Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Arts Are Essential

Cornell University’s president on why teaching creativity in schools is not a luxury. BY DAVID J. SKORTON, From 

As president of a large research university that received 33,000 applications for 3,050 places in the fall freshman class, I’m often asked by parents of students in high school, middle school — and even those in preschool — what their children should study in the K-12 years to increase their chances of admission to college. I dutifully affirm the conventional wisdom: Take the most challenging courses in core academic disciplines like English, languages, history, math, and science for the required number of years, participate in extracurricular activities, volunteer … . Then I put in a plea for taking time to explore the humanities and arts in all their varied dimensions — visual and performing, Western and non-Western, classical and avant-garde. Far from being mere adornments to educational development, easy to dismiss as nonessential in tight economic times, these disciplines nurture our creative instincts.

Although they do not always lend themselves to the kinds of metrics used to demonstrate proficiency in reading and math, the arts and humanities play a vital role in the educational development of students. They keep and convey our cultural heritage while opening us up to other societies and civilizations around the globe. They help us explore what it means to be human, including both the ethical and aesthetic dimensions…. read more 


Arts to Grow line up for this fall!

We kick off with programs at Riverdale Neighborhood House (RNH), Bronx, and Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC) at IS 302 and IS 171 in Brooklyn.

Visit us on social media for announcements of more to

RNH 2010Riverdale Neighborhood House (RNH):Students in the teen program at RNH will engage in a hybrid of dance styles, including urban hip hop, jazz, and Zumba.  Students will learn combinations as well as coming up with their own steps in a fun and upbeat class lead by Teaching Artist, Logan McClain. Logan McClain, holds a BA in Dance and Physical Education  from Queens College and has over ten years experience working with inner-city youth using dance and physical education as a means of energizing students and establishing a creative learning environment.  This is ATG’s sixth year partnering with RNH. 

Cypress Hills Local Development  Corporation (CHLDC) /IS 302Middle school students will engage in a musical exploration that includes drumming, clapping, and rhythmic exercises.  With the show “Grease” as the theme, our teaching artist will bridge the two genres and create an exciting musical experience.  This new class will be lead by teaching artist, David Freeman. David is a percussionist, composer and educator with from BA from Rutgers University, artist-in-residence at Banff Arts Center, Makor, Omi International Arts Center, and co-founded a hand drum and music workshop at a youth services and juvenile detention center in New Jersey, where he continues to teach today.

Cypress Hills Local Development  Corporation (CHLDC) /IS 171:

Teaching Artist Patricia Runcie returns for her 4th year to lead her dedicated theater program through dramatic exercises, preparation for specialized high school auditions, and instilling the love of musical theater.  Middle school students will learn portions of 2-3 different Broadway musicals and then vote as a group to decide which show out of the three they will perform as a full scale production in the spring.

Visit our web site for more information…

Art in Early Childhood: Curriculum Connections

By Jill Englebright Fox, Ph.D., and Stacey Berry, M.Ed.

Art has traditionally been an important part of early childhood programs. Friedrich Froebel, the father of kindergarten, believed that young children should be involved in both making their own art and enjoying the art of others. To Froebel, art activities were important, not because they allowed teachers to recognize children with unusual abilities, but because they encouraged each child’s “full and all-sided development” (Froebel, 1826). 

Key points from the article: 

– Art and Socio-Emotional Development

– Art and Cognitive Development

– Art and Motor Development

– Art Experiences in Classrooms for Young Children

– Museum Field Trips

– Classroom Art Center

– Displaying Children’s Art in a Classroom Gallery

– Involving Families in the Art Program

Read full article…

Keeping Students on Track to Graduation

In Artsblog by Doug Israel, September 15 

Most people these days would not disagree with the notion that the first step to a promising career, in any field, is attaining a high school diploma.


Sure, there are some well-known exceptions (see: Johnny Depp, Chris Rock, Peter Jennings, Britney Spears, and “Wendy’s” Dave Thomas), but good paying jobs are few and far between for those that don’t graduate from high school.

In fact, earning a diploma increases the likelihood of steady employment by 30 percent and cuts the chances of experiencing poverty in half. Despite this, today, in the United States, more than one million students across the United States drop out of high school each year.

The good news is that there is evidence from the field that shows that the arts can play a role in reversing this trend.

In several national studies over the past decade, students at risk of dropping out cite participation in the arts as their reason for staying in school. Research has also shown that arts education has had a measurable impact on at-risk youth in deterring delinquent behavior and truancy problems while also increasing overall academic performance. 

Read more… 

Charities’ Fund Raising Barely Keeping Up With Lost Donations


Read more… 

Arts to Grow is always welcomes investments of all sizes to make it possible to reach more kids in New York City and northern New Jersey

 Arts to Grow’s (ATG) Advisory Board member Philip Berry has been advising ATG since January 2010 and has been especially helpful in guiding our development of an effective Board of Directors.

 Also, Philip Berry is the President of Philip Berry Associates LLC, a global management consulting, executive coaching and training practice. Philip Berry was previously Vice President, Global Workplace Initiatives for Colgate-Palmolive and is the author of Being Better Than You Believe: 8 Steps to Ultimate Success

We are excited to share his latest interview in which he focuses on how to learn from the PlayStation generation and the Information Age, and how to evolve your own practices accordingly.

For More information on Philip:



America’s public colleges and universities have burned through nearly $10 billion in government stimulus money and are still facing more tuition hikes, fewer course offerings and larger class sizes.

Many college students are already bearing the brunt of the cuts in their wallets as they prepare for their future careers.

“This next academic year is going to be the hardest one on record” for cash-strapped colleges, said Dan Hurley, director of state relations for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

» via Yahoo! News

Tuition hikes fail to stop cutbacks in higher ed