A Virtual Re-Launch at Sunshine Home

Arts Horizons is pleased to return the spotlight on our arts education programs under contract with John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Department of VSA and Accessibility. Our programs for special education and hospital school’s use interactive music and visual art workshops to promote rehabilitation, learning and cultural experiences for special needs students in an arts-rich, safe, creative, and emotionally uplifting environment. The program merges the fields of art, healthcare, and academics, to create a space of comprehensive education, healing and expression for special needs students with extended, and in some cases residential, hospital stays.

Last year, Arts Horizons had been contracted for five arts residencies at District 75 and Hospital schools in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Bronx through the VSA Arts Connect All – Workshop/Residency Program (AWR). The schools were:

  1. PS 188X @ PS 34X in the Bronx
  2. Hospital Schools @ Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn
  3. PS 721K @ Kingsbrook Hospital in Brooklyn
  4. Hospital Schools @ Richmond Hospital in Staten Island
  5. Sunshine Children’s Home & Rehabilitation Center in Ossining, NY
Tira Time music programs are now virtual, helping to build self-esteem and encourage social interaction through the language of song.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our planned music program at Sunshine Home with AH Teaching Artist Ms. Tira Bluestone was halted. We are truly grateful that the Kennedy Center has authorized us to relaunch this program this Fall as a virtual pre-recorded music residency. Tira recorded a total of 8 videos that were tailored specifically to each class and highlighted the Fall season in such creative ways! For example, the classic “Hello” song features Tira singing the names of each student. Tira also made up catchy songs about the leaves changing color, and infused humor in a song about being a vegetarian on Thanksgiving! Sunshine Home teachers shared their thoughts about Tira’s videos:

“The students really enjoyed Tira’s music program. It was great to see them light up and get excited when their name was mentioned…the students love hearing Tira’s voice and they responded to the familiar Hello song and their name when she sang those. Thank you Tira!” – Kathleen Hanlon, Special Education Teacher, PNW BOCES, Pinesbridge at Sunshine

We thank Ms. Susan Pinckney (Director of Social Work and Related Services), Ms. Kathy, Ms. Shannon, Ms. Megan, and Ms. Amanda for welcoming us back to Sunshine Home virtually. We also thank Ms. Stephanie Litvak of the Kennedy Center for helping make this re-launch possible.

The pandemic may have shifted us to a new normal, but arts education is here to stay! Arts Horizons’ virtual arts programs are highly interactive and help bolster student engagement, creativity, and well-being. Contact us for more information about our livestream, prerecorded, and hybrid virtual arts programs.


To learn more about Arts Horizons Virtual programs, please contact Kiran Rajagopalan, Director of NY Programs, Kiran@artshorizons.org 201-567-1766 * 113

About Arts Horizons

Arts Horizons is a premier not-for-profit arts-in-education organization that provides live professional performances and artist-in-residence programs to students and professional development for teachers throughout the entire tri-state region. Our commitment is to make music, art, dance, theatre, new media and creative writing an integral part not only of learning, but of life. Through the transformative impact of the arts, we reach young people through many dimensions, breaking down the barriers of language and culture, accelerating personal growth, and stimulating children’s full potential to prepare them for life in the twenty-first century.

Posted on November 12, 2020, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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