Dec 2, 2019

Another Year Gone By - Arts For All in 2019

On behalf of everyone here at Arts For All, we’d like to wish you all a happy holiday season! 

Throughout this year, Arts For All (AFA) has crossed many milestones and continues to expand, due to the success of our programs. It is because of your support that we’ve been able to grow as an organization and achieve our goals; so from the bottom of our hearts, we here at Arts For All would like to say thank you. Looking back at our eventful year, we would like to share with you some of our most memorable projects, bringing as many of our programs to children in under-served communities throughout New York City as possible. 

This year with our most popular program, Literacy Through The Arts, we’ve had students from PS15, PS163, and Hamilton Heights Elementary demonstrate a wide variety of growth developing skills in reading, writing, and verbal expression through our arts integration curriculum. Some examples include Kindergarten working on rhyme recognition through song and poetry, Grade 1 learning about story creation and using puppets to tell stories, and Grade 2 creating original adaptations of La Princesa and the Pea. We are also thrilled to have added a 4th school to this program in 2019, PS76 in Queens!

With our Artistic Residency Program, one of our main programs in which professional artists teach visual arts, dance, theater, music, poetry, and film workshops to youth – some highlights include our students at Renaissance Charter School learning how to use textiles, provided by Fil Doux Textile, as frames for pictures of New York City landmarks in a Visual Arts class. At PS163, by adding drama and movement to our existing Haiku program, our students worked through body awareness exercises to an eventual culmination of a prepared in-school festival based around the student’s work.

Through our Video Creation Project, students from one of our partners, the Incarnation Children’s Center (ICC), created several short videos including a cooking tutorial and a video about what happiness mean to ICC residents and staff. During this same time at an after school residency at Williamsburg High School of Arts & Technology (WHSAT), students made a trailer to their own movie about adventure, friendship, and learning about yourself.

And finally from our Creative Works Program, students from New Alternatives for Children (NAC) were able to prepare a showcase of their work, which included glimpses of collaborative warm-ups made by the students, two original dances, and two original shows about stage fright and the true story of “rock, paper, scissors.”

Lastly, we want to thank YOU, for being the backbone of our organization and for believing in our vision for a better future for our students. As we currently serve approximately 3,000 in-need children every year through our free, accessible arts programming, we’re constantly reminded of all the time, energy, support, and resources that go into making Arts For All function. It is because of our dedicated staff, teaching artists, volunteers, donors, partnering organizations, and individuals such as yourself, that all of our work is possible.

This holiday season, please consider making a donation, so that we can continue to provide and sustain quality arts programs to under-served children in New York City for years to come.

Warm Regards,

Anna Roberts Ostroff, Executive Director 


Sep 3, 2019

Happy Labor Day and Back To School

Here at Arts For All we are wishing everyone a wonderful Labor Day! We are also getting excited about the start of the school year! Students return to NYC public schools on Thursday September 5, which means Arts For All programs will be getting underway soon after.

For those who are newer to our organization I want to take this time to introduce Arts For All’s 4 primary branches of programming. For those who have been supporters of ours for a long time, we are grateful for all you have done to help maintain these programs over the years.

Our first program to kick off this school year later in September will be our Literacy Through the Arts Program.   Our goal for the Literacy Through the Arts program is to raise and improve students’ reading, writing and verbal expression skills through a multi-arts curriculum in theater, literature, music, visual arts and dance. Through art, K-2 students develop critical and creative thinking and a vocabulary to express ideas, stories and emotions. Literacy Through the Arts (LTA) builds literacy skills through the arts, in- line with schools' academic curriculum in grades K-2 at PS15, PS163, & Hamilton Heights School. LTA fosters literacy, language development & personal development, & provides students the opportunity for creative self-expression. Classes meet 1/week for a class period (45-55 minutes), 11-13 weeks in the Fall & 15-17 weeks in the Spring.

Arts For All is also excited to for our Artistic Residency Program to start up at schools in all 5 boroughs. Through our Artistic Residency Program, AFA’s professional artists teach music, theater, dance, visual art, poetry and film workshops to under-served children. AFA partners with public schools and community organizations lacking funding for arts programming. We work with the needs of our partnering organizations to provide arts programs for the length of time, age groups and artistic disciplines they request. Each school receives multiple 6-10 week residencies, consisting of weekly arts workshops; totaling approximately 130 workshops & directly serving an estimated amount of 500 students in a given year through the Artistic Residency Program. AFA works with school staff to determine the most appropriate grades for workshops & the arts disciplines that will best serve students and AFA Teaching Artists design workshops to support each school's curriculum for the grade level selected.

Through the Artistic Exposure Program, Arts For All offers special extra-curricular opportunities for our students, such as our Day at the Met field trip to the Metropolitan Museum. The trip serves to expose youth to the classics, inviting the children and teens to fully explore all that theMetropolitan Museum has to offer. The children who attend our last A Day at the Met included students from our various partnered schools and students from New Alternatives for Children, a center for disabled children and children from PS163, an extremely low income elementary school in the Bronx.

The annual Audience Program is one of our four programs in which AFA brings professional theater productions to under-served kids in the NYC area where students, parents and their communities are able to experience professional theater productions for free. In the past, the Audience Project shows have toured around AFA partner schools and sites with productions such as Voice Power!, Pinocchio!, Pig Pen Theatre’sThe Mountain Song and The Magician’s Assistant. This past year for our Audience Project AFA presented The Magician’s Assistant, written and performed by New York based actress Mélissa Smith. The Magician’s Assistant is a fun, interactive children’s show that teaches children the power of believing in yourself, asking for help, and eating your vegetables. We were fortunate to be able present this production at two locations, The Tank, a theatrical performing arts space, as well as Barnes and Noble. For these productions AFA invites our partner youth organizations to come to the performances as a field trip opportunity.

We are excited to embark on this new school year, providing unique artistic experiences for students all over New York City! Through these programs we will continue to focus on Arts For All’s core values through the arts, building self-confidence, self-expression, teamwork, resilience and creativity in children!

Thank you for your continued support!

Jun 4, 2019

Happy Summer from Arts For All!

The school year is coming to a close, and we are so excited to tell you about everything that has happened so far this year! Thanks to your support, Arts For All has been able to develop exciting new arts residencies, partnerships, and showcases - all while continuing to provide free arts programming to over 3,000 children in New York City.

This semester, Arts For All partnered with Fil Doux Textiles to create a series of unique textiles-based arts workshops integrated into their classroom activities. In one class, students used donated fabric to create frames for photos they had taken earlier in the year. In another, students are combining fabric work with their social studies lessons on different world cultures. 

Long time Arts For All partner Incarnation Children's Center is continuing to see success with the Video Creation Project. This year, students have created two cooking shows, a makeup tutorial, a narrated short about fish in a tank, and an interview series on happiness. Students at ICC have enjoyed this program so much that they are now adding two brand new Arts For All residencies on creating stop motion animation. 

At PS76, students in our Artistic Residency Program were invited to visit the Center for Italian Modern Art. This fieldtrip was complimented by a workshop on still life painting lead by Arts For All teaching artist Ciara Ruddock. 

And throughout the semester, students in Arts For All programs across NYC have had the opportunity to share their work with family and friends at both public and in-school visual art showcases, dance and theatre performances, and more. 

In their short film Happiness, created as part of the Video Creation Project, students at ICC interviewed teachers, staff, and other students; asking what others can do in order to be more happy. One student responded, "Open your mind. If you don't open your mind, how are you going to fit space to be happy?" Thanks to your support, Arts For All is able to continue providing NYC youth the opportunity to open their minds and find happiness through the arts, and we sincerely thank you!  

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