Arts Horizons at Face To Face 2014

Arts Horizons was excited to attend the 2014 NYC Arts In Education Roundtables’ Face to Face Conference 2014.   Set in the beautiful backdrop of The City College of New York’s, Shepard hall, the program presented a robust array of quality sessions for all stakeholders in the arts-in-education community.   The day and the issues of arts education were broadcasted in live time through a constant social media connection on twitter, facebook and more further spreading the voice in the power of the arts.

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The engaged presence of key NYC educational and political figures fueled a very hopeful climate for the NYC arts community.  Just a month after Schools’ Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s breakfast with the Arts community, she delivered the keynote address to the 500 persons registered at Face to Face.  Farina energetically makes the case for theater programs in all middle schools for students to have the opportunity to envision and create what they can become.  She advocates for the arts to have a key role in the new social studies curriculum; the role of the arts and illustrations in book publishing in schools; the roll of the arts in our Community and Technical schools.  Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President followed Chancellor Farina with live energy for support of the arts and a plea to involve our communities school leadership teams and community boards.

 

With the recent release from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, he pledged to establish a 4 year goal to make sure every child receives arts education required by state law.  (http://blog.artsusa.org/2014/02/26/a-new-era-for-arts-in-new-york-city-schools/#sthash.tLqBMH64.dpuf) (http://www.billdeblasio.com/issues/education) Doug Israel, Director of Research and Policy with the Center for Arts Education discussed the recent release of the report released April 7th by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer. This report provides a first-ever school-by-school breakdown of the state of arts education in the public schools, and overlays that information against the data on the city’s economic landscape. – See more at: http://comptroller.nyc.gov/reports/state-of-the-arts/#sthash.3DN0w6ps.dpuf

 

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Arts Horizons is energized to be part of this vibrant community to share, learn and advance the community of arts-in-education in NYC.  For more information contact Dena Malarek, dena@artshorizons.org

Arts Breakfast with School Chancellor Carmen Fariña

Elizabeth Halverstam, Arts Horizons Executive Director, and Dena Malarek, Director of NYC Residencies and Special Populations, were pleased to attend an open breakfast with NYC DOE Schools’ Chancellor Carmen Fariña. The event was held on the morning of March 4th in the Peter Jay Sharp Room of the New York Historical Society for a conversation about the importance our City’s cultural institutions and arts organizations to public education. As a member of the NYC arts-in-education community, Arts Horizons is excited to see the personal commitment of the new chancellor to provide arts experiences rich with culture, opportunity and learning for the youth, educators and families of NYC.

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Public Advocate Letitia James and Dr. Sharon Dunn, Vice President for Education at the New-York Historical Society introduced the newly appointed chancellor to a room of Museum Educators, Public Educators, and Arts Organizations. In Dr. Dunn’s years of service with the DOE, Ms. Farina is the first to request and meet with the faces of cultural arts in the city on the agenda of the arts. Ms. Farina spoke heartedly of her commitment to the arts while professing an embarrassment that we are the only county to know so little about our own art history. Meanwhile, NYC institutions hold the ability for students to travel and gain experiential background.

 

Chancellor Fariña announced Middle School students as a targeted priority, stating research of 7th grade retention affecting a student’s graduation rate: 9th and 10th grade are too late. She wants to direct priority back to American History using cultural institutions to provide experiential learning in addition to text book learning. Her proposal to organize Teen Thursdays would open up the doors of museum and cultural institutions from 4:00 – 6:00 pm on Thursdays for students to access learning and culture. Further using cultural institutions for teacher professional development allows teachers to build content area expertise. A proposed reintroduction of the ‘Culture Pass’ for principals and administrators will allow free access to cultural institutions, instilling personal interests to translate for their students and constituents. Inclusion families will be a priority, making special note that we must make the invitation and experience accessible by offering programs in various languages.

 

Chancellor Fariña promoted the expansion of after school programs under Mayor Bill de Blasio and declared that the arts will be listed as one of the required elements. The RFP’s for afterschool are being developed. She spoke energetically about the role of the arts to support common core curriculum, art literacy and wants to see more technology related to the arts.

 

For more information contact Dena Malarek, Director of NYC Programs and Special Populations at Arts Horizons

dena@artshorizons.org

Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Grant 2013-2014: Cheryl Walpole and Tira Bluestone bring art, creativity and healing

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“We are very grateful to Art Horizons to have been included in the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Grant. I hope our kids can continue to receive this wonderful quality of life grant. It has definitely improved their quality of life here at Kingsbrook,” Says Guerline Nelson, classroom Teacher at P 721K Hospital school site at Kingsbrook Hospital.

Arts Horizons, one of the largest arts-in-education organizations in the New York/Metropolitan area, has been awarded a Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation 1st Cycle 2013 Quality of Life grant to support the Arts Horizons “Art Beat” program. We are pleased to partner with P 721K to provide music and visual arts programs for pediatric students at Kingsbrook Jewish Memorial Hospital in Brooklyn. Student’s here are undergoing extended hospital stays for severe acute care while some of the students are part of the chronic inpatient care for severe developmental and metabolic disorders.

Arts Horizons teaching artists work alongside educators and staff from P 721K, The Brooklyn Occupational Center, to provide continued education to support students individualized education plans while hospitalized. We partner to support the schools mission to enable young adults with developmental disabilities to realize their talents, strengths and capabilities in order to live and work in our community as independently as possible. Through the arts, we provide meaningful experiences for these students to express their capabilities and merge arts, education communication and healing at the hospital school site.

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Music instruction is provided by Ms. Tira Bluestone, who enters her sixth year working with the students of Kingsbrook Hospital.  Her ‘TiraTime’ collection merges original music, books, audio c-d’s and computer learning to provide a multi-sensory music experience for students with special needs.  In the words of Educator Guerline Nelson, “Tira brings all of herself to the kids through her music at the hospital.   She deepens her connections with the kids and breathes life into them.  She definitely has a way to touch the kids in a very transformative way with her music.”

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Cheryl Walpole, Licensed creative arts therapist, MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT, enters her third year working with the students of Kingsbrook Hospital.  Cheryl aims to provide a sensory art experience for students to participate with the greatest level of independence.  “Cheryl is great.  She exposes the kids to different textures, she allows them to engage with different materials to create art and express their emotions.” Arts Horizons is proud to share the work of our amazing artists and the beautiful arts expressions of the students at P 721 K at Kingsbrook Hospital.  Thank you for the honor and support of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

See the initial grant announcement here.  http://artshorizons.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/arts-horizons-receives-quality-of-life-grant-from-christopher-dana-reeve-foundation/

 

For More Information, contact Dena Malarek, Director of NYC Residencies and Special Popluations dena@artshorizons.org

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Visual Art Discovery with VSA provided under contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

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Arts Horizons is a proud collaborator to lead Visual Art Discovery programs with VSA provided under contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The work is inspired by the VSA International Art Program for Children with Disabilities ‘Teacher Resource Guide, Edition 2013: A series of visual art lesson plans designed to engage students with disabilities.

 

This unit of lessons re-conceptualizes the “self-portrait” in alternative, challenging, symbolic, and beautiful ways, breaking from traditional teaching of self-portraiture. The lessons conform to the following principles of Universal Design: (1) Multiple Means of Representation – presenting information in multiple formats so that all students understand the content, (2) Multiple Means of Expression – providing multiple options for students to express themselves, and (3) Multiple Means of Engagement – providing multiple opportunities for students to work in ways that are interesting and challenging for them. More information and a link to the full resource guide can be accessed online at https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/vsa/programs/vsa_iap.cfm

Our first featured 2014 program highlights the work of students at PS 188 in the Bronx working with Master Teaching artists Mansa Mussa and Arthur Wilson.  Educators enthusiastically supported student learning by integrating the lessons into their weekly curriculum for students with special needs.  One of the lesson’s incorporated was entitled, “I am a Sandwhich,” where students created metaphoric self portrait clay box in the shape of sandwich. This project was adapted to help students create a more abstract way to approach the creation of a self portrait.

The project was further weaved into creative learning via the original “I am a sandwhich mantra.” (see below).  In the word of a participating educator Mr. Devaney, “I appreciate the time and effort you have shown to our class. The art pieces are excellent and you really have captured a genius of the person beneath the cloak of disability. This is the mark of an artist and I thank you both” Mr. Devaney.

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I am a sandwich

I am a sandwich
But not a sandwich you really eat,
I am a sandwich from your imagination
Like a sandwich filled with kangaroos
Mustard, laughter, and whole wheat

Or
I can be a sandwich flying through space
Piled up high with your fondest wish
Ham, courage, gazelles, and jelly bean fish

I am a special sandwich
Never left alone in the refrigerator
On an old cracked dish,
‘cause I am a magical sandwich
Filled with beautiful monarch butterflies
Chocolate, day dreams, and carrot sticks

I am a brave sandwich filled with honey
Dollar bills, and bumble bees in a hive
Trying to flee
Would you like to share my sandwich with me?

I am a pumpernickel sandwich filled with turtles
Apples, guitars, and shooting stars,
And sometimes I even throw in a few candy bars

I can also be a double decker submarine sandwich
Filled with sneakers, lightning bugs lit up in jars,
With a little mayonnaise and racing cars

When I’m really imaginative
I am a sandwich filled with bells ringing
Fried chicken, friendship, and diamond rings
Why I’m a sandwich fit for a king
My sandwich can even dance
And sing!

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

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Arts Horizons Visual Art Show at Sunshine Children’s Home and Rehab Center

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Arts Horizons is excited to be featured in the Fall Newsletter for Sunshine Children’s Home and Rehab Center for our  2013 Visual Art Show, led by Arts Horizons teaching artists Nina Tantillo Elton and Marie Diperri in collaboration with the educators and hospital staff.

In the second year of the visual art program, the artists have developed a collaborative relationship with the hospital schools and sunshine home staff.   The artists carefully design the lessons, the materials and staff training to maximize student participation in their own visual arts. Each student works 1:1 to enable them to respond, select, and interact with a variety of visual arts mediums.   The 2013 program met with students and teachers  for 17 sessions for hands-on art workshops. The workshops remain firmly based in the ideal of process over product and each class will continue to emphasize experimentation utilizing collage, painting, drawing, and paper maiche. This curriculum outlines the following themes that depend on the pace, development, and temperament of the children:  The Seasons,  What makes a Landscape? Animals in the Landscape.  The students’ art work and energy at the final visual art show celebration demonstrates the success and excitement for the arts at Sunshine Home.

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For more information about the program, contact Dena Malarek, Director of NYC Programs and Special Populations, dena@artshorizons.org

Arts Horizons partners with ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School

Arts Horizons partners with ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School to focus on Dancers with Special Needs

On the afternoon of Saturday September 7th, Ballet Faculty with Children’s division of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre held their fall staff meeting. This year a special focus was designated specifically to address special needs of students in the pre-primary program in a workshop with Arts Horizons Director of Special Education and NYC Residencies, Dena Malarek.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School Children’s Division is a ballet program for children ages 4-12 that promotes discipline and creativity while encouraging each child to reach their highest potential. Classes focus on building a solid foundation in ballet technique with an emphasis on proper placement and safe progressions of movement while remaining sensitive to the developmental needs of younger dancers. The workshop presented by Ms. Malarek was designed specifically for the organization and explored how they might best address the needs of young dancers with special needs with the context of expectations in the pre-professional training environment. Participants discussed relevant disability characteristics as manifested in the dance studio environment and targeted strategies for studio instruction, behavioral interventions and organizational accommodations.

Taking this step to address special needs of young dancers in the JKO children’s division speaks very loudly to recognize the potential for young dancers who may have special needs to be given an opportunity in the world of pre-professional ballet. “It is essential for the faculty and staff to have access to this type of professional development so that we can be responsive to the needs of the student body,” Melissa Bowman, Assistant Principal of the JKO School.

Dena Malarek, Director of NYC Programs and Special Education, joined Arts Horizons in June 2008.  She brings with her over 19 years working in the field of disabilities services.   She is certified as a recreation therapist and sits on the steering committee of the NYC Arts and Special Education Consortium.  As a recreation therapist, her work and volunteer experiences span diverse disability genres and artistic/athletic/recreational milieus.   As a former Director of Day Habilitation for adults with disabilities, she managed educational, recreational and arts programs to facilitate goal development.   She further developed skills as a staff trainer in behavioral crisis management.  A key focus of her programs was curriculum development for adults with mental retardation and autism transitioning out of the special education school districts.  Her current major projects with Arts Horizons including the “Special Education Artist Academy for Arts and Autism” and “Hospital School programs” have been recognized with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Christopher Reeve Foundation, NYSCA, and the DANA foundation.  Dena’s skill set as a manager, trainer, recreation therapist, dancer and educator carefully guide teaching artists to effectively collaborate, educate and influence students with disabilities in partnership with school  and community special education teams.  Dena is also a modern dancer who performs in the New York City Modern dance community and teaches modern dance, jazz, ballet  and yoga, to students with, and without, disabilities.

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

 

ARTS HORIZONS RECEIVES QUALITY OF LIFE GRANT FROM CHRISTOPHER & DANA REEVE FOUNDATION

Arts Horizons, one of the largest arts-in-education organizations in the New York/Metropolitan area, has been awarded a Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation 1st Cycle 2013 Quality of Life grant to support the Arts Horizons “Art Beat” program.

 Founded in 1999 by the late Dana Reeve, The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is committed to supporting non-profit organizations that seek to improve the quality of life for people living with paralysis. This year the Foundation has awarded more than $500,000 in Quality of Life grants to 74 recipients in the United States and Canada.

 Arts Horizons will use the $5,745.00 grant to support its ArtBeat teaching artists. ArtBeat is a unique partnership between Arts Horizons, New York City Hospitals, and the New York City Department of Education. The program provides interactive music, theatre, and visual art workshops to promote rehabilitation, learning, and cultural experiences for special needs students with extended, and in some cases residential, hospital stays. The program has been adopted by five hospital school locations in New York City that provide psychiatric and rehabilitative care. ArtBeat merges the fields of art, healthcare and academics to create a space of comprehensive education, expression, nurturing and healing.

Image “We are honored and grateful to have the continued support of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation,” says Dena Malarek, Program Director. Our team of educators, artists, and healthcare professionals is continually eager to give hospitalized children access to create, express, and nurture their creative voice and transform the hospital experience”.

Quality of Life Grants 

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grants program was conceived by the late Dana Reeve to address the myriad needs of children and adults living with paralysis and other mobility impairments and their families. Grants support critical life-enhancing and life-changing initiatives that improve physical and emotional health and increase independence. The Foundation has awarded 2,205 grants totaling nearly $17 million to organizations since the program’s inception fourteen years ago.

 “It is the Reeve Foundation’s esteemed pleasure to award Quality of Life grants that will help the paralysis community enhance their freedom and independence,” said Niketa Sheth, Senior Vice President of Quality of Life of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “We are thrilled to be able to align with organizations that believe in our mission and especially proud of this grant cycle’s reach and depth to fund multicultural programs, women’s initiatives, and support for caregivers and loved ones of injured service men and women.”

 About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. The Foundation meets all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and holds the BBB’s Charity Seal. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is a program of the Reeve Foundation, and is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Award No. U59DD000838. For more information, visit the Foundation’s website at: ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-539-7309.

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