Monthly Archives: November 2010

Our favorite quotes from this article on (reblogged from World-shaker)

“By ignoring the motivational realities of seventh graders, the teacher missed a chance to allow literature to have a profound impact on his students. The assignment demonstrated yet another example of how, when schools are motivated solely to achieve high standardized test scores, students miss out on richer learning experiences.”

“Other examples are too numerous to count: homework assigned not as reinforcement but as busy work; the elimination of music and arts programs; and gifted-student programs unequipped to identify equally bright children whose undiagnosed learning differences classify them as “average.”

Impressive school rankings are meaningless if schools don’t embrace the value of a lifelong love of learning as the clearest pathway to success.

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See full article by Cameron Sullivan: Why Standardized Tests Kill the Joy of Learning – Education – GOOD (via world-shaker)


Elisa Contemporary Art Gallery is our newest cause partnership.  This Riverdale-based gallery donates a portion of the sale of each work to several arts education organizations, including Arts to Grow’s Riverdale Neighborhood House programs!

Carrying the message, “changing the world through art,”  Elisa Contemporary Art “is dedicated to promoting the appreciation and collection of art as a way to enrich and heal our lives, our communities, and the world. We believe in the power of art to positively impact all of our lives. A portion of every sale is donated to philanthropic organizations that help children and families within underserved communities heal and grow through their experience with art.”


 Students & their artwork at Riverdale Neighborhood House.                                                  Photo credits Katherine Gressel.

We are indebted to all of our wonderful cause partners, Advanced Benefit AdvisorsApKmedia, and MeebleMail.  Find out more info here and stay tuned for news about our other partners!

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Cause Partner Spotlight: Elisa Contemporary Art

We are so thankful for all of our supporters!

In light of the holiday, Arts to Grow would like to take this chance to profusely thank everyone who supports us and donates their time to us—we couldn’t do it without you!  Thanks to the many teaching artists, schools and community partners, cause partners, board members, advisors, and skilled volunteers that we have, it is possible for 100’s of kids to have art in their lives every year.


Give thanks for the art in YOUR life…leave a comment & let us know what you’re thankful for!

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Two great articles that reinforce the impact of creative learning…

These two articles highlight the Fort Garrison, Maryland school district, one of a few schools around the country that are forging the path towards integrating arts education into the regular curriculum.  From Education Week, “Schools Integrate Dance Into Core Academics” describes how dance can help elementary school kids think creatively about scientific concepts such as photosynthesis.

At, “Science with Dance in Mind” describes the new program, Teaching Science with Dance in Mind, created by non-profit organization Hands on Science, that is being launched at Fort Garrison and three other schools in Baltimore County.

ATG students dancing at Riverdale Neighborhood House, the Bronx

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A prolific week for the artists of the Riverdale Neighborhood House painting class :)

Classroom photos of the latest work by Miguel’s art students at Riverdale Neighborhood House in the Bronx. They are doing some really great work!

Says Miguel: “Students used tissue paper for collage.  Students practiced layering, tearing, crumpling amongst other techniques.  One student laid down the tissue paper and pulled it up to see what design would be left (picture 2).  As well, students used paint techniques that were taught in a previous lesson to further change and mix colors, splatter and add depth to their designs.  Some students covered the entire paper while others focused on a small section.  Students were asked to be cognizant of their choices and to write sbout the proces at the end of class.”




Arts to Grow asks our teaching artists to send us photos & updates every week so we can share what’s happening in our classrooms… check back often for the latest!

Inspiring quotes from participants in our Facebook discussion group

Our question:  Did you play music, dance, act or paint as a kid? Tell us your story about the meaning of your creative outlet.

Three great stories:

As a child I loved reading and now do a lot of freelance writing. But what really let me take off was when I took an abstract painting class after school with a friend of my mother’s who was a painter herself. The freedom and iconoclasm of splashing colors and working hours on stripes was uplifting and exciting. It made me feel like I didn’t have to do what I didn’t want to — and that I could spend a couple hours just working on “yellow.” A very healthy way to rebel, and also a great way to learn patience, calmness and focus. Heck, after the stress of a day of work, I could really use something similar in my life now … which says a lot about the therapeutic power of the arts.”

 -Alex Starace


As a kid I built immense wall collages out of pictures clipped from magazines bought at yard sales. At 12ish, puberty caused such a flood of hyperactivity that I did fine pencil portraits of friends and trees, and wrote poetry compulsively. I had no musical ability, but could manage the Appalachian Dulcimer. I did weaving both an Inkle loom and a card loom. Only now decades later, can some of this stuff be expressed by me through the funky Hudson/Essex county art scenes.”

-Alan Reid


As a child I was abused and bullied, and I started writing to God as an outlet.  My writing turn into poetry and the poetry turn into art work…a lot of my work is the wisdom I received during those times.  I tried to help other who are going through and have gone through what I went through, to tell others they not alone and I understand

For me art is an outlook of expression….we all have many talents we all are gifted in many ways…because we are so different from each other it make life interesting.  Two artists can look at the same thing and see something totally different.”

-Carin Loeffel


A big thank you to all who contributed to the Facebook discussion!! Check back often as we will have more questions posted soon!


Don’t forget—just 3 days left to post on our Facebook page’s Discussions tab. Answer this question: “Did you play music, dance, act, or paint as a kid? Tell us your story about the meaning of your creative outlet!” and get the chance to win!

Join in on our conversation by November 15th and the THREE most compelling and inspiring stories will be featured on this blog!