Monthly Archives: January 2014

ATG Honored at Youth, I.N.C. Innovators Breakfast

Photo Credit: Mark Austin Spencer

Photo Credit: Mark Austin Spencer

ATG will be honored tomorrow with the Excellence in Fundraising Award at Youth, I.N.C.’s 3rd Annual Innovators Breakfast, hosted by Bloomberg L.P. We are being acknowledged for our outstanding work in improving the lives of NYC-area children, as well as for our success over the past two years in Youth, I.N.C.’s Celebration program. We’re thrilled to be recognized alongside two other excellent youth-serving organizations: Creative Arts Workshops for Kids, which will receive the Excellence in Capacity-Building Award, and GallopNYC, which will receive the Excellence in Board Advancement Award.

Our Board Chair, Allen Pinero, will speak on a panel moderated by Geoff Levin, Partner at Caldwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and Secretary of the Youth, I.N.C. Board of Directors. Allen will discuss how Arts to Grow has leveraged Youth, I.N.C.’s Celebration program to increase our fundraising capacity and serve more children.

This award will be accepted on Arts to Grow’s behalf by Kristina (pictured above), a three-year graduate of ATG’s musical theater program at CHLDC/IS 171 who is now a Junior in the Honors Rep program at Talent Unlimited High School. Kristina will speak about her experiences with ATG and the impact our programs have had on her future; she will also open the ceremony with a monologue adapted from the musical RENT. Kristina has been awarded the $3,000 Van Lier scholarship for professional development as well as a full scholarship to Pace University’s “Summer Scholars” musical theater program. She is currently attending the Stella Adler Studio of Acting’s Teen Weekend Conservatory.

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.

Building Skills through Theater at Elysian Charter School

Photo Credit: Laura Foord

Photo Credit: Laura Foord

This fall, Arts to Grow kicked off our ninth program at Elysian Charter School in Hoboken, NJ with a Theater Arts program.  The class, which has 23 students in grades three through five, focused on theater performance and play development.

Our Teaching Artist Candace Clift lead the 12 week program. To help the students learn to function as an ensemble and build their focus, Candace had the students try an exercise in which they stood in a circle and only one student could sit down at a time until the entire class has been seated.  The students never knew who would sit next, and if two students sat at the same time then the entire group had to get up and start over.  Completing this exercise successfully required each student in the group to pay attention to, anticipate, and respond to each other’s movements.

When they first started, the students had trouble with this exercise.  Instead of giving up, they asked Candace for more time to practice.  Weeks later, they still began each class excitedly wondering how far they would get this time.  One week they had five students sitting down before they had to start over; the next week, they got up to eight!  The students were thrilled with their improvement and excited to keep going, eager to hone their ensemble skills even further.  After a few weeks of practice, they were finally able to complete the exercise and end with all of the students sitting down.

Over the course of the semester, the children wrote four short plays.  In the process they learned about concepts such as storytelling, character development, and setting.  One of these stories, “Cha-Ching!” tells the story of a female boxer, Rowina, who wins a match against the male Heavyweight Champion, only to see the prize awarded to her opponent instead.  When Rowina realizes the match was rigged, she and her coach convince the corrupt boxing promoter to set things right and give Rowina her well-deserved prize.  This and three other student-written plays were performed for the students’ peers, families, and community at the end of the program.

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.


ATG Student Film Screening to be Held This Thursday

Photo Credit: Regina Lawrence

Photo Credit: Regina Lawrence

The film screening for our newest program, “Seeing The World Through Digital Media” at Lincoln Park Apartments in Newark, NJ has been rescheduled for this Thursday, January 9th.  Students will screen two short films they’ve created over the course of the semester while studying 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.

Please join us Thursday, January 9th for a free screening of the students’ work.  See flyer for details.  This program was made possible by the ArtStart Grant from the Newark Arts Council.

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.