Monthly Archives: December 2013

Arts to Grow Grew in 2013

Thanks to the generosity of all our supporters, 2013 was Arts to Grow’s best year yet.  Here are just some of the highlights from the past year:

We’re excited to make 2014 even better!  As we look forward to the new year, please join us in bringing our proven arts programs to more less-advantaged children.

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 or click here to donate.


Give the Gift of Learning in 2014


Now more than ever, we’re experiencing an educational crisis in our urban schools as exposure to quality arts education drops to an all-time low. Arts to Grow can combat this predicament with our professionally-taught fine arts, theater, dance and music programs for less advantaged kids in overcrowded urban schools. Take it from the pros:

“Our association with Arts to Grow is helping us address an ongoing resource shortage for our low-income families.”    – Program Director Marge Hudson, PS 75, PTA After School Program

Since 2005, Arts to Grow has served over 2,500 children and nurtured 17 partnerships with schools and community organizations, who all tell us the same thing: your programming works and we need more of it!

Please help us today by clicking here to make a tax-deductible donation to Arts to Grow.

Your donation makes possible Arts to Grow’s mission to help children achieve their full potential. Esteemed group contributors – like The Leonard Bernstein Family Foundation, Youth I.N.C., and Lowy Frame and Restoring Company – along with individual donors, enable us to reach new disadvantaged communities and help more at-risk children and young adults learn to love learning.

While our work is very successful, there are many more children in need. In 2014, your investment will provide research-based education and high-quality teaching to 500+ new and continuing students. With over 50 schools and organizations on our waiting list, we know that there is a pervasive need for essential arts education in the greater New York City metro area, and we hope to fulfill this need to our best ability.

Your donation now is vital to providing our children with an arts education that will help them learn to love learning in 2014. Here are just a few reasons to join us today:

Highlights From 2013

  • 493 students served in just 2012-13 alone
  • Three new partnerships at Spring Creek Community Development Corp. in Brooklyn, Lincoln Square in Manhattan and Lincoln Park Apartments in Newark
  • New theater and literacy summer program through Cypress Hills LDC at PS 65 served 200 kids in grades K to 5
  • Kristina, a four-year graduate of ATG programs, earned a full-tuition scholarship to Pace University’s summer intensive musical theater program.


Arts to Grow operates with funding from private donors, foundations, small businesses and large corporations. We work with donors to establish and customize cause marketing campaigns that benefit the Arts to Grow children as well as the donors themselves.  Please contact us at 201-209-9886 for a consultation on how you or your business can achieve maximum cause marketing benefit today, or click here to make a donation.

Join Us Thursday For a Screening of ATG Student Films

UPDATE: The student film screening has been POSTPONED until Thursday, January 9th.  We hope to see you then!

Video Credit: JC Cotti

This week students in our newest program, “Seeing The World Through Digital Media” at Lincoln Park Apartments in Newark, NJ will screen two short films they’ve created over the course of the semester.  Nine children ages 7-13 have studied the art of filmmaking with our Teaching Artist, JC Cotti. The children wrote, acted in, filmed, and edited “Zombie Apocalypse” and “Undercover High School” using JVC HD flip cameras and Final Cut Pro editing software.

JC is working with the students to hone skills such as acting for the camera, improvisation, mime, storytelling, and camerawork.  Each class begins with fun exercises such as improvement games where we see even the shyest children participating; then they shoot scenes for their film. The students rotate roles every few minutes so that everyone has a chance to work both in front of and behind the camera.

JC says that children are “born with creativity and a desire to tell stories,” and teaching them helps him remember what it’s like to “dive in and have fun with the camera”. His favorite moment so far as an ATG Teaching Artist occurred one class just after warm-ups, when a few new children walked in late.  Instead of getting right into shooting scenes, the other students played a quick name game in order to “incorporate everybody and help each other out,” he says.  The class gave the new students parts as zombies and made sure they felt welcomed and included.  That, JC says, is what he feels Arts to Grow is really about—helping children make connections to each other and their community through the arts.

Please join us Thursday, December 12th for a free screening of the students’ work.  See flyer for details:

Arts to Grow programs are taught by professional Teaching Artists, trained working artists with hands-on experience teaching students their art form.  If you’re interested in teaching for Arts to Grow, please visit us at for more information.

“Get Out the Give” TODAY With Arts to Grow and #GivingTuesday

Photo Credit: Bill Stanton

Photo Credit: Bill Stanton

The giving season is officially upon us!  Arts to Grow is proud to announce our partnership with #GivingTuesday, a movement to create an annual day of giving on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.  The goal is to kick off the holiday season by celebrating charitable donations and activities that benefit the local community—and that’s where you come in.

Join us TODAY as we aim to kick-start our annual appeal by raising $1,000—enough to provide two students with a full year of in-depth arts education.  Your contribution is vital to ensuring that we can bring our proven arts programs to the 50+ schools and community organizations on our waitlist.

Last week, we wrote about the many benefits that arts learning has on developing young minds.  Children who are exposed to the arts have stronger critical thinking skills, greater historical empathy, higher tolerance, and more interest in art museums than their peers who lack access to the arts.  Additionally, a recent CollegeBoard report found that high school seniors who had taken four years of arts classes scored an average of 156 points higher on their SATs than seniors who had taken half a year or less of arts classes.  It’s clear that meaningful engagement with the arts is essential to helping children reach their full potential, gain 21st century skills, and become future leaders in their communities, but dwindling school budgets often mean that the most vulnerable students are left without this important resource.    We need your help to provide more students with access to learning through the arts.

Our students have learned to love learning as a result of their time in Arts to Grow programs.  Consider Ismeyda, who had trouble with reading until three years of participating in our Musical Theater program at CHLDC/IS 171 had her mastering theatre vocabulary and improving her literacy skills; she is now attending Brooklyn High School of the Arts, an audition-based school outside of her neighborhood.  Kristina, who also spent three years in our CHLDC/IS 171 program, is now earning straight A’s in Chemistry at Talent Unlimited High School after having previously been challenged by science classes; she has also earned the Van Lier scholarship for professional development as well as a scholarship to Pace University’s Summer Scholars theater program.  Read about three more students who’ve gained the confidence to succeed through Arts to Grow programs here.

Help us give the gift of arts education to more children this holiday season.  Click here to donate now to Arts to Grow’s #GivingTuesday campaign and spread the joy of learning in 2014.

To learn more about Arts to Grow and #GivingTuesday, please visit our website.