Monthly Archives: October 2010

From the White House:

Michelle Obama presents the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Awards (NAHYP). 15 programs around the country received awards for their excellence in fostering creativity & intellectual development & changing the lives of America’s youth.

Michelle Obama praises arts organizations: You’re showing our students that each of them has something valuable to contribute to this life. And you’re opening their eyes to a world of possibility that awaits them –- one work of art, one relationship, one lifetime at a time.”

Watch at least the first 6 minutes of the video to see the First Lady’s full introductory speech! Leave ATG a comment and let us know your thoughts on the issues that she addresses.

*Also worth the watch: the President’s Committee on Arts & Humanities holds a live chat discussion on arts & arts education with artist Chuck Close and ballet dancer Damian Woetzel in honor of National Arts and Humanities Month!


What our students are learning this week…

In Miguel’s visual arts class, the students looked at figurative paintings and began to understand how colors and shapes can be used to create and communicate ideas.  The students applied this principle to their own paintings, drawing their ideas both from famous works and from their imaginations.

In Gardiner’s theater class, students learned the importance of vocal warm-ups.  Vocal warm-ups help an actor or actress release tension in the jaw, tongue, and face to help them speak loudly and clearly.  

In Patricia’s theater class, they are studying Little Shop of Horrors to understand different emotional states and how these can be portrayed.  The students listed the emotions they saw in various scenes from Little Shop of Horrors and then acted these behaviors out in different ways with a partner.

Got any great lesson ideas or fun activities?  Share them with us!


In what ways have YOU been involved in the arts and humanities?  

What does art mean to you?  We want to hear your responses—give us your personal definition of art, post a photo or work of art, send us a video… be creative!!

This awesome video was created by Starting Artists, Inc. and won the 2010 Why Arts Matter video contest sponsored by Americans for the Arts.  See more contest submissions here.  We hope they inspire you to create your own response!


One of our newest cause partners, ApKmedia, a Brooklyn-based media company, recently hosted a “MicroShow” concert with Arts to Grow as the featured charity! All proceeds from posters designed for the event were also donated to Arts to Grow.

The concert, featuring Good Old War, is the first of many MicroShows that ApKmedia plans to hold in the future.  Check out pictures and find out more about Good Old War and other MicroShows coming soon  Videos from the set will posted soon, not to mention an exlusive EP on iTunes!  

ApK media

ApKmedia seeks to be on the front lines in the evolution of creative and media talent.  Providing a rental space, a scouting agency, and a creative agency, ApK is committed to supporting new emerging companies as well as working with established entertainment giants.  Arts to Grow is very excited to have ApK as a cause partner!

ApKmedia MicroShow in Support of ATG

AHA! Moments…

photo credit: Melissa Lonardo

Last Wednesday, Arts to Grow held its 5th annual teaching artist training and orientation day.  This workshop is led by our program manager, Sara .  The workshop serves as a guide for both new and returning artists to bring excellent teaching practices to their classrooms in support of Arts to Grow’s mission statement. 

To start off, two of our returning teaching artists, Patricia and Charlotte, shared their experiences from last year’s training day.  Charlotte emphasized how much one idea from last year has stuck with her throughout the year and has really transformed her teaching: the rule that teachers should be doing 20% of the work in the classroom and students should be doing 80%.  To achieve this, it is essential for a teacher to be prepared as well as to have backup plans and be flexible.  Teachers must find inspiration, calm, and organization in their own lives in order to pass on knowledge to their students.  Charlotte explained how finding this balance for herself has helped her students be more successful as well.

For Charlotte, the 20/80 rule was her AHA! moment.  To all the teachers out there, or anyone involved in education, we want to hear your AHA! moment too.  Please tell us about your breakthrough moments, discoveries in teaching, and what inspires you in the classroom every day!

This video was featured in Richard Kessler’s recent article for the Huffington Post, You Don’t Have to Deny the Arts to Succeed: MS223 in the South Bronx, a 2010 Intel School of Distinction.”  

The short documentary about MS 223 proves that arts education increases a school’s overall performance.  This math and science school in the Bronx added a quality arts program to their curriculum, watched their students improve in all areas of study, and won the 2010 Intel School of Distinction Award for excellence in math and science.

Watch this video and tell us what you think!  Do you believe that cultivating the arts should be a priority for all schools?