Category: Arts NYC schools

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:

Theater Master Workshop Invite from NYC DOE!

THE CHARACTER FORMULA: A Master Workshop with Larry Silverberg (11/1/2018)

LaGuardia High School’s LITTLE FLOWER THEATER

This is a truly special event on November 1.  I am thrilled to welcome Larry Silverberg, internationally renowned acting teacher and author, as he leads us through his transformative workshop The Character Formula. Subsidized tickets are $10.

Larry, who studied with Sandy Meisner and is an expert in his approach, explores the core human components of theatre, what he calls “the Human Map.” His session as has been described as a powerful path of aliveness, connection, and self-expression to impact one’s well being as well as one’s theater practice.

Hope you can join us for what promises to be an experiential evening designed to recharge as we look inwards as another step towards being responsive and supportive facilitators of our students bringing their passionate, whole, present and brave selves to any theater work.

  •  Location: Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and  the Performing Arts (100 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023)
  • Date: November 1, 2018
  • Time: 6:00PM – 8:00PM
  • Cost: Special subsidized fee of $10 per person
  • TO REGISTER: Please visit https://www.trueactinginstitute.com/character

**BOOK EARLY AS SPACE IS LIMITED  AND FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS OFFER WITH A GUEST**

Instrument Drive Changes Students Lives

Two years ago, WQXR held their first Instrument Drive with the goal of reaching 1,000 donated instruments to refurbish and distribute to music programs throughout NYC public schools. Little did they know, their goal would be surpassed by more than twice that, ending with over 2,500 donations within 10 days. Graham Parker, WQXR’s general manager, said he was surprised by the level of excitement behind the program. “I have been humbled by the personal stories that have accompanied many of the donations,” he said. “It becomes very real for people to think of their once-used instrument making its way into the hands of a student who can create new memories.” (1) This year, WQXR is launching its second drive from April 8-17, 2016, with the goal of collecting 6,000 instruments.

Many NYC public schools lack music programs, and the ones with them are often lacking in instruments or are in need of repair. The 2014 NYC State of the Arts reported that “from 2006 to 2013, there has been a 47 percent decline in arts programming funding and an even steeper decline in dedicated support for supplies such as musical instruments and other equipment, according to the comptroller’s report.” (2) Even though music and other arts have been proven to improve academics, they are always in danger of being lost due to budget cuts. “Children who study a musical instrument are more likely to excel in all of their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced critical thinking skills, stay in school, and pursue further education.” (3)

With the help of WQXR and thousands of generous donors, these instruments will be refurbished and distributed to students in NYC and Newark under-resourced music programs beginning in the fall of 2016. Teachers and administrators can also submit an application for their school to be considered to receive instruments.

Donate your used instrument and change a student’s life! Vsit giveinstruments.org/about to learn more and spread the word using #GiveMusicNYC.

 

Sources:
1. http://www.wqxr.org/#!/series/wqxr-musical-instrument-drive/
2. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/04/07/report-finds-state-of-the-arts-at-nyc-public-schools-lacking-in-lower-income-neighborhoods/
3. https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-music-education

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

  

            Um, I teach.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOE Borough Arts Festivals Celebrate Student Arts

The Manhattan Borough Arts Festival at Symphony Space on June 1st was a true celebration of the arts in Manhattan’s public schools.

Thirteen different performances represented the incredible range of arts NYC school students are engaged in. Each performance spoke volumes of the energy, dedication, and hard work involved in bringing student arts to the stage.

From small groups of students performing with great focus to the highly polished ensembles coming from rigorous arts training programs, each performance was unique, creative, and satisfying. The high level of attention by students watching the performances was a testament to the level of performance and preparation for the event.

In his opening remarks, Paul King, Executive Director, Office of Arts and Special Projects, Department of Education, congratulated all our young artists and thanked Mayor De Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina for their commitment to arts education.  Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer added that “nothing can be accomplished without a robust education in the arts,” and gave credit to the teachers and cultural organizations providing high quality arts education.

The Manhattan Borough Arts Festival is one of five events presented as part of new Department of Education initiatives to expand arts education citywide. A festival for Southern Brooklyn & Staten Island and another for Brooklyn were presented in May. Festivals in Queens and the Bronx were presented in early June.

 

New Report on Foundation Funding for Arts Education

Grantmakers in the Arts and Foundation Center’s April 2015 report, Foundation Funding for Arts Education, updates the analysis of foundation arts education funding contained in its original 2005 report. The report illustrates how support for arts education has evolved during a period  of pronounced economic volatility and dramatic political and technological change, exploring trends in arts education funding 1999 through 2012.

The report shows that funding for arts education rose 57 percent from 1999 – 2012, from $193.7 million to $304.4 million, although growth was not consistent throughout the period. The report describes steady growth between 1999 and 2005, accelerated growth from 2006- 1008, a decline of 28 percent in the year of the Great Recession, a further slip in 2011, and strong growth in 2012, when grant dollars increased 18 percent.

Some stand-out data includes:

– 44 percent of grants are $25,000 or less (compared to 39 percent of foundation grants overall)

– Arts education giving overwhelmingly targets arts organizations, with 80 percent of grant support going to arts organizations in 2012

– More than half of arts education grant dollars go to the performing arts, with music education receiving the biggest share (34 percent)

– Funding for multidisciplinary arts education, which includes broad arts in education centers and programs, multidisciplinary arts schools, and ethnic arts education programs, also doubled between 1999 and 2012.

– Within the field of multidisciplinary arts education, support for broad ethnic arts education programs increased significantly.

– Visual arts education, which includes multipurpose visual arts programs and centers and those with a single focus, such as photography or sculpture, received 14 percent, while funding for broad-based museum arts education declined between 1999 and 2012, with its share of arts education dollars falling from 20 percent to 6.9 percent.

– Funding for literary arts education accounted for 2.6 percent of arts education support in 2012, down slightly from the 3.1 percent share in 1999.

Within their arts education giving, some foundations direct support to vulnerable or underserved populations, such as to specific ethnic or racial groups or communities of color in general and to the economically disadvantaged.

The report concludes by saying that a bright future for foundation funding of arts in education depends on our ability to engage new funders, allowing them to see how their priority of addressing specific populations can be served by supporting arts education and that arts education is a powerful resource for ensuring greater equity in society.

Note that the report is a national survey and includes program of higher and graduate educational institutions, along with elementary & secondary schools.

Click here to read the full report.

 

Teaching Artist Unity: Teaming Up to Move Forward

By Beth Cooperman, Teaching Artist and member of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable Teaching Artists Affairs Committee.

Is teaching artistry a profession? What would it take to unite the teaching artists of New York City? How can a union for teaching artists be created? Are there resources to compare various teaching artist organizations’ values, pay rates, or rate of hire?

These were just a few of the questions that were considered when a group of teaching artists got together to discuss the topic of summer employment. The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable TA Affairs Committee hosted a Teaching Artist Meet-up event at Urban Arts Partnership on March 5th for the purpose of unifying NYC teaching artists. Through the sharing of resources, experiences, and support, teaching artists explored how they can move forward as a profession. Despite the harsh weather conditions and subway disruptions, a group of dedicated teaching artists turned up to discuss the topics most important to them. Although many attendees were meeting for the first time, it was not long before everyone felt comfortable expressing their views.

In the first Roundtable Teaching Artist Meet-up, the participants yearned to create a tangible product where teaching artists can collaborate and educate one another.  Social media is always a great start. A private Facebook group was created during the meeting as a place for teaching artists to share opportunities, thoughts, and support. This is definitely a step in the right direction to improve networking in the teaching artist field.

The use of the internet and social media has created many opportunities for artists of every discipline. One case in point for actors is Audition Update, an innovative website that invites theatre artists in New York City to do something that was once considered taboo – to help out and support other actors. This website allows actors to post information and ask/answer questions about specific auditions throughout the city. Also appearing in the website is a “Gig & Tell” section where actors review theatre companies with which they have had experience and a “Bitching Post” where actors can share frustrations. Audition culture has changed considerably since the creation of this website. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if there was a similar resource for teaching artists?

In order to move teaching artistry forward, whether you believe that it is an actual profession or not, it is important to continue collaborating with others that hold the same passions and intentions. The TA Affairs committee plans to host one or two more meet-ups before the end of the school year with different topics of focus. In the near future, we hope to create monthly meet-ups. With the help of New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, we hope to move teaching artistry forward and enhance opportunities for teaching artists in the NYC area.

Click here to see full article

Beth Cooperman is currently a teaching artist at Urban Arts Partnership, NYC Children’s Theatre, and Wingspan Arts. She is also participating in the advanced track of the Teaching Artist Training and Internship Program (TATIP) through CommunityWord Project.

NYC Department of Cultural Affairs – Discussing Diversity

This week, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs took the first step in a new initiative to examine diversity in the City’s arts and cultural sector. DCA Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl invited executive leaders of the City’s major institutions and smaller organizations to participate in a discussion about why diversity matters in our sector, hosted by the Ford Foundation.

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker framed the discussion by emphasizing that diversity should be viewed not as a sacrifice but as a way to build excellence, strength, energy, and renewal. “Diversity,” said Walker, “is a way to broaden networks and links, expand political connections, and increase legitimacy in a broad-based way.”

Commissioner Finkelpearl continued the discussion by saying that while the conversation on diversity was beginning with race, all areas are important, including sexual orientation, and disability. He talked about the need to create a plan for change, beginning with a goal for expanding staff and board diversity and developing a strategy for achieving the goal within a given timeframe. And in order to make a plan, we need more data, adding that a privately-funded survey will be distributed to the sector with the expectation of full participation. He emphasized that while accomplishing the goal may take time, there is real urgency to start the work now. Organizations need to create a pipeline where people of color have points of entry into our organizations as professional staff, decision-makers, board members, and audiences.

The Roundtable constituency – teaching artists and administrators conducting the arts education programs on behalf of New York’s arts and cultural sector – is engaged in the most diverse arts activities in the field. Thousands of arts professionals work in schools and communities every day, helping tens of thousands students of color achieve in and through the arts. An important question is how to more effectively integrate participants in the arts in education and community-based arts programs happening out in communities with the arts institutions that put them there. How can these vibrant and relevant programs be part of the pipeline that brings young people of color and the diverse teaching artists working with them into the heart of arts organizations – offices, board rooms, concert halls, theatres, and museums – adding to the excellence, relevance, and innovation of our sector?

The discussion on diversity in the arts sector is one that the Roundtable will continue to engage in. A session at our 2015 Face to Face conference (April 7 & 8, 2015), developed by arts administrators of color who work for organization members of the Roundtable, is a good example of the need to put this issue firmly on the table. In this interactive panel, entitled “In Full Color” three veteran arts administrators of color will share their professional journeys, identifying the challenges and supports they have encountered on the pathway to managerial and leadership positions in the field of arts education.

The DCA discussion this week has given the sector notice that change is needed to make our field more broadly accessible and representative of the interests of all New Yorkers.

What can you do to help change the culture and create opportunities for more diverse participation in all aspects of the arts sector in NYC?

Ten Tips for a STABLE Teaching Artist

By Justin Daniel, Teaching Artist and member of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable Teaching Artists Affairs Committee.

Teaching Artists are the ultimate multi-taskers!  Not only do we bring our artistry into classrooms around the country, we are also our own advocates, agents, researchers, and administrative assistants.  While giving ourselves a well-earned pat on the back, let’s admit this often leads to an unbalanced, sometimes chaotic work-life.

We reached out to teaching artists currently in the field, and have compiled ten ways to bring more stability and sustainability to your teaching artist practice.  If you think something is missing from this list, we encourage you to respond in the comments and add to the dialogue!

1.  SYSTEMS

Finding an organized system that aggregates your various employers, keeps you on-task and on-time, and allows you to access your various pay-rates and income sources is essential for a stable work-life.  For those of you digitally minded, web apps such as Evernote (for staying organized), Invoice2Go (for payments), and Mint (for finances) are a fantastic start.

2.  THE ART OF SAYING “NO”

This may seem counterintuitive, since many of us equate stability with meeting financial goals.  However, it’s incredibly important to consider the value of your time.  If an organization is taking up too much of your time (and not properly compensating you for it), it may be time to reconsider your options.

3.  SET A TEACHING / ARTIST RATIO

Every Teaching Artist’s work/art balance is different, but be mindful of what you need to feel successful.  For some, the goal may be to devote 50% to their teaching and 50% to their art-making, for others it’s heavily weighted towards one or the other.  Whatever it is, check in with yourself periodically to assess whether you are meeting your ideal balance, or if it’s time to adjust.

4.  FIND THE JOY IN TEACHING

Is this one obvious?  Perhaps, but ask yourself if you are finding joy when you are trudging through a blizzard to get to a school three boroughs away (a common NYC predicament!).  Some suggest keeping a journal of funny/sweet classroom experiences to remind themselves of the magical moments.  Regardless, what we do should ultimately be a positive and joyful experience (at least most of the time!).

5.  FIND AND UTILIZE OUR COMMUNITY

Take advantage of the larger teaching artist community wherever you are based. From the Roundtable events, to educational conferences, to more informal get-togethers, find a way to share your experiences and gain insight from others.

6.  THINK AHEAD

Strive to book your teaching artist work as far ahead as possible.  While every organization is different, the more advance notice you get, the better chance you have at organizing the logistics and feeling wholly prepared.

7.  BE PASSIONATE FOR YOUR ARTS ORGANIZATIONS

Most organizations have distinct mission statements.  Make sure the mission statement aligns with your core values, and ensure that the mission is reflected in the operations of the organization.  If the mission doesn’t align with reality, perhaps this isn’t the organization for you.

8.  KEEP IT FRESH

Don’t get stagnant in your teaching practice.  Continue to mine for new methods, new points of view, and new activities to innovate your teaching artistry and to keep yourself inspired.

9.  BUT… DON’T CONSTANTLY REINVENT THE WHEEL

While we continue to expand as teaching artists, it’s also important to trust in the methods that have taken you this far.  Always keep your prior lesson plans saved (I use Evernote for this) so you can quickly pull activities for the future, yet be willing to set ones aside that no longer feel fresh or inspiring.

10.  ASK FOR HELP

Most arts organization have dedicated administrations who are passionate about enabling their teaching artist to fully succeed.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, or just need a fresh set of eyes, reach out to the organization for guidance and perspective.  They can help you see the forest from the trees.

Click here to find out more about Roundtable events.

Justin Daniel, Teaching Artist

Reused Materials for Creativity and Learning

This morning, I was looking at images of last night’s Halloween parade in the Village, marveling at the creativity of costumes, puppets, banners, and art on display. It seems as if Halloween brings out our passion for creating an altered persona and world, weaving together creative imagination and a variety of repurposed materials.

These images led me to thinking about the greatest NYC resource in our field for repurposed materials of every conceivable kind, and that is Materials for the Arts (MFTA). If your organization is not registered and you haven’t engaged in MFTA programs or visited the warehouse in Queens, a review of programs and services is highly recommended.

The MFTA warehouse is operated by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs with additional support from the City’s Departments of Sanitation and of Education. MFTA collects unneeded items from businesses and individuals, and makes these donations available for free to its recipients: nonprofit organizations with arts programming, government agencies, and public schools.

On any visit, you can expect to find stacks and stacks of useful supplies – bolts of fabric, every kind of paper and card, buckets full of buttons, boxes of feathers, paint, wood, furniture, equipment, and almost anything you can think of.

Friends of Materials for the Arts is the nonprofit partner that guides and supports educational programming, warehouse operations, programmatic initiatives and other goals of MFTA. Visit the Friends website to find out more about classes, p-credit courses, and useful resources such as sample lesson plans.

MTFA’s educational programming focuses on creative reuse: making art with readily available materials and the ever-changing MFTA warehouse inventory. The Center hosts programs in two studios, organizes exhibitions of recipient artwork at MFTA Gallery, and sends teaching artists into the community to share the art of reuse. Some examples of programs:

♦ Professional development for teachers workshops help educators learn engaging projects for lessons in all content areas.

♦ Field Trips:  Tour the MFTA warehouse.

♦ In-school residencies: Bring Materials for the Arts to your school or site to enhance and reinforce curricula in math, science, social studies, and language arts.

♦ Art booths and Family Engagement Nights: Creative reuse program or art booth designed for a large audience, or a series of in-class art workshops linked to your curriculum

♦ Public Programs: Exhibitions, open studio nights, and workshops open to the public

♦ Teambuilding Workshops: Volunteer and then work together to create large-scale collaborative art pieces such as quilts, sculptures, or mosaics

There is an application process and applicants need to meet eligibility requirements. Visitors need to make an appointment prior to shopping at the warehouse. Click here for eligibility and application information.

Materials for the Arts is located at 33-00 Northern Boulevard, 3rd Floor, Long Island City, NY 11101. Click here for hours and directions

For teachers, teaching artists, schools and non-profit arts organizations, the MFTA warehouse is a treasure trove! Enjoy your visit!

The warehouse