Monthly Archives: November 2013

Access to the Arts Linked To Stronger Critical Thinking Skills, Other Benefits

Does art really make you smarter?  Yes, according to a recent opinion piece from the New York Times.  In 2011, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened in Bentonville, AK, an area where many children had little or no exposure to the arts.  Local schools immediately signed up to take advantage of the museum’s free field trip program; the demand for these trips soon outweighed what the museum could reasonably provide.  J.P. Greene, Brian Kisida, and Daniel H. Bowen of the University of Arkansas wanted to know whether these field trips were really of any benefit to the students, so they worked with the museum to arrange tours by random lottery in order to study the difference between students who did visit the museum (the “treatment” group) and students who did not (the “control” group).  The results were a strong endorsement of arts education.

After just one trip to the museum, students in the treatment group scored higher in critical thinking, historical empathy, tolerance, and interest in art museums compared to their peers in the control group.  These differences were especially pronounced in students from rural or high-poverty schools; these students showed “gains that are two to three times larger than those of the total sample” according to the Education Next article.  At a time when arts programs and field trips are being cut from school district budgets, this research demonstrates the vital impact that the arts can have on developing young minds.

At Arts to Grow, we believe firmly in providing deep, meaningful engagement with the arts to less-advantaged children so that they may develop an enduring love of learning and become future leaders in their communities.  Please join us in bringing arts programs to more children in 2014.

Arts to Grow is participating in #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving on Tuesday, December 3rd—one week from today.  To learn more please visit our website or click here to donate.


Throwback Thursday: Riverdale Neighborhood House Visual Arts Program, Fall 2008

Photo Credit: Katherine Gressel

Photo Credit: Katherine Gressel

This young artist is posing with her drawing at the final exhibition for the Fall ’08 visual arts class at Riverdale Neighborhood House in the Bronx.

Arts to Grow Honored Tonight at Celebration

Photo Credit: Ulrich Pedersen

Photo Credit: Ulrich Pedersen

Supporters of youth-serving nonprofits will pack the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria tonight for A Celebration to Benefit New York Kids.  Arts to Grow is among 15 organizations being honored at this event for the work we do in improving the lives of children in the New York metro area.  Now in the second year of our partnership with Youth, I. N.C., we are thrilled to report that we’ve exceeded this year’s fundraising goal by over 58% and counting—this money will go directly toward bringing arts programs to more children in the 50+ schools and organizations on our waitlist.

We thank our Co-Chairs for making this event such a success, and all of our donors for supporting us over the past year and for joining us at Celebration.  We look forward to seeing you tonight!

All Arts to Grow programs are made possible through the generosity of our donors.  To find out how you can help bring arts education to more children in need, please visit our website.

Frame the Future Auction Funds Another ATG Visual Arts Program

Photo Credit: Mike Tramis

Photo Credit: Mike Tramis

For the past two semesters our cause-marketing partnership with Lowy Frame the Future has brought visual arts programs to children in Manhattan’s Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center.  We are happy to announce that proceeds from the recent Frame the Future gala and silent auction will fund a third visual arts class at Lincoln Square, giving another group of children the chance to experience in-depth arts learning.

Over 70 people attended the gala, held October 30th at the Lowy Frame & Restoring Co. showroom.  35 watercolor still lifes and landscapes created by students in the first visual arts program were auctioned off, and we are delighted to say that each of those paintings was sold.

Thank you to everyone who came out that night to support Arts to Grow and help more children become engaged learners and lovers of the arts.

All Arts to Grow programs are made possible by the generosity of our donors.  To help us bring the visual arts to more under-served children, please donate to the ATG/Frame the Future partnership today.

Photographers/Videographers: Volunteer Your Time to Capture a Child’s Joy in Arts Learning

Photo Credit: Sharon Wildey

Photo Credit: Sharon Wildey

Arts to Grow is looking for skilled photographers to document our programs with kids. The time commitment is only 1-4 site visits over a period of 3 months; scheduling is flexible and dependent on the dates and times of a particular session’s classes. This volunteer opportunity is focused on capturing ATG’s arts classes in action, and is also a chance for photographers and videographers to enhance their portfolios. We seek your involvement so that we may make it possible to offer more inner-city kids opportunities to learn and grow through the arts.


Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, NY; Upper West Side, Manhattan, NY; Hoboken, NJ; & Newark, NJ



* All sites are accessible by public transportation

See our current photos on Flickr and videos on YouTube.

TO APPLY: Please contact Arts to Grow director Mallory King at or by phone at 201-209-9886. Please include your contact info, home location, and a few samples of your work when applying.

Arts to Grow’s programs are made possible through the work of skilled volunteers.  To learn more about how you can get involved, please visit our website.