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.
On behalf of everyone at Arts For All, I hope you’re having a great summer! We’re gearing up for a busy fall. In September, Literacy Through the Arts will start back up again in grades K-2 at Hamilton Heights Elementary in Harlem and PS15 in the East Village. Literacy Through the Arts (LTA) builds 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 workshops were developed by teaching artists Lena Moy-Borgen and Shawn Shafner under the oversight of Arts For All Executive Director, Anna Roberts Ostroff, and prior PS15 Principal Thomas Staebell.
In addition to LTA, our Artistic Residency Program will be back up and running at several of our partnering schools including PS163 in the Bronx, PS69 on Staten Island and Weeksville Elementary in Brooklyn. Through the Artistic Residency Program, teaching artists teach music, theater, dance, visual art, poetry and film workshops to under-served children aged 4-19.
We’re excited to expand our Haiku Program to a new school this fall. We will be offering an 8-week Haiku and Music Program at PS76 in Queens. We co-created the Haiku Programs with our partner, Amy Losak, in 2013 to honor the legacy of Amy’s late mother, the published haiku poet, Sydell Rosenberg. In the Haiku and Visual Arts Program and the Haiku and Music Program, 2nd graders explore Sydell Rosenberg’s haiku through the lens of either visual art or music. This program builds students’ literacy skills as well as the Arts For All Core Values: creativity, resilience, teamwork, self-expression, and self-esteem.
This November, we will be brining approximately 50 students from New Alternatives for Children and PS163 on a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for our annual Day at the Met field trip. We are also planning a special field trip for students from PS163 to attend artist, Erick Sanchez’s studio on the Lower East Side. Along with a team of volunteers from a girl’s high school in Australia, Erick will lead the PS163 students in a painting workshop at his professional art studio. Students will each work with a high school student mentor, create their own painting and the field trip will culminate with lunch before the students head back to PS163 in the afternoon.
We are preparing for our annual Audience Project Tour. This year, we are thrilled to present “Voice Power!,” written and performed by poet/musician and AFA teaching artist, Darian Dauchan. We will bring this exciting production, free of charge, to approximately 2,500 under-served NYC children this fall, many of whom have never seen professional theater. Poet/musician Darian Dauchan guides young audiences on a vocal odyssey through rhymes, beat-boxing, & acapella melodies in search of one of civilization’s most valued treasures – the power of the voice!
Without your support, none of these engaging programs would be possible. Thank you for your continued belief in Arts For All’s mission.
This spring semester has been especially busy at Arts For All!
Teaching Artists Bonnie Pipkin and Mary Meyer, taught the Step Right Up! Program to high schoolers at the Green School in Brooklyn. This year, the students wrote a play inspired by zombies and reality TV cooking competitions. Heart & Soul was an ensemble piece that allowed each student actor a moment or two to shine. The ten committed student participants eagerly showed up every Monday and Thursday afternoon to write and rehearse the play. They presented the play to an invited audience of family and friends on the evening of May 14th. The Green School’s Step Team, the G Squad, opened the show with a ten minute dance performance.
The Creative Works program has been running all semester with students at New Alternatives for Children, an organization working with children in the 5 boroughs with medical disabilities and/or chronic illness. Creative Works is a self-expression program for in-need youth ages 12-19 to discover their own stories and express them in public performance. This year’s final performance is being held on Monday, June 29th at 5:30 pm for an invited audience. If you would like to attend this performance, please email Development Director, Jessie Kilguss at Jessie@arts-for-all.org.
Teaching Artist Kim Schafer just completed two six-week dance residencies with 3rd and 5th graders at PS163 in the Bronx. The residencies culminated in a final performance for the entire Kindergarten class at PS163. Students performed dances to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ song “Uptown Funk” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.” The students were beaming at the end of their performance and their kindergarten peers were a supportive, enthusiastic audience and burst out in cheers and clapping after each dance number.
Teaching Artist, Robin Cannon Colwell, taught three music and movement residencies and an after school drama program at PS69 on Staten Island. At the end of each Arts For All residency, the students are asked to fill out a brief evaluation form. At the end of the residencies at PS69 one student wrote in huge letters at the top of her evaluation form “I love you so much Miss Robin! I will miss you so much!”
In addition to these residencies we’ve also had visual art, music, drama and poetry residencies running at multiple locations within the five boroughs. We are so grateful for your continued belief in our mission. We welcome any feedback or ideas you might have. Please stay in touch.
Thank you for your continued support!
2015 is off to a great start at Arts For All! We currently have several programs running including Step Right Up!, Creative Works, and the Artistic Residency Program.
With Step Right Up!, teaching artists Bonnie Pipkin and Mary Meyer work with high schoolers at the Green School to create, produce and perform an original play. For many students in this program, this is their only exposure to the arts and their only chance to express themselves creatively. This program provides a vital artistic outlet for students at the Green School and is always well received by students, teachers and school administrators alike.
The Creative Works Program is underway at New Alternatives for Children. New Alternatives for Children provides specialized care for chronically ill children and youth in New York City. In Creative Works, students work with teaching artists Mélissa Smith and Franklyn Strachan, to create an original performance piece to perform for an invited audience of family and friends.
On March 28th, we held a special Day of Art at New Alternatives for Children. This even began in the morning with a puppet-making activity and then the students were divided into four groups and rotated to different workshops in dance, visual art, drama and music.
In March we partnered with a great organization called Inside Broadway and brought approximately 50 of our students from PS 163 on a field trip to Inside Broadway’s Creating The Magic show. At this presentation, students watched the Broadway cast of On The Town perform select numbers from this show. They also received insight into the makings of a Broadway show through talks given by various members of the production team of On The Town. Our students from PS 163 had a great time at this performance and we are grateful to Inside Broadway for this opportunity.
The Artistic Residency Program is going strong with workshops running at several locations in various disciplines including visual arts, dance, drama and music.
None of our programs would be possible without your dedicated support. Thank you so much for your continued belief in our mission.
Happy New Year from Arts For All! 2014 was a great year for Arts For All and we are looking forward to another year of providing free arts programming for under-served New York City children.
In December, thanks to a grant from the Linden Arts Fund for Children, we held a student art show at Ngam Restaurant in Manhattan. Paintings from a 5th Grade Arts For All Visual Arts Residency were displayed in the restaurant for several weeks. Arts For All took the students on a special field trip where they were each awarded certificates of artistic accomplishment, viewed their art show and enjoyed a delicious free Thai lunch at Ngam.
We are excited to get our 2015 programs started. We have a number of exciting programs coming up this spring including the Creative Works Program, the Video Creation Project, Literacy Through the Arts and the annual Day at the Met field trip.
For the Creative Works Program, we partner with New Alternatives for Children, an organization working with children in the 5 boroughs with medical disabilities and/or chronic illness. In this program, NAC students work with AFA teaching artists to create, produce and perform an original play. Last year, this program was extremely popular with our students. NAC staff 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.
In February, Teaching Artist Franklyn Strachan will return to the Incarnation Children’s Center to teach the Video Creation Project. The Incarnation Children’s Center is New York City’s only skilled nursing facility providing specialized care for children and youth living with HIV and AIDS. For this 3 day intensive workshop, Franklyn teaches the students filming, editing and script-writing techniques and they collaborate to create a documentary or a narrative short film.
In addition to these programs we will also have poetry, drama, dance, visual arts and music workshops running at several partnering locations throughout the city this spring. Thanks to your support, we are bringing accessible arts programming to over 3,500 under-served children in the New York City each year. We are truly grateful for your support and look forward to updating you on our programs later this spring. Thank your for your continued partnership.
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