Cleopatra Fitzgerald

13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

It starts with training teachers on the curriculum they will instruct students on regarding “diversity, races, lifestyle, gender, culture, social class, language, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities, norms, etc.”

The courses will be taught without bias and take into consideration the history of discrimination and oppression and how it is being fixed with new policies and awareness. The instructions to appreciate each student and learn about them and treat parents with respect. Even if the beliefs are not of their own, instructors to be nonjudgmental in their teachings (school ethics, code of conduct). Learning the history of each of the arts, it is immersed in cultural context. The history of music, theater, dance, poetry, etc all brings with them cultural fusion, tradition, social class, et al.

To understand the arts it is to learn about the varied persons who made the eras of great achievements possible.

The courses should be fun and educational, collaborative and welcoming . It can be best catered to students’ preference if demographics is studied and by surveys asking students ,parents and the community what should be added to the curriculum. Games, index cards, videos, cultural toys, exhibitions, class trips, brochures, live performances, and on and on will spark the students’ curiosity and interest in the arts. For students to each bring forward their favorite dance, songs, poems, art, style, and teach other students about it.

Virtual classes are immersive (how to dance, yoga, diverse tasks, crafts and hobbies) to get people involved in arts and cultural appreciation.

Thus, the community, boroughs, will bring back tourism, the arts and economy to flourish.

Cleopatra Fitzgerald

12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

The U.S Bureau of Economic analysis have stated that the “arts and culture sector contributes billions to the New York’s economy, New York City’s creative sector paid billions in total wages. Tourists internationally have flocked towards these sectors annually. In view of this, the most impacted of the sectors included: The tourism, cultural arts, creative sectors. Additionally, world heritage sites and cultural tourism social distancing made revenue drop but open culture (from Mayor’s street activity permit office) permitted with a permit for “socially distanced performances” (venues, outdoors, open streets, et al).

The way to revive jobs in the creative industry is to provide the entertainment online (webinars, forums,…) and to offer COVID19 relief to the employees in those sectors. Philanthropic individuals, organizations, non-profits, federal, state, local, loans can assist in funding.

Arts nonprofits received $1.8 billion in PPP (Paycheck Protection Loans) but much more was needed. The city can come up with new policies and public-private partnerships uniting performers, artists, community, organizations, associations together for strategies to bring back the arts in a safe manner, bring back tourism by first working on increasing local tourism (domestic) to generate revenue.

Artists relief emergency assistance funds, and creative sector local support funds, unemployment benefits, The gradual opening of business and COVID testing, The help for the unemployed and grants, loans.

The state and city and federal -all working together in the COVID19 attempt as well as foundations, alliance, fellowships, donations online.

Technology can assist with robots, drones, AI as they help tourists and the sectors in the recovery efforts, a sustainable, resilient tourism, the art selling (virtual saleroom), movies paid online, streaming performances, live stream countries, zoos, museums, even mapping COVID street art, live theatre (pop up vaccine sites nearby).

Cleopatra Fitzgerald

11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

In New York, a teacher must meet the requirements to teach. The teaching certificate are reviewed by New York Department of Education Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI). “They must complete a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program, take tests, apply for the license, maintain/renew upgrade the license. Before applying for teacher license kit they have to undergo a federal/state criminal history check and Identgo.

In the Bureau of Labor is seen the art teachers’ salaries, bonuses, pensions, sick leave, retirement and health benefits package.

Pay depends on their education, qualifications, years on the job, and other factors. Teacher’s assistants should be paid more and gender equal pay.

Lower income neighborhoods should have equal access and the art equipment, supplies but with protective gear, gloves, goggles. Each school should have an annual report on teachers, grading, report grades for school.

Teachers should have: scholarships, residencies, compensations, housing, aid, training, salary adjustments, transfers, pensions, loan forgiveness, etc. The New York City Art Teachers Association keep persons alert about the policies, meetings, exhibitions, activities within the arts educational setting. It is an association that delves into the pressing current issues.

According to COVID19 risks, cases and closures maps and statistics -it might not be reasonable for teachers to teach full time.

Nonetheless, when vaccines are effective and contagion is managed -then, teachers can arrive back to classrooms even with incentives.

Teacher shortages are occurring due to a variety of causes. The federal, state, districts,

local should look into these causes and implement new regulations, policies, laws that would bring more teachers into the system.

Invest in school supplies, educational, learning, teachers resources. Recruiting teachers from a wide field of applicants can bring diversity. Finding teachers at job fairs, past applicants data, demographics, surveys, recent graduates but striving on getting certified.

The diagnostic on why and where they are leaving or staying in.

Cleopatra Fitzgerald

10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

Yes, if elected I will.

Cleopatra Fitzgerald

9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

It is stated in the NYCED that all “NYC public schools are to complete the NYSED instructional requirements for the arts” it is found in every schools yearly compliance review. The DOE utilizes the NYSED requirements as “sequential arts education.”

Whenever an economic crisis or global crisis occurs, budget cuts are for the most part directed towards the arts. Yes, I believe it is time for the NYS and NYC DOEs to properly enforce the arts learning mandates. I urge the NYC DOE and NYS BOE for the future of students to arrange an ameliorated plan of compliance. The DOE’s “blueprint for teaching and learning in the arts” manual should be followed in a suitable manner. The school progress reports along with arts education progress reports to be reviewed. In different years the same problems surface in the audit/compliance report.

It is necessary for regulations/penalties awareness, teachers to complete the course syllabi, student records, student fulfillment of course, the “arts standards implementation resources” group the arts into plausible teaching advice for classrooms. The plans are written down and suggestions overflow of what is at issue is: funding and compliance.

Cleopatra Fitzgerald

8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

I believe that each school should have dedicated funding that will generate the needed revenue to specifically support the arts education.

Cleopatra Fitzgerald

7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

Arts education funding grants, independent foundations, private sector donations, public and direct/indirect funding, arts and cultural organizations, and others can assist in the arts revival. The targeted funding has to be made by making the arts education as the central requirements in the student’s core curriculum. Students can sell their works of art: paintings, sculpture, photography, poems, writings, songs, dance movies, videos to agents and the school gets a percentage and sell at school bazaars, festivals, fairs, cultural exhibits, etc.

Cleopatra Fitzgerald

6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

Unfortunately, there continues the ugly reality that persons still discriminate in funding -it is known as philanthropic racial bias, gender bias, cultural bias, ableism (disability bias), and any type of bias or discrimination based on not allowing for equal access just because of that specific bias, prejudice, stereotype, discrimination. The bias can be implicit, inherent, preconceived, or unconscious bias. The bias extends not only to philanthropy but also in offering donations, in grants, contracts, loans, investments, memberships, and in other things. As a consequence, it is noted that frequently colored persons, minority, disabled, cultural, etc organizations are underfunded.

Thus, when arts and cultural organizations are led by people of color and other ostracized groups, it becomes difficult for them to provide their locality and young people a chance to experience and participate in the arts, culture -whereas, the ones with access can do so on a daily or constantly. This establishes racial inequities and long lasting racial gaps.

For that reason, I believe it is needed cultural training, non-discrimination training, and for diverse organizations through incentives to stay connected to the less funded organizations and to recommend to them contact lists that can be of assistance. The acceptance is to gain honesty between organizations and a shared interest of cooperation, vision, and progress.

For instance, America’s Cultural Treasures Initiative called for millions in donation to colored organizations that have been marginalized and underfunded. Each will give much needed grants as contributions. Likewise,

the underfunded organizations can do marketing and contact similar interested organizations. There has to be an independent oversight that monitors any instance of bias or unfair treatment in the funding process or when grantees are receiving from grantors.

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs is one of the biggest funding agency -it gives cultural funding to non-profit cultural organizations via the cultural development fund to be approved for discretionary process. New York foundations provides $75 million funds to help arts nonprofits and cultural organizations and more impacted by COVID19.

I would gather organizations, networks, support associations who are interested in funding the marginalized arts and cultural organizations. Just as the nonprofit finance fund, leveraging a network for equity(lane), Mellon Fund National Performance Network/Visual Artists Networks are helping the marginalized organizations achieve equity.

There are bigger organizations that have been in similar situations and want to help the smaller and it really will bring racial justice, social justice, and good for the economy. There has to be fairer policies, regulations, and greater unity. The selling of art works (from cultural tribes, disabled) photographs, writings can help augment funding. Subscription to poetry books, writing, CD music clubs ,etc.

Cleopatra Fitzgerald

5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

The arts play an enormous role at schools, universities, as hobbies and in real life. Some studies have shown they expand the cognitive, reasoning, creativity, attentiveness -Therewith, facilitating the other subjects at school.

It soothes the senses as a form of relaxation to those who enjoy it. The arts education curriculum has to fit precisely as the other core curriculum. In addition, if students want to optionally participate in the school’s clubs or afterschool (offering the arts in general) they can do so.

Their parents can enroll them in private, public, religious, cultural classes for the arts learning. This appreciation for the arts will result in a better economy, cultural awareness, and jobs.

The costs of maintaining extra hours in the school day and the pressure it might cause kids to extend the hours will not necessarily produce improved grades. I believe it is the quality of education and not the quantity of hours. The curriculum needs reforming if students are failing and the tests are not clear, the materials not explained, the study sheets, the time between testing too short, the grading method, peer pressure, cyberbullying, bullying, fake mental diagnosis, hostile environment. If the curriculum is erroneous, it is worst if the hours are extended. It defeats the purpose. In college, the student usually has the option to arrange their schedules -in some colleges, Saturday and Sunday classes are available. The flexibility allows students to obtain enhanced grades, and time for other activities. Colleges, school performances (plays, orchestras, club meetings) are announced via posted posters, flyers, emails, loudspeaker announcements. In this way, the students can attend at their own preference. If their area of concentration is the arts, they can in college major on that topic, in high school there are : “High schools for theatre arts, arts & technology, performing arts, music, acting, dance, fashion -each according to the speciality desired.

Cleopatra Fitzgerald

4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

Students, teachers, and staff should feel comfortable either virtually or in person classes (generally part time due to COVID) -a warm hospitable environment, that can responsibility handle the concerns of various circumstances. The “Learning & Education” COVID19 tools, resources are resources we see dispersed as helpful links. It is divided into categories and how to best serve their needs. The performing arts or arts can ease stress or traumatic experiences through a novel approach in teaching students about the history of epidemics, diseases, conflicts, wars, viruses, and eventual recovery. As a form of self-expression and communal awareness, the performing arts in general can be a method for healing.

Visual arts can be a form of art therapy where students can draw, paint, sculpt, their emotions, feelings in reference to the pandemic.

Music can contain lyrics and sounds that pacify or are an outpouring of sentiments that tell the audience how to cope.

Theatre, acting can chronicle, narrate, make into plays the timeline of events of past epidemics and their resolutions.

Puppetry, kid songs, coloring books, toys, games, can help younger kids to manage their fears of the pandemic but to have caution (using gloves, masks, goggles). Those tools and resources will be posted on brochures, government websites, educational and schools, university websites for the resources to assist the community such as: Remote learning, grants, funding, relief, paid leave, unions, unemployment benefits, COVID19 safety guidelines, rent relief, business relief, webinars, online forums, meetings, performances, festivals, competitions, tutorials, games, resources for elderly, disabled, children, family, teachers, students, philanthropists, surveys, and so forth.

The giving of gifts to children or adults including: playful musical instruments, geometric art games, music boxes, art sets, dancing shoes, journals, microphones, photography, costumes, magician sets, origami books, do it yourself crafts, tutorials art at home, the arts topics, and plenty more.