Category: News

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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Parent University: Update from the 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.

Dear Arts Partners, 

We are excited to let you know about a new resource from the NYCDOE called Parent University! 

Launched in November 2020, Parent University is a learning management system that offers a centralized catalog of courses, live events, resources and activities to help the DOE and community connect with families and support students. The platform offers all New York City parents and family members access to live and on-demand courses and resources across multiple discipline areas and grade bands. It also serves as an outlet for the DOE and community partners to share events, information, and updates with families. 

 Parent University is accessible on all devices and integrated with Google translate. As of January 2021, Parent University has seen over 45k users and 132K visits. 

We need your help! We are currently building our course catalog for the spring semester and are interested in learning about the FREE family-facing trainings and events you offer. 

If you want to know more about this opportunity or are interested in submitting a live or pre-recorded course to be hosted on the Parent University platform, please contact Laura Agrusti at lagrusti@schools.nyc.gov. 

Also, please help with the promotion of Parent University by sharing the information below with your contact lists and social media. 

Additionally, please share your upcoming events and resources for inclusion in our family and family facing staff newsletter which is sent on Friday afternoons. Please feel free to share anything you would like to publicize to Shona Gibson sgibson4@schools.nyc.gov by Wednesdays for inclusion in that week’s communication.   

We look forward to collaborating with you as we continue to create a unique and powerful engagement experience for NYC’s parent and family community.  

Thank you, 

The NYCDOE Parent University Team 
 

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Parent University(parentu.schools.nyc) seeks to educate and empower all families from early childhood through adulthood, with free courses, resources, events, and activities. Parents can register for free trainings on a wide range of topics, including adult education, student social-emotional learning, and special education.    

  
We currently offer 250+ pre-recorded, on-demand, and live, web-based courses and they cover a wide range of categories including:   

  • Adult and Continuing Education 
  • Arts  
  • Early Childhood Education   
  • Enrollment    
  • Fitness  
  • Health and Wellness  
  • Multilingual Learners   
  • Parent Leadership    
  • Remote Learning and Technology    
  • School Buildings and Operations    
  • Special Education    

To take a tour of Parent University visit this short tutorial or read the press release from our official launch. Visit Parent University today at parentu.schools.nyc!  

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Shape the Future Leadership of the Roundtable (in under 10 minutes!)

Posted March 11, 2021

The NYC Arts in Education Roundtable invites your ideas for candidates to serve on the Roundtable Board of Directors. Board members take responsibility for the fiduciary health of the organization, the hiring of executive staff, determining the strategic direction of the organization, and maintaining a focus on the mission. We strive to see that our board of up to 28 represents the disciplines, geography, organization types, races, genders, and abilities of our diverse field.

Please share one, or up to three names of people with deep understanding of our field, and ideally with prior experience with the Roundtable. You may self-nominate. To position your candidate for full consideration for election in June 2020, please complete this survey by March 31, 2021.

 

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/

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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Roundtable Welcomes Interim Managing Director

NYC Arts in Education Roundtable’s Managing Director, Kyla Searle, will be transitioning out of her role this month. She has been awarded a fellowship with Harvard University, while also completing her MFA in Playwriting at Brown University. We are very proud of her and wish her the best of luck! As we begin the search for a new Managing Director, Kimberly Olsen, will step in as our Interim Managing Director and can be reached at kolsen@nycaieroundtable.org

My Full Experience at the International Teaching Artist Conference

By Heleya de Barros

It’s been two weeks since I walked out of Carnegie Hall, after three jam-packed days at the 4th International Teaching Artist Conference (ITAC). I walked out a bit dazed, very tired, invigorated, and incredibly—amazingly—full. I ambled towards the subway with a colleague I’d met, but couldn’t quite bring myself to get on the train and just “go home.” It seemed crazy to follow my typical pattern after an experience like ITAC.

Instead, I walked passed the 59th Street subway and into Central Park. I needed to digest. Two weeks later, after more time contemplating, sorting through notes, listening to recordings, and many conversations with colleagues both at the conference and not, it is still hard to put this experience into words. I keep coming back to that fullness I felt as I walked into the park.

Over the 3 day conference I attended 9 break-out sessions representing 7 countries on 5 continents (Australia, Cambodia, Columbia, Guatemala, UK, USA), 3 keynote addresses (by a dancer, photographer, and theatre artist), 1 site-visit, 1 live performance, and 1 live podcast recording. And I met a lot of teaching artists. Sure, the name of the conference might suggest this, but my past conference experiences have taught me to expect to be one of few TAs in a sea of administrators. There was something very special about walking into a room of 300 people who do what you do. These were my people. I immediately felt seen and understood at ITAC. The conference’s final report quoted nearly 300 attendees (whom they call delegates) representing 28 countries.

I spoke with many others who expressed the same feeling of belonging, and the power that can come from that. One visual artist teaching artist (TA) from Vermont, Alexandra Turner, told me it had been empowering for her to claim the title of Teaching Artist, “I’ve been putting together part-time jobs for so many years and I didn’t know there was a name for it, or a community of people doing it. When I owned this title of Teaching Artist it changed my whole perception of myself and my work to someone who belongs to a community of amazing and impactful people.” Others wondered if they were missing out on finding a larger community in their field at home because different titles were used across the field. Is a teaching artist the same as a community artist or a participatory artist? Many were impressed with New York for having a very clear community around the single title of TA.

It isn’t surprising to me that the feeling of belonging was so desired and celebrated. Much of what we do as TAs can be solitary and we can often lose sight of the fact that we do belong to a community of artists who—do what we do. One conference organizer Eric Booth (who jovially refers to himself as the oldest living TA) kept referring to the delegates as leaves on a tree. This analogy was referenced frequently throughout the conference. We leaves sometimes forget (or lose sight) that we are rooted on a branch with other leaves, which is rooted on the trunk of a tree with many other branches. To that end, one of the collaborative projects launched at the conference was the Global History Timeline an online record of the history of teaching artistry. There is power in naming your history as well as your title. This is a living document. You can submit entries here.

I wondered before the conference if my experience as a TA in New York City was comparable to others in the US or around the world; or did we live in our own microcosm here? I almost feel silly for questioning this now. Of course there were similarities, particularly in the approaches to, and the challenges of, the work. The specifics of the settings or social, cultural, and institutional challenges in the 28 countries represented may be different, but our strategies were not. Active listening. How to enter a community as an outsider? How to leave a community? Recognition of the links of systemic oppression and working towards dismantling them through our art. How to fund the work? How to sustain the work? How to tell another’s story? Should you tell another’s story? How to communicate what we do?

In his keynote address photojournalist Aaron Huey spoke of his many years working in the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation in South Dakota, “When you leave a community like Pine Ridge they are left wondering not IF, but HOW you will misrepresent them.” Dancer and choreographer Liz Lerman posed, “I’m curious how we listen. I’m wondering how we listen with our whole artist self,” in her keynote. James Miles, Executive Director of ArtsCorps in Seattle, WA seemed to answer during the live-recorded podcast of Teaching Artistry with Courtney J. Boddie when he said, “Artists must listen to other people’s stories with love.”

Edie Demas, Sobha Kavanakudiyil, Penelope McCourty, James Miles and Courtney Boddie at the live podcast recording of Teaching Artistry with Courtney J. Boddie. Photo credit Christopher Totten.

In my last session, facilitated by Santiago Gonzalez from Corporacion Otra Escuela in Colombia, we were handed a handful of coffee beans. After each exercise exploring conflict Santiago had us take out the coffee beans, smell them, and bring ourselves back into the room and into our own bodies through the smell. He ended the session by saying, “You don’t HAVE a body, you ARE a body.”

I am a body. I am an artist. And we are a body of teaching artists in NYC, in the Northeast, in the US, and around the world. Although, I was left wondering if the question was not that we forget we are leaves that make up a tree, but that many of us don’t know we are part of a tree to begin with. While we seem to have the nomenclature of teaching artist settled in NYC (if you disagree, let me know), we still struggle to see, and actively engage, the entire tree of our teaching artist community.

While at the conference a NYC TA colleague mentioned she’d just come from a training for an arts education organization and was surprised when very few TAs in the room were aware of the Roundtable or the Teaching Artist Affairs Committee. TAs were discussing the complications of signing up for healthcare through the Affordable Care Act as a freelancer and my colleague mentioned our bi-annual workshop on this very topic. No one knew what she was talking about. (Open enrollment starts Nov. 1st you can watch the video of our tutorial with The Actor’s Fund from last year here, or go to an in person workshop here).

I had a similar conversation on this struggle with the staff from the National Arts Council Singapore. They are looking at creating a Teaching Artist Handbook for their artists with opportunities for professional development, healthcare and legal aid, resources for artists, and work and funding opportunities. I thought that was an interesting idea, so I brought it back to TA Affairs.

If you come to our “Sip & Create” TA Meet-Up on November 2nd 5pm-7pm we’ll have a plethora of TA resources. Our committee is compiling them now. Do you have an idea of something that should be on the list? Do you have an idea of how to reach more NYC TAs? Hit us up.

I also had questions about how to sustain global connectivity after this conference and between the next one in 2020. ITAC answered this for me on the first day when they launched the ITAC Collaborative. I’ve already submitted the Roundtable’s TA Affairs Committee as an ITAC Collaborative Catalyst to help disseminate global information to our NYC TA community. ITAC Collaborative will also have small funding opportunities for projects between nations. Do you have an idea for a project? Hit me up.  

So, what was ITAC like? It felt like home. It felt like recognition. It felt like being full. The theme of the conference was “Artist as Instigator.” I’m instigated to create this feeling for the NYC TA community. Wanna help me?

 

Heleya de Barros is an actor and teaching artist in New York City. She is a Board Member of the Roundtable and Co-Chair of the Teaching Artist Affairs Committee. @Heleya_deBarros

*(TopPhoto credit DreamYard Media Interns.

 

New Accepting Applications: NYSCA Face to Face Regrant Program

The Roundtable is accepting applications to the NYSCA Face to Face Upstate (& Long Island) Arts Educator & NYC Unaffiliated Teaching Artists Subsidy Program.

Qualified applicants from upstate New York (and Long Island) are invited to submit an application for funds toward the cost of travel and accommodation to attend the conference. Up to ten unaffiliated teaching artists based in New York will receive a registration subsidy to attend the conference.

Click Here to see guidelines for Upstate NY Arts Educators Program.

Click Here to see guidelines for NYC Teaching Artists Program.

Email all supplemental materials and questions to F2FNYSCAapplications@nycaieroundtable.org

DUE: 2/15 11:59pm

I Don’t Feel Well: A Teaching Artist’s Journey Through Healthcare

I Don’t Feel Well: A Teaching Artist’s Journey Through Healthcare

By Katie Rainey

 

            “What’s wrong? Your tummy hurt?”

            I crouch down to her level, kneeling to meet her eye to eye.

            “My throat is scratchy.”

            There are students all around, drawing, jumping, playing, burning off pent-up energy from a long day at school. I’m trying to maintain some sense of classroom in this after-school program – a visual arts and story residency for kindergartners that falls after their required 9+ hours of common core and state standards learning – when one smallish girl with pigtails and a Frozen shirt tugs on my arm and tells me she feels ill. Most of the time, TAs know these words are likely a red herring; that when a student whispers I feel sick it’s really because they had their feelings hurt, or they’re frustrated in their art-making, or they want some additional attention from a busy teacher stretched thin across a class of 25+. So I kneel on our brightly colored story-time carpet and see if I nip this problem in the bud.

            “Your throat is scratchy?”

            “Itchy.”

            “Okay, go get a drink of water with your buddy.”

            “I’m stuffy too.”

            “Well, class will be over soon and your mommy will be here to make it better. Let’s try coloring for a whi-”

            And then it happens. Before I can finish my sentence, this girl’s shoulders raise and her face scrunches up and she lets loose a cough so loud, I swear there’s an adult man living inside her. There’s no time to duck and her wet cough lands square in my mouth, spackling my face. I swallow any urge to gag and spit.

            “Sorry,” she says, and coughs again.

            “Go get water,” I manage, and then turn to the classroom sanitizer dispenser and douse my hands in sterile slime, rubbing some on my chin and cheeks just for good measure, but it is all in vain and I know it too.

            It is 2014, I am 28-years-old (too old to continue creeping by on my parents’ insurance), and have recently been forcefully egressed from my MFA program’s student healthcare plan. I’m just finding my footing as a teaching artist in this city, so the last thing on my mind is healthcare. Food and shelter are more prominent priorities. Finding gigs is more prominent. Even navigating the labyrinthine world of teaching artist taxes is more mentally preponderant than healthcare. That is until this moment, when a tiny tot in pigtails coughs into my mouth and – already – I feel the insidious bubbles of flu season percolating within me.

            And what I expected to happen did. Three days later, it’s full-blown flu season in my apartment and I don’t have health insurance. A friend recommends that I visit CityMD as they’ll see me without insurance, and I do, and I spend several hours waiting for a doctor to not make eye contact with me, scribble something on a pad, and rush me out the door to make room for the next insurance-less soul stepping in. A few hours later, I’m cocooned in a nest of blankets, taking sips of doctor-prescribed codeine cough syrup and garlic soup. It’s not the best remedy, but it’ll do in the absence of real doctor care. After a week of ups and downs – attempting to teach all the while, because we TAs know what a struggle it can be to miss even one class – I kick the flu away and am back to my old self.

            And then the mail arrives.

            CityMD sends me a crisp $200+ bill for some half-doctoring and a nostrum. Well, I could have just spent that money on insurance and seen a real doctor for all that trouble.

            So I decide to do just that.

 

Katie (M.K.) Rainey is a writer, teaching artist, and editor from Little Rock, Arkansas. She is the Managing Director for Training & Communications at Community-Word Project and a current member of the Teaching Artist Affairs Committee. She is the winner of the 2017 Bechtel Prize at Teachers & Writers Magazine and the 2017 Lazuli Literary Group Writing Contest. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Collagist, Teaching Artist Guild Magazine, Atticus Review, Fiction Southeast, and more. She co-hosts the Dead Rabbits Reading Series and lives in Harlem with her dog.

•••

            Artists in the United States are twice as likely to be uninsured as the general population  (“Health Insurance Is Still a Work-In-Progress for Artists and Performers” by Renata Marinaro). That’s not a surprising fact and, based on my experience in the field of teaching artistry, I can guess those numbers run higher for teaching artists. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) has helped to change that significantly.

            For me, the process was relatively easy. I visited the NY State of Health and created an account. From there I was able to choose between a variety of plans – from the lowest-priced catastrophic plans to the Gold/Platinum/Premium/Who-can-afford-this? plans. I settled for something in between, but more towards the low-end because I’m a working teaching artist and, duh. Because of my income status, I was able to apply for a subsidy on the plan, which helped my budget (be aware that if your income increases during the year, you might end up owing that subsidy back). There are monthly auto-payments you can set up and reminders to help you stay on track. There are dental and vision additions you can make and the customer service is very fluid and helpful. In the spring, you’ll receive a 1095-A from your insurance company and mark that deduction along with all of your other fiscal accouterments that come with the territory of teaching artistry.

            It is so important that we artists value our healthcare and take care of ourselves. It should be a priority for all teaching artists, even if you think you’re an invincible twenty-something who never gets sick. We work in schools, where we’re exposed to more germs than the average person. We have to take care of ourselves so that we can continue to care for the students we serve.

            But what about now? What challenges do we face under the current administration and what can we do to make sure our healthcare rights are safe? What will open enrollment look like this year? What is the $20 plan and am I eligible?

            The Teaching Artist Affairs Committee of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable) is looking to answer all of those questions and more in a webinar on health insurance for teaching artists co-hosted by The Actor’s Fund. Join us on November 17th for a livestream webinar and get the most out of the Affordable Care Act this year. Can’t make the livestream?  Don’t worry. Put your ACA questions in the comments below and we’ll make sure they get answered. Then check back and we’ll have the whole presentation archived for your to watch whenever your schedule allows.

 

Every Teaching Artist Insured!

Friday, November 17th 2:30pm-4:00pm, livestream

Every Teaching Artist Insured is a free live stream presentation for teaching artists, freelance artists, and arts administrators who do not have insurance through an employer or union.  This one hour presentation will provide clear information on how to sign up for a health insurance plan through the New York State of Health Marketplace (Obamacare), and information on local, low cost healthcare options for New York City residents.

REGISTER HERE

Facilitated by Renata Marinaro, National Director of Health Services for The Actor’s Fund, this livestream presentation will equip you with the tools you need to get medical services as a freelancer. Topics will include:

  • How do I enroll for ACA (Obamacare) insurance?
  • How do I report sporadic or self-employed income?
  • What are my options in 2018?
  • Straight-talk about changes in ACA, executive orders, and how they may affect you.
  • Am I eligible for Medicaid or subsidized insurance?
  • Am I eligible for a $20 plan?
  • Where do I get care if I’m uninsured?