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?
I am a supporter of multicultural programs. I am an immigrant. I work with immigrants from around the world. Everyone has interesting cultural histories and I would definitely want children to learn about traditions and arts from all the different communities and learn to celebrate our differences. The children are the future and we can educate racism / biases out through the arts.
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?
As noted earlier – I want to create arts teaching program like WPA and get working artists into the educational system as teachers. Make sure we certify more arts teachers and hire more per school.
10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?
11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?
We are going to certify more arts teachers and hire more per school.
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?
Yes I expect the school to be compliant. Education is key to solving so many issues in this city. I will make it a priority to raise these numbers.
8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?
I don’t know enough about this to have a fully formed answer. If it’s for fairly funding all schools the same – I am all for it.
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?
Audit the school and make it a law. If there are funds that not are utilized that school will be penalized. Money budgeted for the arts – will go for the arts. The funds will not sit around for a rainy day. They will be used to hire arts teachers, materials and coursework.
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?
Education is one of my top priorities. Making it accessible and funded equally across all boroughs and neighborhoods. As a father who saw the unfair practice of testing students (my daughter moved here from Russia in 8th grade unprepared to have to test into a “good high school”). This is such an outdated and ridiculous model. All tax dollars should go to each and every school with equal funds per student. All students should have access to AP and arts classes and these classes should all be funded equitably so parents are not continually doing fundraisers to pay for materials that our tax dollars should be paying for! I can remember the fundraisers for my daughter’s high school and could not understand this. I pay taxes for this. Why are the school’s not fairly funded? That is something I plan to solve as Mayor.
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?
Arts will be part of the curriculum just like Math. Arts is as important a course as science, history, writing and in fact uses all the other parts of the educational curriculum.
I do think the arts should be flexible as some kids may want to do more performative type arts and some children prefer solo arts practices like digital art.
Flexible arts curriculum that is part of the regular structure. I would hope teachers find a way to show how all required coursework actually relates to each subject. A holistic approach to education.
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?
With my Job training programs – I want to start a WPA for NY for out of work professional artisans, artists and creatives to work with children after school. Part of my platform is to expand mental health support for poor communities and to address homelessness. Children impacted by homelessness and Covid, I hope to bring together mental health workers and arts practitioners to use art to help heal traumas.