Ms. Cheryl Warfield and Students of PS 226 in the Bronx sing “Tosca”

Arts Horizons congratulates Ms. Cheryl Warfield, director of the MORE Opera (Manhattan Opera Repertory Ensemble) and the student performers from PS 226 in the Bronx for their performance of Puccini’s “Tosca” sung in Italian.  The Manhattan Opera Repertory Ensemble (MORE Opera) transforms lives and inspires excellence by presenting concerts and educational programs of the highest quality to the general public and under-served audiences including disadvantaged youths and elderly persons throughout Manhattan.

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We also thank Principal Gloria Darden for welcoming and coordinating the opportunity for the her students at PS 226 in the Bronx.  Ms. Cheryl worked with fourth graders during the month of October to participate in an opera program.  Ten students were selected and participated in additional rehearsals in preparation for the performance of Puccini’s “Tosca” sung in Italian.  The students were pleased to share their talent on stage with soloists and full orchestra under the baton of legendary Conductor Anton Coppola at Dicapo Opera Theater, 184 East 76th Street.

“They just grasped the music very quickly,” says Warfield. They’ve learned some new skills and how to apply them rapidly.”

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See a full feature video here on Bronx News 12 with student performance, artist interviews and more!  http://bronx.news12.com/multimedia/video-p-s-226-chorus-performs-in-tosca-opera-1.9502154

For more information contact Dena Malarek, Director of NYC Residencies and Special Populations, dena@artshorizons.org

SESCIL Art Show Featuring Work from Arts Horizons Creative Spirits Program

SESCIL Art Show Flier 2

Register for the Annual Teaching Artist Conference!

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2014 VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference

Dena Malarek, Arts Horizons Director of NYC Residencies and Special Populations had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference, A Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  The conference brings together a national and international community of educators, administrators, researchers, teaching artists and more interested in improving the arts learning experience for students with disabilities.  936047_10152646670999529_90178300510660177_n

               Attendees utilized the Guidebook app to stay connected to the most current conference materials, personalize your own schedule, obtain contact cards with other attendees and participate in social media (#vsaintersections ) directly in the guidebook app.      The pre-conference workshops and conference workshops were offered along various tracks including: Drama/Theater, Dance, Visual Arts, Music, Research, and Across Art Disciplines.   A rich wealth of information was captured in the conference – below are two notable workshops on arts and special education.

Digital Art At the Intersection of Arts and Special Ed

An exciting presentation, by the Barber National Institute explored the use of iBooks and other digital art technology to create social stories for students with Autism and intellectual disabilities.  This project was a natural integration of digital arts educators, school psychologists, and special educators to develop indivualized social stories for their students.    Social stories help a child with autism navigate a situation, where to direct attention and what to expect.  The use of integrating digital arts for social stories is a high priority need for students with disabilities, utilizes evidence based practice (social stories and video self-modeling based on Bandura’s theory on Observational Learning,  is a direct translation into digial media. 

Students with Disabilities and the Core Arts Standards: Guiding Principles for Teachers, Sharon M. Malley, Ed. D.

“The Core Arts Standards are designed to guide US schools’ arts curriculum, instruction, and assessment (NCCAS, n. d.). Standards writers included a review team of arts and special education professionals, led by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, ensuring that each standard encompasses a broad range of communication and learning styles.” The guiding inclusion standards for students with disabilities are included as an addendum, or separate guidebook  directly on the national core arts standards information page.  It’s function mainly is to use inclusive language and make general overarching guidelines for arts instruction for students with disabilities. 

  1. Maintain high expectations
  2. Promote communicative competence
  3. Use the principles of Universal Design for Learning
  4. Know how to select and use appropriate accommodations for individual students
  5. Make use of evidence-based practices
  6. Target instruction and use formative indicators of student performance

http://nationalartsstandards.org/

http://www.kennedy-center.org/education/vsa/resources/GuidingPrinciples2014.pdf

For More Information, please contact Dena Malarek, Director of NYC Programs and Special Populations dena@artshorizons.org

Allison J. Davis Named Acting Executive Director of Arts Horizons

Non-Profit Executive to Lead Premier Arts Education Organization
Through its Reorganization

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The Board of Directors of Arts Horizons (AH) has named Allison J. Davis acting executive director   of the iconic arts education organization. She takes over the position held by retiring Executive Director Elizabeth Halverstam.

 “Allison comes to Arts Horizons with many years in television news as well as in the non-profit world,” said AH Board Chair Barbara Sellinger. “She has served Arts Horizons both as an advisor and consultant and she knows us well.  We believe she is well suited to help us through this next phase of our extraordinary organization,” Sellinger concluded.

 Davis has an extensive background in broadcast and digital media as well as communications’ strategy. She began her career as a producer in television news at WBZ-TV in Boston. She moved on to become an investigative reporter in Pittsburgh, Pa (KDKA-TV) and came back to the producing ranks at NBC News serving in various capacities at Nightly News and Today. Davis headed up the team that developed the first original journalism on the internet. She later helped build NBC’s cable and internet business MSNBC and msnbc.com. She then moved to CBS, where she served as Senior Vice President of its syndication unit. In 2004, Davis left television and began her career in the non-profit world. She served on the senior staffs of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the historic Riverside Church in the City of New York. Davis has also been an adjunct professor at Howard University and the Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. A founder of the National Association of Black Journalism, Davis serves on the Board of Poets and Writers. A mother of two boys, she resides in Teaneck, New Jersey with her husband Robert Wright.

About Arts Horizons

Arts Horizons, located in Englewood, NJ, is a premier arts-in-education, non-profit organization that provides live professional performances and artist-in-residence programs to students in grades PreK-12 throughout the New York, tri-state region. Founded in 1978, the organization’s mission is to foster development of the whole person, and to improve education by utilizing its programming to transform schools into vibrant, exciting places where children gain appreciation for the arts, discover and fulfill their own creative talents and use the arts to improve their proficiency in academic subjects including reading, writing and math. In 2008, Arts Horizons opened the Arts Horizons Leroy Neiman Art Center in Harlem, NY, to celebrate and strengthen the community through the arts, and provide programs, exhibitions, screenings, performances and public talks for Harlem residents of all ages.

Arts Horizons is funded in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, with whom they co-sponsor the Artist/Teacher Institute (aTi).  Other funders include LeRoy Neiman Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Horizon Foundation for NJ, PNC Bank as well as several foundations, corporations and generous individuals who believe in the important mission of Arts Horizons.

Hip Hop History: Songwriting, Beatboxing and Graffiti Art with Mr. D. Cross

CD and hospital braceletThis marks the 4th year of Arts Horizons programs at Mt. Sinai Hospital (Manhattan)  in collaboration with NYC DOE Hospital Schools.  Music and Dance teaching artists visit the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Services to deliver programs for each designated unit to provide educational, artistic and healing outlets for students in crisis with extended hospital stays.  This program is provided u
nder contract with VSA and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 

 

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 Teaching Artist Mr. Derick Cross returns to provide a Hip Hop History program over 10 weeks where students had the opportunity to create music with their mouths (beatboxing), write various forms of poetry, and create Graffiti influenced art, and learn how to make improvised songs versus structured songs.

 

 Mr. Cross describes one of his student’s experiences:  “There was a young lady named Isabella.  I was told not to expect much participation from her. After conducting class vocal warm ups, I had asked the class if any of the participants would like volunteer to take lead in  leading the workshop exercises ,no one wanted to do it. Isabella said that she would do it. She was very successful in leading the warm up exercises. She was very active in the 2 sessions she participaHospitalSchools2ted in. She was also a big source of inspiration to other students.  Seeing Isabella open up triggered other students who were reluctant to share to be more open and “brave” (as one student had stated).”  Mr. Cross continues, “It was great to see the participants use of similes and metaphors in their poetry. I was surprised that sharing the humble New York origins of Hip Hop Culture would inspire the students to share their own personal stories through poetry.”

 

D.Cross Bio

Derick Cross aka D. Cross is a multi-dimensional artist and educator.  Cross is a Queens New York who has called Brooklyn home for over 15 years.  His visual artistry is created in a variety of media including acrylics, oils, & polymer clay. D.Cross’ work has been shown throughout the New York metropolitan area as well locations nationally (Atlanta)& internationally (Sweden& Brazil ) His work is part of the collections of Erykah Badu(Singer), Ed Lewis (Founder of Essence Communications), Ruby Dee (legendary actress) Judith Jamison (Alvin Ailey Director & Legendary Dancer &choreographer) and Bashiri Johnson (Michael Jackson Percussionist & music producer) among others.  As an Arts Educator Mr. Cross has worked with young people from ages 4-21 for the past 20 years .Organizations he has worked with include the NYC Department of Education, Community Works & Arts Horizons.  In 2007 DCross was presented with a proclamation from State Senator Velmanette Montgomery and honored as a notable artist of the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene area.  Derick Cross is currently a board member of The National conference of Artists ‘New York chapter. He is also art director of African Voices Magazine.

D.Cross the Artist on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DCrossTheArtist

 

For more information, contact Dena Malarek, Director of NYC Residencies and Special Populations at dena@artshorizons.org

 

NYU Educational Theatre Forum 2014

NYU Educational Theatre Forum 2014: Forum on The Teaching Artist  April 25-27, 2014

Arts Horizons is committed to the professional development and training of our roster of teaching artists. To that end, we recently sponsored the attendance of solo performer, writer, and teaching artist Angela Kariotis to NYU’s professional development conference, “Forum on the Teaching Artist.” Angela is currently the artist-in-residence for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ Artists-in-Education Residency Grant Program. She is working with high school students at Rosa Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts in Paterson, NJ and at St.Anthony’s in Jersey City, NJ to develop original creative writing. For each residency, Angela keeps a detailed blog that documents her creative process, student work, and teacher resources.

Angela shares her insights from her vibrant learning experience at The Forum on the Teaching Artist: 

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Angela at NYU’s Teaching Artist Conference.

Many arts education conferences can be summed up with ‘We need more arts education.’ There won’t be anyone in the audience who would contend against that declarative. This particular conference was different. The focus was on the teaching artist and best practices in the classroom/workspace. This was a practical conference and the two workshops that I took really stood out. The first helped me learn about what diversity in the class can mean and the second helped me learn about the need for training for all artists in creating a safe space.

There are specific exercises and lesson plans that we participated in that we could tailor to our own tool box. These were generative art exercises. This was refreshing. Also though I learned to frame a conversation I’ve been having with myself in articulate ways.       For example, In the Everyone has a Voice Workshop we identified what Diversity in the Classroom could mean:

  • Family structure
  • Learning styles (visual, kinetic, audio)
  • Sensory needs
  • English language Learners
  • Economic
  • Ethnic
  • Behavioral mixes
  • Experience
  • Age

We asked ourselves, ‘How can we modify a lesson to fit different diverse populations?‘ I think the most important point is acknowledging and identifying the diversity in the classroom. The idea also breaks open the meaning of diversity and the implication of our work. The next phase of the workshop delivered clear strategies for addressing diversity and a take-away lesson plan.

The next stand-out workshop was presented by practitioners from The Moth. The Moth is a performance troupe with a season schedule and a Story Slam. The point is to tell YOUR own TRUE story. And that’s what this workshop was about: using storytelling as a teaching tool. Bringing storytelling into the classroom is also a means of generating material and devising content for the theater. This is what I do anyway. As a performance artist all my stories are true. I bring that ethos into the classroom. Here are some goals from this workshop–

  • How can you use your own stories as a teaching tool?
  • How can the elements/arc of a story inform the lesson plan?
  • How can generative art apply to my discipline?

What struck me is how different this might seem to folks; how out of the ordinary. It made me pause and reflect on the need to create context and space for this practice. Also, the workshop helped identify a necessary step–for the facilitator and teacher to share their very true stories too. I don’t ask students to do anything I haven’t done myself. For a teaching artist, that seems easy. But in this workshop we see why it’s powerful for teachers to share their own stories, practice storytelling.  Another important point in any workshop about true stories is creating a safe space. The difficulty in grappling with the nuance on HOW to create a safe space was clear when the Moth facilitator acknowledged, “There should be a safe space in the room when it comes to this kind of storytelling but I don’t pretend to know how to do that. I don’t know exactly how to create that safe space.” This conversation reminds me of working with artist/facilitator Sharon Bridgforth and her methodology of creating safe space for work. I now believe all teaching artists should be trained in knowing how to create a safe space in their classroom. I wouldn’t have been able to articulate that very important point before this conference experience.

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