and in support of schools’ remote teaching plans, and fulfill mandated services and/or New York State graduation requirements can continue to be offered.

DOE managers will ensure that invoices for services rendered to schools and central offices prior to April 1st, as well as any services which meet the above criteria offered after April 1st, will be paid accordingly.”

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.

 


Our Suggestions

Based on our understanding of this memo, the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable offers the following suggestions:

  • Review your Purchase Order(s). How can your organization provide contract deliverables remotely? How do these activities and objectives align with city/state arts learning standards and/or standards in other academic subjects?
  • Be prepared to justify why your program(s) fulfill mandated services. Highlight required arts instruction hours, graduation requirements, arts support for student sub-populations (i.e. students with disabilities, ENL students) and arts education’s impact on student learning, health, and wellbeing. **See helpful research links below.
  • Advocate directly to the school principal with these points clearly laid out (and ‘CC partnering educators, arts liaison, and other support staff). Give them what they need to make the case for your services. Be clear on PO deliverables in digital space, provide program rationale, and attach the memo from OASP.

It is our understanding that it will ultimately be up to each individual principal to justify and advocate for the continuation of arts vendor services. Given the current uncertainty about the future landscape of in-person education, we hope you can use these suggestions as a way to continue building relationships that will carry into the next school year.


Research / Policy

We hope you can use the below policies and studies as a jumping off point to advocate for your programs now and in the future.


Our Next Steps

The NYC Arts in Education Roundtable would like to thank our community members who helped advocate for these written assurances from the NYC Department of Education. It will be a long road ahead, and there is more work to be done. The Roundtable will continue to advocate on behalf of our membership to address the challenges that lie ahead and to ensure #ARTSareEssential in the “new normal”.

We hope you will join us on Wednesday, May 13 from 10:30am – 12pm for A Roundtable Conversation: Advocacy in Action to discuss how we can use our collective impact to move the field forward from here.

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#KeepMakingArt: NYCAIER on Teaching Artistry with Courtney J. Boddie

Published Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Together, Teaching Artistry with Courtney J. Boddie podcast and Creative Generation announce their partnership to produce a video series titled, #KeepMakingArt.

The series will explore the work of creatives all around the world as they respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic and will be released regularly on the Teaching Artistry with Courtney J. Boddie YouTube channel. This partnership, and resulting series, is a component of the #KeepMakingArt campaign, which is facilitated by Creative Generation. The goal of the campaign is to inspire and support youth, educators & artists, parents, and organizations to keep making art despite the tremendous circumstances we are facing. The campaign toolkit can be found here.

This week, Courtney J. Boddie chats with the Co-Chairs of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable, Jennifer DiBella and Sobha Kavanakudiyil with their colleague, Managing Director, Kimberly Olsen to discuss how the #ARTSareEssential.

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About Teaching Artistry with Courtney J. Boddie

Teaching Artistry blends creative and educational practice in service of community building, social justice, and inspiring joy. Courtney J. Boddie, Host and Creator, chats with teaching artists and arts educators who are driving professional teaching artistry forward. Courtney and her guests discuss personal journeys, celebrate triumphs and challenges, and advocate fiercely for the arts in all communities. Listen & subscribe on your favorite podcast player, today! Learn more here

About Creative Generation

Creative Generation works to inspire, connect, and amplify the work of individuals and organizations committed to cultivating the creative capacities of the next generation. Learn more here.

ADVOCACY ALERT | NYC AiE Roundtable Needs YOUR Help

Posted on April 20, 2020

The following letter was sent out to the Roundtable mailing list on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 and Monday, April 20, 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. (more…)

You’re Not Going to Write King Lear and That’s Okay: On Finding Empowerment Through Art for Art’s Sake under Covid-19

Teaching Artists Speak Out: Blogs from Quarantine. Post by Chelsea Asher. Background image: NYC apartment building and blue sky.

By Chelsea Asher

Posted on Tuesday, April 14, 2020

This blog is a part of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable’s new blog series, “Teaching Artists Speak Out: Blogs from Quarantine.” As schools remain closed, we’ve invited some “Teaching Artists of the Roundtable” to help us curate a series of blog posts written for and by NYC teaching artists. We’ll be posting new blogs each Tuesday and Thursday for the next several weeks. To view other blogs in the series, please click here.

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Teaching artists are no stranger to the American hustle culture – if anything, it’s the nature of the work we do. In New York City, we’re on and off trains, buses and subways. We’re in and out of classrooms, federal institutions and midtown buildings. We’re on late night and early morning weekend calls and basically just doing the whole damn lot. Before I was faced with the reality of losing many of my employment opportunities, sudden social distancing, and isolation, you might have caught me saying, “Well, if only I had more time, I’d be able to finally write my novel.”

The nature of the pandemic has forced many of us to interrogate truths we ordinarily wouldn’t have had to. This looks different for everyone, and has been particularly poignant, as ever, for communities living below the poverty line. As a teaching artist, I am anxious about the impact a recession will have on arts education and our students, as well as the pressure on many artists to hustle: to commodify and monetize their newfound “free time” toward an unattainable benchmark of success.

“Just a reminder that when Shakespeare was quarantined because of the plague, he wrote King Lear,” musician Rosanne Cash, and many other Twitter users along with her, began as the pandemic was actualized in the states. Thomas Nashe wrote Summers’ Last Will and Testament and Giovanni Boccaccio wrote The Decameron during historical plagues. Isaac Newton invented his theory of gravity while quarantined and Edvard Munch continued to paint even when he contracted the Spanish Flu.

One could argue that none of these people had access to Hulu or Netflix, but that’s not what’s important. These singular, historical creators are being upheld as the pinnacle example of optimism, goodness and, let’s face it, profit coming from our immediate times of uncertainty and hardship during Covid-19. Can you imagine a cultural standard that drives us, even during an outbreak, to think of how our own pandemics can look successful? Allow me to take the pressure off. Take a breath, unclench your shoulders, and release. You are not going to write King Lear. You probably aren’t even going to write King Lear 2. And that’s more than okay.

Let me pose a different question: when is the last time you created without the idea of product, success or audience in mind? At the start of my social distancing and isolation, I painted for the first time since I was a teenager. As a writer, I can’t explain what drew me to create this way, but as I took to the page with color and made something imperfect, I felt free. I video chatted with friends and colleagues this week and found them answering in the midst of baking recipes from their childhoods, learning guitar for the first time, and taking online dance classes. Lack of time may not have been stopping us from writing a Nobel-worthy novel, but it has kept us from the liberating nature of creating for fun, for experimentation, for solace and, most importantly, for ourselves.

In a time when the hustle is pushing down upon us, when everything remains uncertain, I wonder what our communities would look like if we could take a moment together in solace to start this artistic revolution without the expectation of volume, quality or driving a profit, but by the nature of creation itself? When I video called my friend the other night, she answered in the middle of cooking a harrowing recipe she’d been trying to get right for almost two hours. I laughed and marveled why she was putting herself through it. She just shrugged. “Why not? What else are we supposed to do?”

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Chelsea Asher is a writer and educator, living in Queens, NY. She received her MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence college and her work has been featured in Lunch Ticket, Dark Moon Digest and more.