National Arts-In-Education Week 2021

Arts Horizons Celebrates National Arts-In-Education Week Starting Monday, September 13, 2021. The pandemic may continue to shift us into a new normal, but arts education is here to stay! We thank all of our teaching artists, students, families, teachers, funders, schools and community partners and wish you the best in the new year ahead.

#BecauseofArtsEd, Arts Horizons is determined to move with urgency to bring arts and creativity into our virtual and onsite classrooms and to ensure that professional artists reach the next generation of creative leaders for social change and innovation. Arts Horizons forges into our 43rd year as a non-profit arts-in-education organization that enhances the lives of people of all ages and abilities by creating equitable opportunities to engage in the arts.

#artshorizons #artsedweek #teachingartists #artsareessential #supportlocalartists #artsednow

Summer Spotlight: VSA-VAD at PS 396K

What a busy summer it has been for us at Arts Horizons! And what an incredible season it has been for arts education! In this special edition of Spotlight, we are pleased to highlight and recognize our virtual and in-person arts education programs under contract with John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Department of VSA and Accessibility. During the past academic year and this summer, Arts Horizons has been contracted for 5 visual arts residencies at District 75 and Hospital schools in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx through the VSA Children’s Visual Arts Discovery program (VSA-VAD) for students with special needs. Our residencies fulfilled VSA-VAD’s aim “to build students’ skills through the application of sound pedagogical principals and quality curricula to create original words of visual art and the opportunity to explore one more visual arts media and genres.” Through VSA-VAD, Arts Horizons provided approximately 6 hours of instruction per student at each of the schools below: 

  1. PS X811 – Virtual Storytelling & Puppet-making with Miss Navida
  2. Hospital Schools – Virtual Cartooning with Mr. N. Steven Harris*
  3. Hospital Schools – Virtual Visual Arts with Mr. Mansa Mussa*
  4. PS 188X @ PS 34X – Virtual Visual Arts with Mr. Mansa Mussa
  5. PS 396K – In-Person Visual Arts with Mr. Mansa Mussa

* Virtual Hospital School Programs served students in 5 sites:  Kings County Hospital, Brookdale University Medical Center, Richmond University Medical Center, Bronx-Lebanon Fulton Medical Center, and Mt. Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital.

We would like to first thank these incredible teaching artists for their resilience, resourcefulness, and expertise to successfully conduct virtual and in-person visual arts residencies during these difficult times. We would also like to thank the administrators, faculty, staff, and support staff for their adaptability and unconditional support in ensuring that all our programs through VSA-VAD proceeded as smoothly as possible. We can only continue our mission of providing equitable opportunities in the arts to people of all ages and abilities with our amazing teaching artists and partners.

Let’s take a quick peek at Mr. Mansa Mussa’s recently concluded in-person visual arts summer program at our new partner PS 396K. Mansa is a New Jersey-based visual and performing artist, educator, and consultant who has been a vital part of the Arts Horizons community for over 20 years. He brings to Arts Horizons and PS 396K his extensive experience working with special populations through a variety of artistic mediums including:  collage, mask-making, iPadology/digital art, and bookmaking.

Students and staff at PS 396K created 3 different projects over the course of the 6-week program. For the first project, Scratch Art Drawings, participants utilized a wooden stylus to scratch off black wax coating on a 3.5-inch square to reveal a colorful surprise underneath the carved geometric patterns. The second project was the Healing Hands Collage, one of Mansa’s most beloved lessons. As the name suggests, participants created a collage piece with glue and paper using cutouts of their palm prints and portraits which were then decorated with geometric shapes, text, and stickers. The final project, Book Arts Workshop, combined all of the techniques that participants had studied throughout the residency into a handmade accordion book.

It was a wonderful surprise for Kiran Rajagopalan, AH’s Director of New York Programs, to discover that the PS 396K team had organized a Virtual Art Show as a culminating event. PS 396K teacher Ms. Raquel created a beautiful video presentation of student artwork and behind-the-scenes pictures. We would like to close with a special thank you to Ms. Rachel McCaulsky for being such a great teacher and liaison along with the greater PS 396K community for being welcoming us into your school. Stay tuned for more spotlights with our incredible teaching artists and partners. Have a great rest of the summer and a relaxing Labor Day Weekend!


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Kiran Rajagopalan
Director of New York Programs
201-567-1766 ext. 113
kiran@artshorizons.org

Summer Arts in Swing in New Jersey

The New Jersey department had a full summer with programs in Newark, Palisades Park, and Union City. We continued our relationship with the Newark Board of Education (NBOE) SummerPlus program. Since the inception of the summer program in 2013, Arts Horizons (AH) has served as one of the community partners by bringing art enrichment programming to Newark public school students in K-7th grades. Taught by our talented Teaching Artists, we offer a variety of workshops in visual arts, music, dance, and theater. This summer was no different. After last summer’s completely virtual format, we took what we learned from that experience and were able to bring a more fulfilling experience for those classes that continued a virtual format. There were a couple of workshops that were in-person, but most of them were virtual.

NBOE SummerPlus gives students access to creative and engaging summer learning programs that increase college and career readiness, narrow the achievement gap, promote attendance and engagement, involve families as partners, and encourage health and fitness. The overall goal is to make summer learning an essential strategy for improving student outcomes.  

This goal is accomplished through the NBOE SummerPlus model, which emphasizes a blended approach of academic learning, youth development, and enrichment activities through teaching that relies more heavily on interactive, hands-on projects for all students. In addition, the program design ensures the seamless integration of students in all activities and experiences.

We are pleased to be amongst the team of arts partners to provide meaningful arts enrichment to bring positive impacts for Newark Youth.  Through our years of experience and knowledge of working with all students and situations, we have assisted NBOE SummerPlus in achieving its goal. This year, in partnership with the ELT managers and AH teaching artists, we offered close to 30 workshops throughout five Newark public schools – Elliott Street School, Rafael Hernandez Elementary School, Belmont Runyon School, Mount Vernon School, and Wilson Avenue School. Teaching Artists included Michele Baldwin, who taught Wearable Art, Mask Making, Improv, Vision Boards, and Recycle Me Art, Will Simon taught Composing & Recording, Lady Rose led her Sing – Rap and Read workshop, and Jahlil Shabazz conducted Hip Hop Dance Machine and African Drumming.

In addition to Newark, we also provided more than 80 one-hour workshops to two schools in Palisades Park – the Charles R. Smith Early Childhood Center and Lindbergh Elementary School, and several workshops to Colin Powell Elementary School and George Washington School in Union City.  Thank you to our artists, partners and students for an educational, creative and active summer in the arts!

For more information , please contact Stephanie E. Bostic:


Stephanie E. Bostic

Program Manager of NJ Programs

stephanie@artshorizons.org

201-567-1766 * 114

A Celebration of Migration & Diversity in 243Q’s Outdoor Mural

Another Arts Horizons mural is now unveiled at the Institute for Health Professions at Cambria Heights. This in-person outdoor mural program was part of a special grant award for NYC Summer Rising 2021 made possible by the New York City Artist Corps. Ms. Natalie Alleyne, Lead Muralist, and assistant Lucas Cravo worked specifically with the high school art students onsite to provide meaningful opportunities for artmaking that had been challenging with virtual learning during the pandemic.

Students began with initial visual arts workshops to design individual murals while learning methods for mural design, painting, and scaling work. During the group design process, the team of artists and students had decided on a theme of migration. This theme was picked to reflect the diversity of the neighborhood which is home to many cultures, which is represented vividly by the flags of the many nations. The shadows of the people on the bottom are showing their celebration of “Unity in the Community.” Students, staff, and our teaching artists reflected on why most people migrate and discovered that it is because people search for a better life with wealth and prosperity. The adinkra symbol, Nserewa (which stands for wealth and prosperity), and the cowry shells on the sides echo this idea.  Students participated in several re-designs to help incorporate the input of voices and ideas from other students and the greater school community. 

Thank you to Mr. Gareth Robinson, Founding Principal and Mr. Ryan Armstrong, Art Teacher and Art Education Liaison for welcoming Arts Horizons into your school community.  We are thrilled to see the final mural greet students and community members of Cambria Heights.

About the Artist:

Ms. Natalie Alleyne is a professional artist and an experienced educator who graduated from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan in 1980.  She moved to St. Martin after a post-graduation vacation, and there she discovered new artistic inspiration in the sights, sounds, and people of the island. “The island life, the colors, the texture, it very much resounds in my work,” says Alleyne.  Her work has transpired from figurative form using light and color, to a more textured, abstract pattern. Although figures still play an integral part in her painting, they are used as a vehicle to express emotions. Lines, shapes and texture convey the inner workings of the soul.

For more information , please contact Kiran Rajagopalan:


Kiran Rajagopalan
Director of New York Programs
kiran@artshorizons.org 
201-567-1766 ext. 113

A Mural Rising for Summer Rising at East Bronx Academy

UPDATE!!

Students and teachers celebrated with a special mural unveiling on Thursday, August 12, 2021. Enjoy the brilliant final masterpiece!!!


original post August 4, 2021

Students at East Bronx Academy eagerly began painting a large outdoor mural as part of Summer Rising under the artistic direction of esteemed muralists Vanezza Cruz and SIENIDE. Arts Horizons and East Bronx Academy of the Future are proud to have received this special grant award through the New York City Department of Educations’ Office of Arts and Special Projects, made possible by the New York City Artist Corps. Students filled the recently renovated park area with splashes of color against the backdrop of a new basketball court and park benches overlooking blooming flowers along a colorful walking path. This park gives residents peace and tranquility within a busy South Bronx neighborhood, and the mural is an ideal addition to the school and a great way for the community to come together through the arts.

The mural design process was led by Vanezza with close collaboration from Principal Sarah Scrogin and Assistant Principal Steven Brady of East Bronx Academy as well as Principal Emily Shu of Bronx Envision Academy, a school co-located in the building. Students shared their ideas in special workshops which led to the rich design depicting iconography that represents the school and surrounding community: a knight, cacti, and the subway. The knight [school’s mascot/logo] symbolizes strength, honor, integrity and courage. The cacti represent resilience, endurance and fortitude as they are known to survive in new environments and situations all the while remaining adaptable and strong. Lastly, the subway is a unifying factor for the entire school campus as their building is right next to the 174th Street train station in the Bronx. The stack of books and the apple in the shield echo elements of education. The decorative dark hands symbolize an otherworldly power of protection and guidance, and colored in a way to represent the gamut of skin tones amongst the BIPOC community in the area.

SIENIDE joins Ms. Cruz at East Bronx Academy as an artist and teaching assistant, and together, they carefully guide students to make their mark on the newly primed wall while implementing newly learned techniques in color theory, color mixing and painting. Students from both schools work collaboratively to help bring to life this stunning largescale mural which will be unveiled in a special opening ceremony in August 2021. We are excited to see the final result and cannot wait to share the images of the mural that will cheerfully welcome students, staff and community members back into the school community after a very tumultuous school year in pandemic.

About the Artists:

Vanezza Cruz is a mixed media artist, graphic designer and with an early education in fine arts and music, she graduated Cum Laude from FIT with a BFA in Graphic Design. After working as a graphic designer in the fashion industry, she pursued her MFA in Printmaking at Lehman College. Working as an Art Education Administrator, a freelancer and a muralist, she continues to explore her passions of drawing, binding books, taking pictures, creating collages, and other creative odds and ends. Her work explores ideas of body image and beauty, cultural identity and representations of women.

SIENIDE is a multi-layered artist whose life and is inspired by life and art. Dozens of Sien’s masterfully illustrated murals are scattered throughout the five boroughs of NYC. His public works engage a younger generation of street art enthusiasts with abstract compositions and mood altering color. SIENIDE is an Illustrator, and Professor currently teaching Digital Media Arts at TCI College in New York City.

For more information , please contact Kiran Rajagopalan:


Kiran Rajagopalan
Director of New York Programs
kiran@artshorizons.org 
201-567-1766 ext. 113

#SoundMind: Sound Healing and Meditation Workshops

#SoundMind – Video Sample of Sound Healing and Meditation with Neel Murgai

We are excited to highlight one of our newest signature family programs, #SoundMind, where you will release tension and relieve stress with sound healing and meditation for all ages by Neel Murgai. You and your family will be immersed in a tranquil environment filled with calming live vocals, instruments, and visuals. You will even learn how to use your voice to create your own healing undertones and overtones! In this time of pandemic, #SoundMind has received great reviews by families, educators and administrators.

I wanted to share with you that I really enjoyed your presentations. They were soothing and engaging. You really helped me take my meditation to a new place…eyes wide open. Normally I like it dark, but this was a new experience that opened different pathways to calm and sooth through sound and your visuals.

Principal, Hospital Schools

Neel Murgai is a multi-instrumental performer, composer, and teacher and co-founder of Brooklyn Raga Massive, a raga inspired musician’s collective. He is a graduate of Goddard College’s MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program. His journey into sitar and Indian classical music began with Pundit Ravindra Goswami in Banaras, in 1994. For the past 18 years Neel has studied with his guru and mentor, Pundit Krishna Bhatt. In addition to sitar, he has since learned to play daf (Persian frame drum) with Soheil Zolfonun. He has studied overtone singing with the Buriyat performance group Uragsha and Harmonic Choir member, Timothy Hill. While dedicated to Indian classical music, Neel is also interested in creating original music and contemporary cross-cultural collaborations that are rooted in his many influences and studies.

For more information about our virtual program offerings, please contact Kiran Rajagopalan:


Kiran Rajagopalan
Director of New York Programs
kiran@artshorizons.org 
201-567-1766 ext. 113

#MoveOverCovid – Celebrating DANCE Week in April

Arts Horizons says “Move Over Covid!” because it’s Dance Week! A long day of Zoom meetings and virtual classes can be exhausting, and our high-energy, fun, and interactive dance programs can help re-energize the mind and body! Our virtual, in-person, and hybrid dance programs are great for students, teachers, and families and are fully customizable to your programming and budgeting needs.


LIVE PERFORMANCE ASSEMBLIES

Our live performance programs are one time events perfect for large audiences.

Additional Performances Programs Include:

African Rhythm Tap * The Art of Chinese Dance * The Dances of India ** 100 Years of Popular Dance * Red Hawks Native American Dancers


WORKSHOPS FOR STUDENTS & FAMILIES

CARIBFUSION with Reina
Plan a visit to West Africa and the Caribbean through dance with Ms. Reina Pelle as she gets you moving through a sizzling mix of Soca, Dance Hall, Reggaeton, Bachata, Merengue, and much more!


Zumba® with Dawn
Have fun with the whole family while working up a sweat! Get in your cardio for the day with Ms. Dawn Crandell’s high-energy Zumba® dance program.

Dance Around the World with Suzi
How would you like to take a trip around the world through? Explore dance styles from Italy, Mexico, China, India, and so many other countries with Ms. Suzi Tipa as your guide!

Creative Movement for Early Childhood with Irene
Get the little ones moving with Irene’s creative movement program for kids in Pre-K to 2nd grade! Irene’s signature blend of dance and percussion is sure to keep them engaged and to help them develop key motor coordination skills.

Dance workshops are available for groups of 30 participants or less and can be scheduled consecutively for different grade levels or age groups. Workshops can be designed for Families as well.

Additional DANCE WORKSHOPS include:
Afro-Brazilian & Capoeira * Indian Classical Dance * Break Dance * Step Dance * Latin Dance * West African Dance


These programs are part of ‘Arts Horizons at a Distance,’ our specialized virtual and hybrid programs in response to the pandemic. Additional arts programs can be customized for your audience including Improv Comedy, Collaborative Murals for Mental Health, Songwriting Circles and more!
(Logos by Ms. Sangeetha Kowsik, of IhsanIshan Design)

For more information about our virtual program offerings, please contact:

Kiran Rajagopalan, Director of New York Programs
kiran@artshorizons.org 
201-567-1766 ext. 113

Gloria Page, Manager of Performances gloria@artshorizons.org 201-567-1766 ext.

Stephanie Bostic, Manager of NJ Program stephanie@artshorizons.org 201-567-1766 ext.

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