Category: Arts Education

The NYC Arts in Education Roundtable Elects Seven New Board Members

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                       

June 23, 2021

NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable is pleased to announce the election of seven new members to the Board of Directors: Asari Beale, Leena Bhutta, Keith Kaminski, Meredith Kirchheimer, Sara Morgulis, Purple S. Norris, and Alexander Santiago-Jirau.

“The Roundtable is delighted to welcome an amazing slate of new directors to our board,” says Board Co-Chair Sobha Kavanakudiyil. “I look forward to continuing the work of the Roundtable with our Board and new Executive Committee.”

The Roundtable has appointed Gary Padmore as Board Co-Chair, Traci Lester as Vice Chair, and KeriAnne Murphy as Treasurer effective July 1, 2021. Former Board Co-Chair Jennifer DiBella will transition into the role of Emeritus after an incredible three years of leadership in partnership with Co-Chair Sobha Kavanakuidyil.

“As the Roundtable enters its 30th year of service to NYC’s arts in education community, I look forward to partnering with these incredible leaders in deepening our impact and driving our mission forward,” says Kimberly Olsen, Executive Director of the Roundtable. “We are excited to channel Asari, Alex, Keith, Leena, Meredith, Purple, and Sara’s expertise and energy into the collective work to improve and advance arts education across the five boroughs.”

With gratitude and admiration, the Roundtable also announces the departure of David Shookhoff (founding Board Member), Piper Anderson, and Bryan Powell who will each have completed their Board term limits as of June 30, 2021. We thank them for the critical role in the development and success of the organization. Their inspirational leadership and dedicated service have forever changed the organization.

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

Meet Our New Board Members


Asari Beale
is an Afro-Latina writer, educator, and leader deeply committed to children’s literacy. She is the Executive Director of Teachers and Writers Collaborative, one of the nation’s oldest writers-in-the-schools programs, and a steering committee member of LitNet, a network serving America’s literary community. She has taught literature and creative writing at Hunter College, Brooklyn College, and Fordham University. Prior to joining Teachers & Writers, she worked with LSA Family Health Service and Reach Out and Read of Greater New York, both organizations which center early childhood literacy. She holds a BA from New York University and an MFA from Brooklyn College, and lives with her family in Harlem, New York City.

 

Leena Bhutta is the Deputy Chief Investment Officer for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation where she oversees the foundation’s portfolio across the various asset classes it is invested in. Doris Duke Charitable Foundation gives grants in the areas of the Environments, the Arts, Medical Research and Child Well Being. Before joining DDCF in 2019, Leena served as Director of Alternative Investments at the Hollyhock Foundation. Prior to that role, Leena was an investment professional at Joho Capital, an Asia-focused hedge fund. She started her career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. Leena earned her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and her BA in Economics from Wellesley College. Leena grew up in Lahore, Pakistan and she lives in Westchester County with her husband, three kids and a cat!

 

Keith Kaminski is a queer, Brooklyn-based nonprofit professional with sixteen years of experience in community-focused arts, education, and equity work. He currently serves as BRIC’s director of education, overseeing youth and family programs in partnership with over forty Brooklyn public schools. He holds a BFA in art education from Syracuse University and is pursuing an MPA with a concentration in nonprofit administration at CUNY Baruch College in the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. In his spare time, Kaminski is also a multimedia artist, DJ, and podcaster.

 

Meredith Kirchheimer currently serves as Global Marketing Manager for Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm developing solutions to transform companies, industries, and society. She helps drive the growth and development of BCG’s content programming and marketing capabilities. Meredith joined BCG in 2016 and is currently based in New York. Prior to BCG, she supported Business Development for Cambridge Associates, a global investment consulting firm. Meredith received an MPA, concentrating in Social Impact, from American University and a BA in History and Political Science from Villanova University.

 

Sara Morgulis is an educator, theatremaker, and consultant. She is the Director of Education at New York City Children’s Theater, where she leads with her personal mission of engaging New York City students through accessible and inclusive theatre practices. She is an Adjunct Faculty Member for the M.F.A Performing Arts Management Program at Brooklyn College, and the M.A. Applied Theatre program at CUNY, where she graduated from in 2013. Her Master’s thesis research about training young people to be peer facilitators was published in RIDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. In 2015, Sara received the TYA/USA Ann Shaw Fellowship Award, which funded a trip to London to visit Oily Cart Theatre and learn about their play development process. Sara used that research to co-create FIVE, a multi-sensory touring musical designed for students with disabilities, which has now toured to over 10,000 students in schools across NYC. Sara also serves as Director of Programs at Actionplay, where she curates self-advocacy focused theatre, film and music programming for and with Disabled artists. Sara has served on panels and presented workshops on accessible arts education at many conferences, including the American Alliance for Theatre and Education Conference and the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Conference. She acts as an Accessibility and Disability Inclusion Consultant for nonprofits nationwide. www.saramorgulis.com

 

Sheikia S. Norris, lyrically known as Purple was born in The Bronx. Currently residing in Newark, NJ & is in the Graduate program at Goddard College. Purple’s performance or classroom experience is dynamic & unforgettable! This independent international Emcee rocks with funk & soul, naturally connect with ease using a voice that inspires audience movement.  Enthusiasts appreciated her energy, her impeccable flow, and a clever deliverance of truth. Haze has mastered her own rich style of spitting lyrics with both power and substance. She is recognized as a skilled performer, presenter & leader in Hip Hop Educator. Acknowledgments from participating as a “Lady’s First Fund” grant recipient, NJPAC’s Hip Hop Art & Culture Program Director, Next Level Program U.S. Cultural Diplomat, Hip Hop Culture Center in Harlem, and as a presenter facilitating curator conversations for Hip Hop art, culture & performance. Purp is a diversified talent poised for success in a host of areas.

 

Alexander Santiago-Jirau (he/él) is Director of Education at New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW). In this role, he oversees all of NYTW’s education and engagement initiatives, including the Mind the Gap (MTG) intergenerational theatre program, student matinees, in-school teaching artist residencies, after-school programs, master classes, administrative fellowships, and community-based programs. Some of his favorite work at NYTW has included developing educational materials and curating programming for the world premiere of David Bowie’s and Enda Walsh’s Lazarus directed by Ivo van Hove, the world premiere of Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown developed with and directed by Rachel Chavkin, a production of Othello directed by Sam Gold featuring Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo, Heidi Shreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me, and Jeremy O. Harris’s Slave Play. Recent work has included facilitation of MTG devising intensive workshops in London, Chile, and North Carolina, and the creation of NYTW’s Youth Artistic Instigators program.

A Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) practitioner who studied and worked with Augusto Boal, Alex has facilitated many workshops throughout his career, particularly with youth, educators and immigrant communities. He is Past-President of the Board of Directors of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, Inc., a national organization devoted to the work of liberatory educators, activists, artists, and community organizers.

Alex has presented his work at numerous conferences and his writing has appeared in American Theatre, The IndypendentTYA TodayThe Cross Border Project Blog (Spain), the anthology “Come Closer”: Critical Perspectives on Theatre of the Oppressed, The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed and Applied Theatre with Youth: Education, Engagement, Activism. He has taught Latin American and Latinx Theatre at Drew University and also teaches TO for the Department of Drama at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

He holds a B.S. in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University and an M.A. in Educational Theatre from NYU Steinhardt.

 

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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.

NYC DOE Summer Rising – Murals & Pop-up Performance Grants

Office of Arts & Special Projects

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 4, 2021
CONTACT: Audrey Cox, ACox16@schools.nyc.gov

 

Dear Arts Partner,

The Office of Arts and Special Projects is pleased to announce summer 2021 Murals & Pop-up Performance Grants, sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and the City Cultural Aid. These grants will provide $25,000 School Allocation Memorandum (SAM) funding to grantee Summer Rising sites to build partnerships that culminate in a co-created mural or a co-created pop-up performance at the end of summer 2021. Program goals include investment in school facilities and communities through talented NYC teaching artists while developing, implementing, and promoting best practices in arts education.

This application is only available to school sites participating in 2021 Summer Rising. School leaders are only allowed to submit the Murals & Pop-up Performance Grant application. Applications are due by Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

As New York City begins to recover and rebuild, we know the Murals and Pop-up Performance Grant will play a pivotal role in realizing this artistic renaissance. The Murals and Pop-up Performance Grant will create opportunities for teaching artists and school communities to redefine celebrating the arts in New York City Schools.

It is important to reiterate that schools are the grantees, so please follow-up directly with potential partnership schools. For more information regarding Summer Rising, please visit the Summer Rising webpage.

Please contact Audrey Cox at ACox16@schools.nyc.gov for inquiries.

Best wishes for a safe and creative summer!

In partnership, 

Audrey Cox

Director of Arts Partnerships

Office of Arts and Special Projects

New York City Department of Education

Acox16@schools.nyc.gov

The Roundtable Announces “Empire State Creates: Teaching Artist-Led Activities for Everyone” Grant Opportunity funded by New York State Council on the Arts

Text in white against a royal blue background reads, "Empire State Creates: Teaching Artist-Led Activities for Everyone. $1500 Grants for the Creation of Asynchronous learning resources. Deadline to apply: May 21, 2021. Image also features the Roundtable and NYSCA logos.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 30, 2021
CONTACT: Kimberly Olsen, kolsen@nycaieroundtable.org

New York, NY – In partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYS Arts in Education Roundtable is proud to announce a new grant opportunity for teaching artists. “Empire State Creates: Teaching Artist-Led Activities for Everyone” is a pilot program seeking to support teaching artists and offer continued arts learning opportunities for New Yorkers of all ages through the development of asynchronous arts learning materials.

Empire State Creates will provide $1,500 grants to 15 independent New York State-based teaching artists to create 4-5 asynchronous arts learning resources for distribution in community settings including but not limited to students (3K – 12th grade), veterans, older adults (creative aging), people experiencing incarceration/Re-entry, people with disabilities, people from the LGBTQ+ Community, and multilingual learners. This project is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

“NYSCA is thrilled to partner with the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable to support both teaching artists and arts learners across New York. Teaching artists promote the power of arts to transform the mind and encourage lifelong learning,” said Mara Manus, NYSCA Executive Director. “This exciting opportunity will produce meaningful resources for asynchronous learning and aid teaching artists in their professional development after a tremendously challenging year.”

“We at the Roundtable believe Teaching artists are superheroes, with the unique power to facilitate arts experiences as both highly-specialized educators and artists,” says Kimberly Olsen, NYC Arts in Education Roundtable Executive Director. “We are thrilled to partner with NYSCA on this pilot project in hopes that we may further spotlight New York’s talented teaching artists and the vital services they provide in schools and communities.” 

These asynchronous arts learning materials may be video-based (no longer than 15 minutes each) or non-video based activities that connect to New York State Arts Learning Standards. Priority in selection will be given to content that embodies or is aligned with culturally responsive-sustaining pedagogy and social-emotional learning. Teaching artists are encouraged to watch a recording of the Empire State Creates Information Session, which took place on Wednesday, April 28 at 5pm.

Click here for PDF version of this press release.

About the New York City 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.

About the New York State Council on the Arts
The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) is dedicated to preserving and expanding the rich and diverse cultural resources that are and will become the heritage of New York’s citizens.

At NYSCA, our efforts are guided by our belief in the fundamental importance of arts and cultural expression in people’s lives and a commitment to serving our three constituencies: artists, arts and cultural organizations, and the public. We believe that:

Artists are at the center of creative endeavor. Therefore, we are committed to providing artists with opportunities for artistic development and the public presentation of their work.

Strong arts and cultural organizations are vital to connecting the arts to people’s lives. We are committed to assisting a wide range of arts and cultural organizations – small and large, new and established – to achieve their artistic, programmatic, educational, community, and organizational goals.

Every citizen of New York State can have a meaningful connection to creativity and every community has a right to cultural self-determination. The Council is also committed to making the arts accessible to all the citizens of New York State. We aim to support worthy artistic and cultural activities that serve traditionally underserved communities or populations. These are the economically disadvantaged, people with disabilities, rural populations, and those who may experience discrimination on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity, culture, or sexual orientation. We are committed to fostering public understanding and enjoyment of arts and culture through support of arts education, public participation, and lifelong learning programs in schools and community settings for children and adults.

For more information please visit: https://arts.ny.gov/.

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A RECOVERY FOR ALL OF US: MAYOR DE BLASIO, CHANCELLOR PORTER, DYCD COMMISSIONER CHONG ANNOUNCE INNOVATIVE SUMMER RISING PLAN

Published April 13, 2021

Press Release from:

THE CITY OF NEW YORK

OFFICE OF THE MAYOR

NEW YORK, NY 10007

 

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter and Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Bill Chong today announced Summer Rising, the City’s free, summer plan for any child in grades K-12 who wants to participate. For the first time ever, the City will use the Community Schools strategy to integrate the New York City Department of Education’s (NYCDOE’s) academic supports and DYCD’s school-based enrichment programming to create a comprehensive summer program during the most critical summer for New York City students. Summer Rising will be student-centered, experiential, academically rigorous and culturally responsive and sustaining.        

Applications for in-person K-8 programs will open on Monday, April 26, and families can sign up through the discover DYCD website. Kindergarten and elementary school students will participate in a five-day a week program for seven weeks, providing critical childcare services for families as they return to the workplace. Students with 12-month IEPs will participate in a five-day a week program for six weeks. Middle school students will participate in a four-day a week program for six weeks, and high school students will participate in a five week program with tailored scheduling to meet their needs. In addition, high school students will have the opportunity to engage in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and participate in the Public Schools Athletic League. Schools will begin outreach to families of high school students in the coming weeks to confirm participation. Students attending for promotion purposes will be in the same program as students participating for enrichment.  

“Our kids have been through so much, and they need our support as we build a recovery for all of us,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This is a free program for all New York City students, combining academics and cultural enrichment for the best summer yet.”  

“This summer is pivotal for our school communities, and we have created a summer experience unlike anything we have ever done before to bring our students back stronger than ever. Summer Rising will be a holistic experience that combines the power of strong academic supports, social emotional learning and enrichment programming,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “Through this innovative partnership with DYCD and our trusted community partners, and thanks to our heroic principals, teachers and staff, we’ll be able to serve any New York City student who wants to attend in-person so they can receive the comprehensive supports they need during this critical time.”  

“Summer Rising is truly the best of both worlds: bringing together for the first time the strengths of DYCD-funded summer enrichment initiatives and DOE’s academic programs into a singular experience for young people, particularly those from communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. DYCD and our network of community providers are excited to join DOE in keeping classrooms open this summer for safe learning, childcare, connection, and fun,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong.    

Summer Rising will address immediate academic and social emotional needs of children and youth across the City. Planned and operated collaboratively by school principals and trusted community-based organizations (CBOs), programs for students in grades K-8 will be available citywide including tailored support for those who need academic support and students with disabilities. These programs will provide a bridge to next school year and allow students to re-connect with one another and with their schools, to ensure continued learning, and provide avenues for recreation, exploration, and fun. High school students will have access to academic and social emotional supports designed locally to meet the unique needs of older students.    

Summer locations will be available in every borough, with nearly half of all DOE school buildings serving students citywide. All programs will follow rigorous health and safety protocols and have access to testing, nursing support and a telehealth call center. In addition, Situation Room policies and protocols will be followed.    

All K-8 students participating in programs will have access to academic classes, enrichment programming including field trips, arts activities and outdoor recreation, and will engage in daily social emotional learning activities.      

All programs will be free, in-person, and run in four time frames:    

·       Students in grades K-5 will participate in summer programming from July 6 to August 20. Students will engage five days a week, receiving academic support, engaging in social emotional learning activities, and participating in enrichment programming.     

·       Students with 12-month IEP services will participate in summer programming from July 2 to August 13, five days a week. They will receive instruction and related services based on their IEPs, as well as enrichment programming.    

·       Students in grades 6-8 will participate in summer programming from July 6 to August 12. Students will engage four days a week, receiving academic support, engaging in social emotional learning activities, and participating in enrichment programming.    

·       Students in grades 9-12 who have a Course in Progress, or who need to retake a course they failed in a prior term, will participate in academic instruction from July 6 to August 13. High school students will also have the opportunity to accelerate learning, and access social emotional supports and arts programming. Similar to prior years, high school students will continue to have the opportunity to participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).    

There will be remote programming available for interested families whose children are mandated for summer learning or have a 12-month IEP. Program offerings for high school students will depend on school community need and may include a mix of in-person and remote options.   

Consistent with years prior, schools will notify families by June if their student is required to participate in summer learning and will share additional details with families about how they can enroll. These students will participate together in the same Summer Rising programs as those students not mandated to attend.  

In line with previous policy and practice, grade promotion decisions are based on a holistic review of a student’s progress toward meeting the standards for their grade level. Teachers will review multiple pieces of student work in English language arts and math to make these decisions. State test scores will not be a factor in whether a student is promoted. If a school requires a student to attend summer learning, their promotion to the next grade is contingent on demonstrating sufficient progress in their summer learning.

“It is crucial that we connect every child from every zip code with summer enrichment programming that not only addresses COVID-19 academic setbacks, but that supports the whole child. Our children deserve summer programs that meet the needs of all students and that are centered on providing children and their families with wraparound support services including social and emotional supports and childcare, coupled with fun, active learning instruction emphasizing the arts, music, recreation, and field trips. Summer Rising will remove barriers to learning to enable meaningful connections, and an ability to meet the holistic needs of children and their families,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education.  

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COVID-19 Impact Survey: Help Us Advocate for Arts Education in NYC

Text: Arts Are Essential.

Published on April 5, 2021

As the main convening body for NYC’s arts in education community, the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable is committed to serving our membership and field at-large through advocacy with government officials and policymakers. To help us support the field of arts education in NYC, we kindly request member and non-members organizations complete our COVID-19 Impact Survey. Your response will help us:

  • Advocate for funding for arts education in the New York City FY 2022 budget;
  • Communicate with funders, City Council Members, and key stakeholders on the state of arts education in NYC;
  • Measure the impact of COVID-19 on the capacity of arts organizations to provide effective and meaningful arts education programming;
  • Provide transparency for the field via a comprehensive report to be released by Summer 2021.

Please submit ONE survey response per organization (your organization may remain anonymous). This survey should take approximately 30-35 minutes to complete. We recommend having the following information accessible when completing this survey:

  • Size of Teaching Artist Roster (2019-2020 & 2020-2021)
  • Estimated Number of Partner Schools (2020-2021)
  • Number of Students Served (2019-2020 & 2020-2021)
  • Funding Breakdown for Arts Education Programs (2019-2020 & 2020-2021)

Thank you for your time and consideration! Your responses are greatly valued and will help the Roundtable advocate for our field. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Kimberly Olsen at kolsen@nycaieroundtable.org with any questions.

Please submit your survey response by Friday, May 28, 2021.

Create your own user feedback survey

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.

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/

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.

 

NYC School Reentry Questions from Arts Organizations and Artists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2020
CONTACT: Kimberly Olsen, kolsen@nycaieroundtable.org

Published on September 23, 2020

Inspired by the Council for School Supervisors and Administrators’ 141 questions the NYC Department of Education must answer before reopening schools, NYC Arts in Education Roundtable Advocacy Committee has put together a list of 48 questions our members should consider as they plan and prepare for the delivery of arts in education services in the 2020-2021 school year. We know these are tough questions, but we hope in sharing that they can be used as a resource. In addition, please review the education resources following these questions and share with your networks.


Defining Legalities around pre-recorded materials:

  • What and how will you pay teaching artists for creating pre-recorded videos? How does this rate differ from in-person teaching?
  • How will you charge schools for their use (one time fee or pay per use)?
  • What rights do teaching artists have to use or share the videos?
  • Given the intended purpose, should pre-recorded materials only include royalty free music and photos?
  • Do you have a policy on the use and/or citation of music, photos and videos used in pre-recorded content? 
  • What responsibility do arts organizations have in citing the teaching artist when sharing videos/clips or screencaps in published or publicly-facing materials?
  • What measures can you take to ensure content isn’t downloaded, stolen, or shared without permission?
  • Have you communicated with teaching artists/staff about intellectual property? Have teaching artists been given a platform to discuss this topic with staff? 
  • How is intellectual property/copyright addressed in a teaching artist’s contract, and what are your action steps if a teaching artist would like to negotiate the terms?
  • Can teaching artists share their own content with other organizations or as portfolio pieces?


Safe reentry guidelines: 

  • How do you plan to deliver arts in education programs for the beginning of the school year (synchronous or asynchronous)? Will this be an organization-wide policy or will it vary by program or school? When do you plan to revisit this decision, and who will be involved in the conversation?
  • If offering remote learning, do you plan to use one or both styles of service delivery (synchronous or asynchronous)?  Will teaching artists and staff receive training in this area prior to teaching in the style? 
  • Do you plan to deliver arts in education programs using a hybrid or blended teaching model (online and in-person)? Will teaching artists and staff receive training in this area prior to teaching in the style? 
  • What does “onsite” mean for teaching artists and/or staff who are not comfortable working in-person or who are immunocompromised? Will this impact their employment? 
  • Will your organization provide health insurance or a health insurance stipend if in-person work is the only available option to part-time staff or independent contractors?
  • How are you assessing teaching artist/staff safety and comfort with returning to in-person work? 
  • How are you preparing teaching artists to re-enter the classroom being mindful of the trauma experienced by all parties (including students, teachers, and teaching artists themselves)?
  • How are you addressing social-emotional learning with your teaching artists and staff?
  • What actions are you, your organization, and your teaching artists taking to intentionally support Black, Indigenous, and communities of color in your work?
  • What procedures are in if a teaching artist working in-person is exposed to COVID-19? What procedures are in place if a teaching artist gets COVID-19? How will you communicate this to those who may have been exposed through your programming.
  • Are you requiring teaching artists and/or staff to get tested for COVID-19 at the start of an in-person residency? If yes, how frequently are they being tested? If a fee is incurred, will it be reimbursed by the organization or is it the responsibility of the individual?

 

DOE and School specific on-site guidelines:  

  • Have you read the NYC Department of Education and NYS reopening guidelines as it relates to arts education and visitors? Has this information been shared with your teaching artists and staff?
  • What happens if your visiting teaching artist or staff member witnesses a school not adhering to city/state guidelines? Is there a procedure already in place? Has the procedure been shared with your teaching artists and staff members? 
  • What do teaching artists need in order to be given entry in a school building (i.e. temperature checks, PPE equipment)?
  • Will you provide your teaching artists and/or staff with PPE or other safety equipment (i.e. hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, face shield)?
  • What are the protocols when staff, teaching artists, in-school teachers, and/or children refuse to abide by the safety rules (i.e. wearing a mask, social distancing)?
  • How will you train teaching artists to properly clean or store materials?
  • How will you adapt your services and programs so that students/participants do not share materials?
  • How can teaching artists creatively maintain 6+ feet between students during low-level activity? How can teaching artists creatively maintain 12+ feet between students during moderate-level activity (such as singing or dancing)?


Working remotely:

  • Will your school require you to use DOE Zoom and Google Classroom accounts? How will you support teaching artists in gaining access to these systems, specifically an external email address? 
  • What will you do if a school does not allow your teaching artists or organization to use their DOE Google Classroom account because they’re unable or unwilling to create separate email accounts for vendors?
  • Are you tracking external DOE email addresses for your organization? Is there a system to place to support your teaching artist in tracking log-in information for different schools and/or classes?
  • How will you assess student access to technology without drawing attention to specific students?
  • How will you assess student access to technology without drawing attention to specific students?
  • How will you assess teaching artists’ access to technology? If additional technology is needed to support delivery of services (i.e. camera, laptop, tripod, ring light), will you provide those materials?
  • How can your organization support digital access needs (i.e. captions on videos, language access [multilingual educators, translations, co-teaching in different languages], sensory items & objects that could be delivered to someone’s living space to support focus)?
  • If videos are pre-recorded and then posted on a Google Classroom, how are you tracking if the content is used?
  • How are asynchronous videos delivered to students? Are teachers assigning it as “homework” or do teaching artists/organizations have direct contact with the students and their families? 
  • How should teaching artists return materials that they still have from the 2019-2020 school year? How will you retrieve materials left at schools during the 2019-2020 school year?
  • What should your teaching artist or staff member do if they are alone in a virtual room with students?
  • What supplies or materials will teaching artists and staff need to teach from home?
  • If discipline-specific materials are needed to teach a remote class, how will those supplies be distributed to students?
  • What happens if a teaching artist is unable to work (i.e. attend a scheduled class or deliver a video on-time)? Will that work be rescheduled, cancelled, or will you call in a substitute?
  • Are you/your teaching artists prepared with language on how to address student comfort levels with turning on their camera? How are you modifying curriculum to ensure other access points for students to share work and collaborate?

 

Communication:

  • If each school has a standard COVID-19 procedure for staff to follow, how will this be shared with teaching artists in advance to safely enter a school and a classroom?
  • What channels are available for teaching artists and staff to connect with their colleagues, share ideas, and voice concerns? 
  • Have you communicated with your teaching artists since last school year? How frequently and through what methods do teaching artists receive information about their organization of employment (regardless of whether they have work confirmed)?
  • Are teaching artists included in company-wide emails?
  • What methods are you using to get feedback from parents and students that allow teaching artists to be agile and nimble as changes emerge?
  • What methods are you using to get feedback from teaching artists and staff? Are there channels for teaching artists and staff to share information/feedback anonymously?

 


 

Additional Resources

NYC DOE Arts Education Resources:

 

General Education Resources:

  • NYC Principals’ Union lists Questions on School reopening: click here 
  • NYC Safety Guidelines for reopening: click here 
  • Cuomo announces decision on reopening NY State schools: click here 
  • DOE accounts for CBO Partners: click here
  • CDC Strategies for Protecting K-12 School staff from Covid-19: click here

 

Out-of-State Arts Education Guidelines:

  • NJ Arts Education Reentry Guidelines: click here
  • Arizona Arts Education Reopening Guidelines: click here 

 

Legal Resources:

A Tribute to Paul King

Paul King with slight smile wearing glasses, brown blazer and blue collared shirt against a black background

Published September 24, 2020
(Originally shared September 16, 2020)

The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable presents a remembrance to a great friend to the Roundtable, Paul King, former Executive Director of the Office of Arts and Special Projects. This video was originally shared at The Roundtable’s Kickoff event, “Bridging the Divide: Making Connections Between Personal Impact and Communal Change.”