Thanks to your unwavering support of our programs, the spring semester at Arts For All ended on a high note! We were able to continue offering several programs to in-need children at our partnering schools, including our annual “A Day at the Met” field trip, the Creative Works Program, and the Video Creation Project.
In May, thanks to our corporate sponsor, Capgemini, we brought over fifty 2nd Grade students from PS 163 and youth aged 10-13 from New Alternatives for Children, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for our annual “A Day at the Met” field trip. The children toured the museum led by a museum tour guide, as well as an exhibit-specific tour by Arts For All Teaching Artists. Students from both groups were eager and enthusiastic to learn about the museum’s classics throughout the day, evidenced by their active participation in art discussions.
Our Creative Works Program led by Teaching Artists Melissa Smith and Darian Dauchan was also a great success. We worked with New Alternatives for Children to provide children experiencing both mental and physical disabilities the opportunity to create their own performance pieces. In her final presentation evaluation report, Melissa noted that the children demonstrated significant growth in both teamwork and self-confidence. NAC staff also reported that one young girl who participated, who is at risk for Non Verbal Learning Disability and who has a history of being bullied, found the program especially valuable as she was able to make friends in a supportive, fun environment. This was a new experience for her.
In May, Teaching Artist Franklyn Strachan led the Video Creation Project, a program designed to teach youth video creation and editing techniques as well as storytelling and creative self-expression. We held May’s Video Creation Project at the Incarnation Children’s Center, a facility providing specialized care for children and youth living with HIV and AIDS. For this project, Franklyn worked with the students to create an original script ( see attached). The students enthusiastically all agreed to work on a zombie movie ( “Kid Zombie”). Franklyn reported back that once again the students were engaged throughout the process and seemed to enjoy the freedom of working on a fictitious script.
This spring, 2nd grade students in our Literacy Through the Arts Program (LTA) at PS15 visited the Tenement Museum: a structure erected in 1863 that once housed working class immigrants. They had previously visited the museum last December for the Tenement’s Cultural Adaptation school program, where students were introduced to the fictional character, Victoria Confino, a 14- year-old Italian girl who lived in 97 Orchard Street in the early 1900s and faced the challenges of adapting her cultural heritage to life in a new country. The student’s two field trips to the museum fueled their interest in developing Victoria’s story further and adapting her into the title role in Cinderella. The students learned historical accounts of immigration in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and also applied their newfound knowledge to create a play based on the character Victoria Confino and Cinderella.
We’re preparing for a busy fall of programs that includes our Audience Project, Tour, the Artistic Residency Program at 17 different locations, and the Literacy Through the Arts Program (LTA) at Hamilton Heights Elementary and PS 15. Once again, thank you for continuing to support our programs! We’re looking forward to another great semester of free programs for in-need children in New York. The Arts For All team wishes you a great rest of your summer!
Spring at Arts For All is bringing many exciting things, including two field trips! The first is our annual Day at the Met, sponsored by Capgemini, which is taking place this Saturday, May 10th. For the past eleven years (with the exception of 2005), Arts for All has organized a day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The trip serves to expose youth to the classics, inviting the children and teens to fully explore all the museum has to offer. The children who will attend our 2014 A Day at the Met include: children from New Alternatives for Children, an organization providing specialized care for disabled and chronically ill children and second graders from PS 163, an extremely low income elementary school in the Bronx.
The Metropolitan Museum donates tickets each year to Arts For All to allow a group of in-need children to visit the museum. Participants have a tour from a Metropolitan Museum Tour Guide, an exhibit-specific tour led by Arts For All Teaching Artists, and have lunch together. Capgemini, PS 163 and New Alternatives for Children provide adult chaperones for the visit. Arts For All provides volunteers to spend the day with the group, lead the afternoon tour, and keep the youth company. Volunteers engage the children and help ensure that they have a good experience.
For the second field trip, taking place at the end of the school year, Arts For All is bringing second-graders from PS 163 to the office of Smart Design, an innovative design agency. Smart Design will facilitate a design-oriented art workshop with the students, giving them a hands-on artistic experience and insight into the world of professional design.
Also coming up this month, Teaching Artist Franklyn Strachan will run the second Video Creation Project with children and youth living at Incarnation Children’s Center (ICC), a facility providing specialized care for youth living with HIV and AIDS. Last year’s Video Creation Project at ICC was an exciting, moving experience for both student participants and ICC and AFA staff. We’re excited to offer this program a second year in a row, thanks in part to funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. We’re seeking additional funding for this program and we welcome your ideas on how to support and grow this special program.
Finally, Arts For All’s Haiku Program was recently featured in an article on the importance of teaching poetry, by Suzi Parker on the website takepart.com. You can read that article here. http://www.arts-for-all.org/archives/1968
Thanks so much for supporting our programs! With your help, Arts For All continues to deepen our programs and our commitment to helping in-need children develop self-confidence, self-expression, teamwork, resilience and creativity through the arts.
Arts For All’s 2014 Programming is off to a great start. Programs are up and running at PS 69 on Staten Island where we provide music and drama workshops for First Graders in a Special Education class and an after-school drama program for Fourth Graders who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford an after-school program. Both of these residencies are taught by veteran AFA Teaching Artist, Robin Cannon Colwell.
Literacy Through the Arts is also underway at PS 15 and Hamilton Heights Elementary. Our Literacy Through the Arts Program increases students’ reading, writing, and verbal expression skills through a multi-arts curriculum incorporating theater, literature, music, visual arts, and dance. This program is also aligned with the New York State Common Core Learning Standards.
This spring, we are excited to offer our Creative Works Program again at New Alternatives for Children. Creative Works is a self-expression program for in-need youth ages 10-16 to discover their own stories and express them in a public performance. AFA partners with New Alternatives for Children (NAC), an organization working with children in the 5 boroughs with medical disabilities and/or chronic illness. Through the Creative Works Program, the students create their own original play and perform it for an invited audience of their peers, family and friends. We have offered this program several times throughout the years at NAC and it is always met with great enjoyment by students and staff members alike.
We’re also gearing up for Arts For All’s Annual Day at the Met. Every year, we take a group of 50-60 children on a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum. In the morning, children take part in a museum highlights tour lead by a Met tour guide. Children later receive free lunch, and then participate in an exhibit-specific tour in the afternoon led by an Arts For All artist. This year’s Day at the Met will take place in early May. Stay tuned for more details.
Thank you once again for your belief in and support of our free arts programs for over 3,500 in-need children in the New York City area. From everyone at Arts For All, we wish you a creative, productive and healthy 2014!
On behalf of everyone at Arts For All, we’d like to wish you a happy holiday season! This year, Arts For All worked hard to refine our mission and vision to better support our aim of offering accessible artistic opportunities to kids in the NYC area who face socio-economic, physical, or emotional barriers to exploring the arts while building self-confidence, self-expression, teamwork, resilience and creativity in the children we serve.
We’re excited to share some AFA highlights from 2013.
Thanks to the generosity of many individual donors and a $2,400 prize from Global Giving, we produced a children’s theater tour this fall. Arts For All presented E. Gray Simon’s version of the classic tale Pinocchio for over 2,500 students all over New York City. Each student and teacher received a study guide to further explore the themes of teamwork, learning right from wrong and the importance of family and friends presented in the play.
We are excited about our new partnership with Sobro in the South Bronx. This summer, five teaching artists taught residencies in dance, poetry, visual art and drama at two sites. Our relationship has continued into the school year with an after-school chorus program for teenagers.
We also held our first documentary film program, lead by Teaching Artist Franklyn Strachan, for youth at the Incarnation Children’s Center, a nursing facility that provides specialized care for children and adolescents living with HIV/AIDS. This program was a huge success and we’re seeking funding to offer this program at the Incarnations Children’s Center again in 2014.
This fall, Arts For All was thrilled to collaborate with Amy Losak, a Senior Vice President at Ketchum Public Relations in New York, on a new program for second graders at P.S 163 in the Bronx which brought to colorful life the lyrical poetic legacy of Amy’s late mother, Sydell Rosenberg, a public school teacher, ESL teacher and published American haiku poet who lived in New York City. Arts For All Teaching Artist Vidho Lorville led six visual arts workshops that used several of Ms. Rosenberg’s haiku as teaching tools. Under his instruction, the students created visual art inspired by the short poems. Teaching artist Shawn Shafner, who presided with Vidho over the first and final workshops in the series, also helped facilitate the children’s understanding of haiku, telling them that they should try to “see” poetry everywhere, even in the small moments around them, and make art from those moments.
With over 30 workshops each month, we are reaching over 3,500 children in NYC each year. Without your dedication to Arts For All, we’d never be able to reach as many in-need children. This December, Arts For All is excited to participate in a Global Giving fundraising campaign. Organizations that raise the highest amount from at least 30 separate donors throughout the entire month of December stand to win cash prizes of up to $3,000. This holiday season, please consider making a donation to Arts For All on our Global Giving page. Your gift will truly go a long way to support the students we serve. Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to another great year of Arts For All programming in 2014.
Happy Fall! School is back in session and Arts For All has a full season of programming underway, thanks to your generous support!
Our Literacy Through the Arts Program is in full swing at both PS 15 and Hamilton Heights School. Literacy Through the Arts is an ongoing program which focuses on increasing kindergarten through second grade children’s phonemic awareness and letter recognition through a multi-arts curriculum focusing on movement, music and visual arts in order to improve their reading, writing and verbal expression.
Some of our other programs include a Haiku and Visual Arts Workshop for second-graders at PS 163, run by artists Vidho Lorville and Shawn Shafner, an after-school drama program for fourth-graders at PS 69 in Staten Island and on-going dance and drama workshops for second-graders at Weeksville elementary school in Brooklyn. Special events this fall include hosting a mask-making table at Halloween parties for both New Alternatives for Children and the Puppetry Arts Theatre’s Halloween Carnival in Park Slope. Also, this fall our annual Audience Project will bring a professional production of “Pinocchio” to over 2,500 under-served children in New York City. For a complete list of our fall programs, click here.
Earlier this year, Arts For All Teaching Artist, Franklyn Strachen, spearheaded our first Documentary Creation Project at Incarnation Children’s Center. The 3-day intensive workshops taught young people living with HIV/AIDS the tools to express themselves through video. Franklyn shared his thoughts on the overwhelming success of this program in a recent post on Arts For All’s blog.
Here is a snippet of that blog. (click here to read the entire post.)
“FS:I recently worked with the Incarnation Children's Center in Washington Heights. The center houses children living with HIV/AIDS. I worked with a group of about 10 students ranging from the ages of 7 to 21. The hardest part of working on this project was my own fears and expectations of what these children would be like. Sick, angry and upset with the world is what I was prepared for. What I encountered were kids. Regular kids. AIDS was a part of their life but it wasn't their life. They were very opinionated and considered the space theirs. It made it easy for them to show me around and document what they felt was important.
AFA: How did this experience affect you? Are there any moments that stand out?
FS: My preconceptions about living with AIDS were shattered. Considering how much information I have lived with concerning the subject I have never interacted with people who have it so intimately. These children have the same dreams and flaws that all kids have. I was happy to learn that. I learned that not only do they want children they can have AIDS free children. When I returned a week later to drop off the DVD the comfort level and excitement to see me again stood out for me.”
Read the rest of this interview here.
In addition to our usual fall programming, Arts For All hosted a Professional Development day for all of our teaching artists, key volunteers and staff on September 8, 2013. The overriding refrain of the day was “we’re here for the kids.” The PD day was informative, community-building and overall, a huge success! Arts For All is fortunate to have such a talented, committed and professional team of teaching artists, staff and volunteers.
Thanks so much again for your belief in the work that we do. With your help, Arts For All is bringing artistic opportunities to over 3,500 in-need kids in New York City this year! We welcome any feedback you might have on programs or any ideas you might have for bringing our message to a wider audience.
All the best,
Jessie KilgussDevelopment AssociateArts For All
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