Monthly Archives: February 2014

Photo Credit: Laura Merli

Photo Credit: Laura Merli

These young actors are rehearsing a scene for the spring 2011 Theater Arts program at IS 302 in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn.

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New Study Examines What Kids Want, Need in Arts Programs

Photo Credit: Laura Foord

Photo Credit: Laura Foord

A recent study commissioned by the Wallace Foundation offers ten key strategies for after-school arts programs to attract and retain less-advantaged youth. “Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs From Urban Youth and Other Experts” draws on interviews with experts from leaders of outstanding arts programs nationwide to kids themselves and their families in order to answer three pressing questions:

  • How can urban, low-income tweens and teens gain equal access to high-quality arts experiences?
  • Is there a model of practices that could provide a blueprint for community-based organizations to emulate, so that proven approaches could be deployed in more places, more often?
  • Is there a way to approach the analysis of these problems that respects and honors the young people as consumers who make informed choices? And how do the insights of what tweens and teens want align with what other experts say they need?

By examining not only children’s access to these programs but also their desire to participate in them, this study provides an important look at what motivates youth to spend their time in after-school arts programs, and how we can enhance new and existing programs to make them more engaging.

Arts to Grow programs put into practice many of the principles cited in this study. Our classes are taught by professional Teaching Artists who are active in their field; our programs are customized to meet the needs of each group of students; our students actively engage in making art, which they then share with their community during our culminating events; and our Teaching Artists foster a safe community where students can feel accepted and free to express themselves. As we implement our ambitious plan to serve 5,000 kids annually within the next five years, we are working diligently to ensure that each new program is held to these same high standards.

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 artstogrow.org for more information.

Join Us Wednesday for “Sharing Our Stories: Arts to Grow in 2014”

Photo Credit: Laura Foord

Photo Credit: Laura Foord

This Wednesday, February 12, from 6:30-8:30 please join us at Moustache Pitza in the East Village for our first event of the new year. “Sharing Our Stories: Arts to Grow in 2014” will be an evening out to meet our leaders and teachers and learn about the impact that Arts to Grow programs have on less-advantaged children in the New York metro area.

To date we have served over 2,500 students with our proven theater, music, dance, visual arts, and digital media programs. Come out on Wednesday to learn how we plan to serve thousands more! Tickets are $20 and include one drink and hors d’oeurves. Click here to purchase tickets. See invitation below for further details.

We hope to see you there!

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

ATG Welcomes New Board Member Nick Boaro

Photo Credit: Nick Boaro

Photo Credit: Nick Boaro

Arts to Grow is delighted to welcome Nick Boaro to our Board of Directors. Nick joined ATG last summer as a Co-Chair for Youth, I.N.C.’s Celebration program. Despite his late start he quickly took on a leadership role, successfully leveraging connections at his firm EY as well as Morgan Stanley to forge two new corporate engagements in support of ATG’s work with children.

Nick was drawn to ATG because, having moved around a lot, he’s seen firsthand the difference that the arts can make in the life of a community. “Those communities that were involved in the arts and outdoor activities stood out as genuinely happier people,” he explains. “For a community to be involved in the arts, it has to start with the kids. This is what drew me to ATG: seeing what the organization does firsthand and the joy it brings to the children is exciting.”

To those interested in getting involved with Arts to Grow, Nick would recommend taking the time to see the programs in action. “You can see the children enjoy the programs and you can’t help but notice the sense of self-accomplishment and pride they have,” he says, adding that there are a wide range of events to choose from. “For me, it was a short play, but ATG programs cover all aspects of the arts.”

He also credits his time as a Celebration Co-Chair with helping him learn about Arts to Grow. His involvement allowed him to “have focused time with Mallory, the board, and established programs to learn a lot about the organization very quickly.”

Nick officially joined the board in December. We are thrilled to have him join us in helping more children love learning through the arts.

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.