Monthly Archives: September 2011

Everyone’s Getting Excited!

On September 12, 2011,  Arts Horizons hosted a Benefit Committee Reception at the home of Chairman Emeritus and 2011 honoree Celeste Holm. The evening was filled with good food, good wine and great company.  In attendance were Co-Chairs of this year’s Gala Barbara Sellinger and Jo Standish along with Chairman of the Board Peter Culver, Trustees Donna Esteves, Rozanne Gold, Patricia Palermo, Jan Prokop and Founder, John Devol.

This annual event is hosted by Chairman Emeritus Celeste Holm, as an opportunity to get everyone excited about the Gala.  In true class, Ms. Holm took pictures with her star struck guest in her beautiful Manhattan apartment. Guests included awarded winning cookbook author Arthur Schwartz, Grammy Award nominee violinist Phillippe Quint and Jewelry Designer/Benefit Committee member  Norma Wellington.

As guest mingled, they became more familiar with each other and Arts Horizons.  This year Arts Horizons was excited to announce the launch of their new gala website, www.artshorizonsgala.org produced by E-Journal.  The venture was inspired by society’s effort to go green.  Realizing that there was a more eco-friendly and efficient way to serve not only their organization but their environment was the next step in continuing their success. The website is up and running and the organization hopes to increase their exposure for financial support.

The Benefit Committee which is made up of NY and NJ professionals volunteer their time to work with the organization in ensure that the Gala is a success. Members include E. Jean Ward, David Grossman, Kay J. Wright and Liz Roditi. They research sponsors, request donations and organize auctions; the list is endless but the reward is great.  Every sponsorship, journal ad, auction item helps Arts Horizons to continue their work to transform lives.

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To view more from the evening, click here for photos taken by photographer Donald Hamburg.

To learn more about opportunities to support Arts Horizons, please visit www.artshorizonsgala.org or call 888-522-ARTS.

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Summer Residency and Student Created Blog

During a four week summer program, entitled “VOLAR” (Spanish for “to fly”), students at PS 30 in the Bronx studied career education and college choices through digital media. With Arts Horizons teaching artist Alan Nunez, students not only developed photography and videography skills but created a blog to document their experience.

During the last week of the summer program, students made collages with career goals as the theme. During this process, students learned how to use a search-engine to find images and save them on their computers. See the students and their finished collages below.

Click here to visit the student created blog!

Top Ten Ways to Support the Arts by Kristen Engebretsen

Arts education program coordinator, Kristen Engebretsen received an email from someone concerned about the arts education budget cuts and wanted to know what they could do to help. Inspired by her colleague’s post, Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts, Engebretsen created a list of her own. She answered the email with the Top 10 Ways to Support the Arts.

The Top 10 Ways to Support Arts Education

10. Volunteer your time, resources, skills: Many schools would appreciate your time as a chaperone, your skill as a teaching artist, or your donations of money, costumes, rehearsal space, etc.

9. Know the facts: Stay on top of current arts education research, trends, and news articles. Start with Reinvesting in Arts Education, which summarizes research on the topic. Use this data in your messaging when you speak to elected officials or school leaders.

8. Get involved politically: Tell your elected officials why arts education is important. Ask your members of Congress to keep the arts listed as a core subject during the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

7. Pack a one, two punch: Your message to elected officials and school leaders should contain both a warm and fuzzy anecdote AND hard hitting data. Practice your message. Keep it brief. Know who your audience is, and tailor your message to them.

6. Increase visibility of the issue: Host a community conversation or speaker series on the topic, coordinate community fundraisers, write an Op-Ed piece for your local paper, screen a documentary about arts education, and include the arts in school communications (newspapers, newsletters, displays, letters to parents, etc.).

5. Assess your school/community strengths and gaps: First assess your needs: No fourth graders receive music instruction, no dance is offered, high school theater has been cut in half, etc.  Then, take stock of your resources: parent volunteers, after school programs, teachers with talents or degrees in the arts, schools with unused stages in the cafeteria, nearby museums or cultural institutions, etc. Now, utilize your assets to strategically address your needs.

To see the top 5 ways to support the arts, click here to continue reading the post.

Reflecting Back on aTi Summer 2011

 For two weeks classroom teachers, education professionals, administrators and artists were immersed into a variety of art forms including book arts, creative movement, music, printmaking, storytelling, theater, mixed media and writing. Led by professional arts instructors, the Artist/Teacher Institute (aTi) participants broke through barriers to creative teaching and learning and connected with a community of peers, emerging refreshed, renewed, energized and inspired.

The article below was written by High School English Teacher Christine Salvatore-Smith about her aTi experience in poetry and book arts.

Teacher gets the chance to bask in poetry and be challenged by book arts!

High school English teacher, Christine Salvatore-Smith, often finds herself lagging in spirit and creativity by the end of the school year. When the summer comes, she has found just antidote for her woes. Instead of spending eight weeks lounging on the beach or fretting over new lesson plans, Ms. Salvatore-Smith attends aTi, a program for artist and teachers. There , she says, she finds the spark that will help her to teach better, lead better, and be a better person all around.

Ms. Salvatore-Smith tells us, “I am proud to be a public school teacher and love the kids and material I teach. With so many changes in education reform happening right now, we sometimes lose sight of the real joys in learning. Attending aTi puts me back behind the student desk, and reminds me how creative teaching is at the heart of great learning.”

Ms. Salvatore-Smith took Advanced Poetry Writing with local poet Peter E. Murphy as her three hour morning major and Book Arts with local artist Mary Phelon as her two hour minor in the afternoons.

Salvatore-Smith explains her choices, “I’ve always written poetry and as a Creative Writing teacher, I think you have to write in order to teach. I come to aTi to work on my own writing but that’s not the only reason.” Salvatore-Smith goes on to say that the techniques she learned from Peter Murphy are techniques that she can translate into lesson plans for her Creative Writing students and even her AP Literature students, “He helps us generate ideas and then revise until our work is better. He’s full of tips and strategies that I can pass on to my students to help them write better. These strategies work; I know because I’ve tested them.

The second best thing about aTi, Salvatore-Smith tells us, is the community of teachers that evolves. Teachers come from all of over South Jersey to create and learn together, ” We share ideas and talk about what it means to be a teacher. aTi is a place tremendous support for teachers in any discipline.”

Ms. Salvatore-Smith plans to attend next year. “I’ll never stop learning to be a better teacher.”

See what other participants had to say about aTi and view some of the work produced this summer!

“Thank you for caring about us so much. It matters more to us than you can imagine. You may call it professional development but I call it soul feeding! I am already looking forward to next year…a thought that will renew my motivation during some inevitable upcoming school year situations.”

“Another perk aTi affords me is to share a wonderful and nourishing ten days with teachers as students. Don’t think I’ve ever seen so many of my fellow teachers as happy and excited as they are at your wonderful program.”

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