Tag Archives: education

Arts to Grow Serves More Kids This Winter/Spring


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.

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.

ATG Theater Arts Program Comes Full Circle at Elysian Charter School

Photo Credit: Charles Steinberg

Photo Credit: Charles Steinberg

Earlier this month, Arts to Grow kicked off our ninth program at Elysian Charter School in Hoboken, NJ with a Theater Arts program that will run through December.  The class, which is open to students in grades three through five with peer assistants in grades six and seven, focuses on theater performance and play development.  We have 23 students this semester!

We are happy to welcome teaching artist Candace Clift, who has gotten off to a wonderful start with our Elysian students.  Candace is a seasoned actor, director, and stage manager who has taught theater arts to students from third grade all the way through college.  As an educator, she strives to create a safe space for students to create and explore the art of acting with support and ample encouragement.

This year also marks the return of a familiar face to the long-running ATG-Elysian partnership, which started with our pilot program in visual arts in the fall of 2005.  Patricia Runcie began her ATG career as a teaching artist at Elysian back in 2006, where she taught Theater Arts until 2011; since then she has gone on to successfully run our Musical Theater program at IS 171/Cypress Hills LDC.  Now she returns to her roots at Elysian, this time as our program manager.  We’re thrilled to have her in this exciting new role.

With this delightful mix of new talent and seasoned expertise, this is sure to be the best year yet for our program at Elysian.  Many thanks to Candace and Patricia for all of their continued hard work in bringing arts education to more children!

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.


Arts to Grow is Back to School—and Serving More Kids Than Ever

ATG is happy to announce the launch of a record six programs this month, making this fall our biggest semester to date.  This includes the return of several previously-successful programs as well as the addition of a brand-new partnership in Newark, NJ.

Photo credit: Marlo Williamson

  • Elysian Charter School in Hoboken, NJ is once again partnering with ATG for a Theater Arts program taught by Candace Clift.  Elysian was the site of one of the first Arts to Grow programs in 2005; we are pleased to continue this long-running relationship.
  • Cypress Hills LDC in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn is hosting three ATG programs: Musical Theater and Audition Prep programs at IS 171 taught by Taylor Valentino, and an Ethnic Drumming course at The Beacon taught by David Freeman.
  • The Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center in Manhattan is holding its second Visual Arts program, taught by Michelle Hill, as part of our ongoing cause-marketing partnership with Frame the Future.
  • Lincoln Park Apartments in Newark, NJ is joining Arts to Grow for the first time to hold a Digital Media class taught by JC Cotti.  We hope that this will be the first of many exciting ATG programs held at this new location!

Best of luck to all of our students as they begin another new semester!

All of these Arts to Grow programs were 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.