Arts for All

Arts For All offers accessible artistic opportunities to children in the New York City area who face socio-economic, physical, or emotional barriers to exploring the arts. Through Arts For All, professional artists work with youth organizations to build self-confidence, self-expression, teamwork, resilience, and creativity in children.
Jan 29, 2016

The New Year at Arts For All

Darian Dauchan performing "Voice Power!"
Darian Dauchan performing "Voice Power!"

Thanks to your support, Arts For All programs are well underway this semester. Literacy Through the Arts is running in grades K-2 at both Hamilton Heights Elementary School in Harlem and PS15 Elementary on the Lower East Side.

We currently have residencies in the Artistic Residency Program at Weeksville Elementary and have residencies planned at PS163 in the Bronx and PS69 on Staten Island as well.

We closed out 2015 on a high note with an excellent Audience Project Tour, Voice Power!, written and performed by musician/poet, Darian Dauchan. This ran for a total of 10 performances for elementary schools students in New York City public schools with little to no funding for Arts Education. Voice Power also had one public performance at an event we hosted at the Barnes and Noble in Tribeca, to which we brought 75 children from PS15.

This interactive piece of educational theater was a huge hit at every show! Darian incorporated elements of hip-hop, singing, whistling, acting and vocal techniques to encourage children to explore their own voices and embrace self-expression and self-confidence. Darian had the children up on their feet and participating along with him to explore the different aspects of their own voices.

A Program Coordinator at one of our partnering schools wrote to us immediately after the performance and said, “All the kids were super engaged. We all loved it.” A little boy in the audience of the show at Barnes and Noble was so moved he was dancing along to the music in the aisle. For many of our students, this was their first exposure to professional theater. We’re happy to report this show was incredibly engaging and was met with great enthusiasm.

We are looking forward to offering both the Creative Works Program, the Step Right Up! Program and the Video Creation Project again this spring, thanks, in part, to the support of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. We will keep you updated on those programs as they unfold.

Thank you, once again, for your continued support of our mission. Without your help, we would not be able to reach thousands of under-served New York City children with our accessible arts programs.

Children at Erick Sanchez studio visit.
Children at Erick Sanchez studio visit.
Visual Arts Workshop at AFA
Visual Arts Workshop at AFA
Dec 18, 2015

Thank you for supporting "Voice Power!"

Darian performing "Voice Power"
Darian performing "Voice Power"

Thanks to your support, Voice Power! just concluded a successful run of ten performances for elementary school children in New York City public schools with little to no funding for arts education. Voice Power! also had one public performance at an event we hosted at the Barnes and Noble in Tribeca, to which we brought 75 children from one of our partnering schools.

This interactive piece of educational theater was a huge hit at every show! Darian incorporated elements of hip-hop, singing, whistling, acting and vocal techniques to encourage children to explore their own voices and embrace self-expression and self-confidence. Darian had the children up on their feet and participating along with him to explore the different aspects of their own voices.

A Program Coordinator at one of our partnering schools wrote to us immediately after the performance and said, “All the kids were super engaged. We all loved it.” A little boy in the audience of the show at Barnes and Noble was so moved he was dancing along to the music in the aisle. For many of our students, this was their first exposure to professional theater. We’re happy to report this show was incredibly engaging and was met with great enthusiasm.

Thanks to your donation, we reached our fundraising goal and were able to bring this inspiring piece of theater to approximately 2,500 under-served children in New York City. We are so grateful to you for your invaluable help in achieving our goal of providing accessible artistic opportunities for under-served children in the New York City area.

Darian Dauchan performing "Voice Power!"
Darian Dauchan performing "Voice Power!"
Oct 30, 2015

Fall at Arts For All

Volunteer & student at Smart Design field trip.
Volunteer & student at Smart Design field trip.

Arts for All is amidst a bustling and thrilling fall season! We kicked off the new school year with a fun and educational event for the children of Ms. Osorio’s fifth grade class from PS163. In collaboration with the Townley Arts Foundation, The Australian Travel Group and local artist Erick Sanchez, a group of 26 students participated in a workshop carried out by Sanchez and Arts for All teaching artist, Maya Suess. Assisting Maya and Erick were the student mentors from Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart in Sydney, Australia, whose mission is “to make the world a better place and to convince others of the power that lies within them to do the same.”

Through discussion and a demonstration, the children learned the basic concepts of perspective, horizon lines and mixing color using acrylic paint, before endeavoring to create their own landscapes. The group later received a tour of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center where the event took place and were then provided with lunch. At the end of the occasion, the young artists from the Bronx were able to stand among their classmates to talk about their paintings, where their artistic decisions came from, and what they learned before taking their framed masterpieces home to share with friends and family.

The Artistic Residency Program is underway at Weeksville Elementary, PS163 and PS76. Teaching artist, Sarah Plotkin, is currently teaching two 4-week-long Drama Residencies at Weeksville Elementary School in Brooklyn. Earlier this semester at Weeksville, seasoned AFA teaching artist Mélissa Smith taught a four-week dance and drama workshop.

At PS163, Sarah Plotkin is teaching a 4-week Drama Residency. Also at PS163, we're providing two 6-week Visual Arts Residcenices, one for 3rd grade and one for 5th grade, which will be instructed by veteran AFA teaching artist, Vidho Lorville. Vidho has been teaching with Arts For All for the past eight years.

December marks the return of the Video Creation Project with teaching artist Franklyn Strachan at Incarnation Children’s Center, Manhattan’s only skilled nursing facility providing specialized care for children and youth living with HIV/AIDS. In this 3-day intensive, youth living at ICC work with Franklyn to create a short documentary or narrative film. Through this program, participants learn all aspects of filmmaking and in the process build life skills such as teamwork, self-confidence, self-expression, creativity and resilience.

On Tuesday, October 27th, Arts for All arranged a field trip for Ms. Marrero’s 4th grade class from PS163 to Smart Design. Smart Design is a design and innovation consulting firm that works across the digital and physical to deliver empowering experiences and improve lives. The 18 participating students learned about creative problem solving and the basics of electricity before designing and creating their own flashlights to use on Halloween. With two to three Smart Design volunteers assigned to small groups of children, they worked together to embrace creativity and make their ideas become a reality. Using cardboard tubes, base flashlight parts such as a bulb and battery, and art supplies such as paper, clay and stickers, the students created designs that were impressive and imaginative. Some students made flashlights that fit snuggly on their head, arm or wrist, while others made lantern-like flashlights to carry. Smart Design promoted Arts for All’s core values of confidence and self-expression through the workshop with emphasis at the end when students were invited to stand in front of their peers and share and explain their designs. The highlight of the day was the sense of achievement and pride that the students exhibited when presenting their finished products.

We are currently preparing for our next field trip, our annual Day at the Met, on November 7th, made possible through the generosity of corporate sponsors, Capgemini and Kohl’s. We will bring approximately 50 students to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they will explore all the museum has to offer through guided tours with both official Met tour guides and Arts For All volunteers. Lunch will also be provided. We’re looking forward to hosting volunteers from both of our sponsors, Kohl’s and Capgemini, at the field trip to help engage our young students in the art they are experiencing and also to ensure the day runs smoothly.

Arts for All is grateful for your support which allows us to bring artistic opportunities such as the Artistic Residency Program and A Day at the Met to in-need children in New York City. We welcome your feedback and thank you for your continued belief in our mission.

Students at field trip to Erick Sanchez
Students at field trip to Erick Sanchez's studio.
Student with his original flashlight design.
Student with his original flashlight design.
Student at the field trip to Smart Design.
Student at the field trip to Smart Design.
Student sharing his painting at field trip.
Student sharing his painting at field trip.

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