Tag Archives: arts education

Join Us Tomorrow as We Unveil Our New Website at Inc Lounge

Our last event at Moustache Pitza Photo Credit: Blowfish Brands, Inc.

Our last event at Moustache Pitza
Photo Credit: Blowfish Brands, Inc.

Learn how Arts to Grow is helping children love learning by joining us tomorrow, 3.26, at Inc Lounge. You’ll meet our leaders and teaching artists, hear more about how our programs make an impact in the lives of kids, and get a first look at our new website!

Learn How Arts to Grow is Helping Children Love Learning
Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
6:30-9:00PM
Inc Lounge
224 West 49th Street, NYC 10019
(Between 8th and Broadway)

Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite for $20 and include a one-hour open bar from 7-8. We look forward to seeing you there!

Board Member Spotlight: Ken Jackson

KenJackson

Photo Credit: Ken Jackson

Arts to Grow is delighted to introduce our newest board member, Kenneth Jackson. Ken is a senior technology professional in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and divestitures for Deloitte Consulting, LLP. Ken joins ATG with a deep commitment to serving the interests of urban and less-advantaged children through the arts. He points to his own childhood involvement in arts programs as inspiration, which he says have “informed [his] current views on the importance and possibilities of art to enrich the learning and educational experience of at-risk youth.”

Ken has previously served on the boards of several corporations and nonprofit organizations, including the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) organization of New Jersey, where he served as Treasurer of a local program that advocates for children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned.  Ken holds an MBA in Finance and International Business from Columbia University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.

As a member of the board, Ken intends to ensure that Arts to Grow reaches our goal of serving 5,000 kids annually by leveraging his expertise, skills, and professional contacts to support development and fundraising. We welcome Ken to our board of directors and thank him for his commitment to helping more children learn to love learning.

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.

Students in CHLDC/Beacon’s Percussion Ensemble Make Beautiful Music Together

Photo Credit: Sang You

Photo Credit: Sang You

Now in its third year, the Percussion Ensemble is music to the ears of students at IS 302, the site of CHLDC’s Beacon community center.  Since fall 2011, Teaching Artist David Freeman has worked with an average of 12 students in grades 5-8 on basic rhythmic hand drum techniques.  The children master basic rhythm patterns and then use what they’ve learned to develop their own compositions.  Through experiencing this music, the students also gain a deeper understanding of the language and history of West African and Caribbean drumming.

David says that working with kids and adults alike “requires a presence of mind, patience, openness, and a willingness to learn.”  He sees drumming as a tool to help his students “build self-esteem, accomplishment, and cooperation in a group setting” and to “develop inner strength that they can access at any time in any situation as they move along in life.” He enjoys being in the moment with his students, calling the classroom “a fascinating place where anything can happen.”  He adds, “And each session is a collection of many, many moments.”

David Freeman is a percussionist, composer, and educator based in Brooklyn. Prior to joining ATG, he had co-founded a drumming workshop in 2001 with the Middlesex County Division of Youth Services Juvenile Detention Center, where he taught up until funding was discontinued in 2011.  He currently performs with Merkava, the Outer Bridge Ensemble, and has collaborated on projects in the visual arts, dance, and film.  David has a passion for working with “at risk” youth and inner-city schools, and sees his work with ATG as an ideal opportunity to continue the mission of bringing music to kids and young adults.

Next Monday, March 17th, David will be performing with his band the Outer Bridge Ensemble for students in the CHLDC/Beacon program. Please join us at 4:30 PM at Cypress Hills LDC/Beacon, 350 Linwood St., Brooklyn, NY.

Arts to Grow Serves More Kids This Winter/Spring

SpringCreekCircus

Photo Credit: Ulrik Pedersen

This semester we are excited to continue adding new programs allowing us to provide opportunities for more kids:

  • Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation /IS 171, Cypress Hills Brooklyn will host two continuing programs this semester: Musical Theater at IS 171, where students in grades 5-8 will culminate a year long program with performances of an adaptation of In The Heights under the direction of Teaching Artists Taylor Valentine (Theater) and Kevin Alan Daniels (Choreography);
  • and Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation/Beacon, Cypress Hills Brooklyn where our Percussion Ensemble with our Teaching Artist David Freeman will continue from the fall. David will lead students from grades 5-8 in learning technique and exploring sounds of Afro-Caribbean ethnic drumming.
  • Spring Creek Community Corporation, located in the neighborhood formerly called Starrett City, Brooklyn, will partner with us again, this time on a Theater Arts program for students in grades 2-4 taught by Heleya de Barros.
  • Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center will hold two programs: a continuation of our Visual Arts program sponsored by Lowy Frame the Future, taught by Teaching Artist Michelle Hill;
  • Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center is also adding a new Percussion Ensemble taught by our veteran Teaching Artist, David Freeman.
  • Lincoln Park Apartments in Newark, NJ will continue the year-long program, “Seeing The World Through Digital Media.”  Children ages 7-12 will continue to expand upon their work from this fall, learning the art of filmmaking with our Teaching Artist JC Cotti.

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.

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.