Author Archives: Arts Horizons
It is currently midway through a glorious summer, and Arts Horizons is still hard at work after a successful year of arts education residencies and assemblies! We thank all of our wonderful teaching artists for being such an integral part of the Arts Horizons community. We sincerely value their amazing work in bringing art to so many classrooms, hospitals, auditoriums, gymnasiums, and community centers throughout New York and New Jersey. We also thank all of the site administrators, coordinators, teachers, and support staff at our many partner schools and organizations for welcoming us into their spaces.
We would like to once again highlight and recognize our longstanding partnership with PS 46X: Edgar Allen Poe, an elementary school located in the Bedford Park neighborhood of the Bronx. We are grateful for Principal Jennifer Ade-Alexander, Assistant Principal Roxanna Bello-Sullivan, Assistant Principal Mary Champagne, Librarian Karen Ramirez, ESL Teacher Cindy Cabral, and the faculty and staff for their continued support and dedication to arts education. During the spring semester, six teaching artists conducted successful residencies at PS 46X in a variety of artistic disciplines including: visual art, dance, music, and storytelling.
Chris Lin’s Saturday morning family workshops were a resounding success, and you can read more about his residency here. Award-winning drummer and longtime AH teaching artist Larry Washington conducted a soulful percussion residency with kindergarteners. Theater artist, musician, and longtime AH teaching artist Navida Stein conducted a brilliant storytelling residency with 1st graders. Multi-instrumentalist Andy Algire taught recorder to 2nd graders. Well-known choreographer and actress Suzi Tipa taught many world dance forms to 3rd graders. Noted Hip Hop and Afro-Brazilian dancer Silvana Marquina conducted a dynamic dance residency for 4th graders.
AH Program Coordinator, Kiran Rajagopalan, returned to PS 46X earlier in May to observe Suzi, Larry, and Andy in action! Let’s take a quick peek into their classes…
Larry’s kindergarten percussion class was high-energy and full of surprises! Students not only learned to play a new percussion instrument each week, but they also learned to sing and enact several songs. Baba Larry then requested Kiran to participate in a “freeze dance” with the students, and the students responded with cheers when he showed off his Indian classical dance skills. The class ended with a Carnaval dance party, and students spontaneously formed a samba line and danced to Baba Larry’s sizzling Afro-Brazilian beats!
Andy’s 2nd grade recorder class began with a series of fun warm-up exercises for the fingers, arms, wrists, and shoulders. Andy then brought out his balafon, an ancient West African wooden xylophone, and the students rehearsed their chosen piece for PS 46X’s annual end of the year showcase. Andy thoughtfully guided his orchestra, and the students’ enthusiasm and eagerness to sing and play their recorders were clearly evident.
Suzi’s 3rd grade class studied a wide range of dance styles from Italy, India, Mexico, and the United States. During this session, students were introduced to el jarabe tapatío, popularly known as the “Mexican Hat Dance.” After a robust warm-up, Suzi introduced the fundamental steps of the dance and then quickly transitioned to a challenging sequence of choreography. Despite the hot cafeteria, students pushed through their rehearsal, and they showed off their moves in an impromptu dance circle at the end of Suzi’s class!
We are thrilled to see such active participation in the arts at PS 46X, and we are excited to continue our collaborative work with the school for the next academic year. Stay cool and stay tuned for further updates from Arts Horizons!
Arts Horizons is pleased to highlight and recognize our arts education programs under contract with John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Department of VSA and Accessibility. During this academic year, Arts Horizons has been contracted for 4 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). The schools are: PS 226M @ PS 76M (A. Philip Randolph) in Manhattan, PS 188X @ PS 34X in the Bronx, Queens Transition Center @ High School for Law Enforcement & Public Safety in Queens, and Hospital Schools @ Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.
Through VSA-VAD, Arts Horizons provided approximately 8 hours of instruction per student at each of the schools listed above. 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.” They also aligned well with the Kennedy Center’s overarching theme for this year: UBUNTU: Yo Soy…Je suis…I am…Because you are. Ubuntu, which roughly translates to “humanity towards others” in the Nguni Bantu languages of Southern Africa, focuses on art’s unique ability to “create and sustain connections across race, culture, religion, and experience.” An added incentive for students was the opportunity to submit work to be showcased at the Kennedy Center’s “International Art Program for Children with Disabilities” live and online exhibitions in Washington D.C.
Longtime AH Teaching Artist Mr. Mansa Mussa and renowned Staten Island-based visual artist Ms. Sarah Yuster conducted successful and highly-regarded visual arts residencies this year. Mansa is a New Jersey-based visual and performing artist, educator, and consultant who recently celebrated his 20th year with Arts Horizons. Sarah is known for her paintings of urban landscapes and portraits as well as her “Small Truths” film project which documents the experiences of immigration through the eyes of children. AH Program Coordinator Kiran Rajagopalan had the opportunity to visit their classes and observe how they inspired students to showcase their creativity through compelling visual arts projects. Let’s take a quick peek into their classes!
We start with Sarah’s residency for Queens Transition Center at High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety. This District 75 school primarily serves high school students with Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) along with documented cases of violence and/or clinically diagnosed mental disorders. Visual art is effective among such students when it promotes creativity in a minimally triggering or volatile environment. Sarah was a nurturing, patient, and gentle instructor, and she was able to introduce her students to life drawing, action sketching, portraiture, and mixed media. According to Sarah, “once it became clear that [students] could delve into a personal endeavor of their choosing, many of them came in week after week to carefully attend a singular piece.” As a result, Sarah was able to submit several beautiful pieces for the Kennedy Center’s exhibition!
Mansa’s visual arts residency for District 75 elementary school PS 226M at PS 76M was devoted to collage-making. This artistic medium effectively showcases artistic creativity with easy-to-use materials such as stickers, stamps, gluesticks, and porous papers. Therefore, it is age-appropriate and safe for elementary school students with special needs and disabilities. Mansa is appreciated for his sensitive approach to teaching students in Hospital Schools and District 75 as well as his ability to pace classes without unnecessary wasting of time and/or art supplies. In this class, students spent the period adding an additional layer of 3-D objects made from grooved sticks and porous paper to their collages with the able assistance of teachers and paraprofessional educators. He even had students photograph their work using his iPad at the end of class!
Mansa also delivered visual arts residencies through VSA-VAD at PS 188X @ PS 34X and Hospital Schools @ Kings County Hospital. As one of our senior-most teaching artists, he will be representing Arts Horizons at the Kennedy Center’s VSA Interactions: Arts and Special Education Conference in August!
On May 20th, Arts Horizons LeRoy Neiman Art Center (LNAC) brought STEAM to the annual SUPER SATURDAY STEM Expo in Harlem. Designed for New York City youth and their families, the event featured hands-on STEAM activities and demonstrations. Through a generous grant from the Best Buy Foundation and in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem, LNAC helped youngsters develop 3D models on iPad’s as it showed the 3D printing process. LNAC was among 100+ activity and exhibit booths set up by museums, science & technology centers, colleges & universities, companies, libraries, corporations, government agencies and more. Nearly 2,500 youth, parents, community leaders and STEAM professionals attended the expo.
See the Video Here: STEAM at STEM Expo in Harlem- LNAC
Arts Horizons has proudly completed our third year of participating in two initiatives of the NYC DOE’s Arts Partnership Grants – the “Arts for English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities” and the “Arts for Family Engagement” grants. Since 2014, we have had the privilege of working with several school communities such as: IS 77Q, 469X, 690K, 63Q, and 46X (Family Engagement) along with Hospital Schools (M401) at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Kings County Hospital, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, and Metropolitan Hospital.
Specifically, our programs for Literacy Development and Socio-emotional Growth engage students in hands-on workshops that stimulate creativity, vocabulary development, speaking, and other communication skills. Arts Horizons’ performing and visual arts programs can help students of all abilities to realize their potential and succeed in learning. The programs we offer include: “Storytelling through Music and Movement,” bookmaking, “Messages through Music” (Hip-Hop and Beatboxing), mural-making, and more!
The grant application window has been announced for the 2017-2018 cycle of the program with a deadline of Friday June 9, 2017. Arts Horizons is working with our current partners to further build upon our efforts. We also welcome the opportunity to dialogue with potential candidates to brainstorm and support the application process.
For more information, please contact Dena Malarek, Director of NYC Residencies and Special Populations, at email@example.com
CALLING ALL LIVE PERFORMANCE ASSEMBLY GROUPS!
MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF STUDENTS!
Arts Horizons is currently accepting applications for experienced live performance assembly groups to join our roster. Arts Horizons provides students with live performances with skills and knowledge in the arts in accordance with state and local standards. Live performances must be educational, interactive, and engage students in dance, music, or theatre.
Send video, resource guide and an outline of the assembly program to:
1 Grand Avenue, Suite 7
Englewood, NJ 07631
No phone calls please.
This call is for live performance assembly groups. Interested teaching artists for in-class residency programs should go to our online artist interest form.
Arts Horizons is pleased to highlight and recognize our partnership with the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) for an amazing songwriting initiative for talented student musicians called “Beyond the Voice.” AH Teaching Artists Baba Israel, Pamela Hamilton, Yako Prodis, Dawn Crandell, and Teaching Artist Grace Galu conducted masterclasses and professional development workshops for students participating in DYCD’s “Beyond the Voice.” According to DYCD’s Facebook page, “Beyond the Voice” is a “competition [to] challenge youth to create a beat and sing a song dedicated to their community…and the program uses components of literacy and presentation skill building.”
During the last week of March and the first week of April, Pamela, Baba, and Yako conducted 1.5-hour mentoring sessions with each of the 10 participating student musicians/groups at various Beacon, Cornerstone, and SONYC afterschool sites in Queens, Bronx, and Manhattan. These sessions were dedicated to providing students with constructive feedback, critique, and guidance as they continued to work on their original songs. The participating sites in this program were: Quest Youth Organization (Bedford-Stuyvesant), Moshulu Montefiore Community Center – Evander Campus (Gun Hill), The Child Center of New York (Flushing), Long Island University – Advantage Higher Education (Downtown Brooklyn), Southern Queens Park Association (Jamaica), Greater Ridgewood Youth Council at York Early College Academy (Jamaica), Harlem Children Zone (Central Harlem), Johnson Community Center (East Harlem) and Phipps Community Development Corporation – Beacon @ IS 192 (West Farms).
After these one-on-one artist mentoring sessions, students and faculty gathered at Countee Cullen Community Center, a program of the Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc. housed in PS 194M in Manhattan, on Monday, April 10, 2017 from 11:00AM to 4:00PM for a collective “mentoring day” with all of the teaching artists. “Beyond the Voice” will culminate with a student showcase scheduled for Saturday, May 20, 2017 at JCC Manhattan. AH Program Coordinator Kiran Rajagopalan had the opportunity to attend this “mentoring day” and he witnessed these students’ brilliant musicianship and their eagerness to learn more about taking their art to the next level.
Baba, a noted Hip-Hop MC, began the day with a lecture-demonstration on freestyle and improvisation with the assistance of Yako, a talented music producer and multi-instrumentalist, and several students on guitar. Performance artist and dancer Dawn Crandell then conducted a movement workshop in which students were taught exercises improve their stage presence. Students were first asked to state their name and to come up with a single movement which best expresses their “current state of being.” This was followed by exercises on nervous mannerisms and “what not to do on stage” that were particularly engaging and illuminating.
In the third session, students presented rough cuts of their songs for feedback and critique from the teaching artists. Baba also facilitated a discussion with each student about the creative process involved in crafting his or her song. Following lunch, soul vocalist and vocal coach Grace Galu led students through a series of vocal warm-ups that can be done quickly before rehearsal or performance. She also stressed the importance listening through exercises with harmony and a round-robin rendition of an African chant.
The reminder of the afternoon was dedicated to the teaching artists engaged in one-on-one sessions with the students in groups. Dawn worked with two students on incorporating movement into their duet performances while Pamela, a prolific jazz vocalist and violinist, worked with another student on crafting a hook for her song. Yako worked with instrumentalists on stage to tighten up several songs that had played for earlier, and Grace worked with soloists on vocal projection. Baba, as the primary organizer and facilitator, oversaw all of the groups and began setup for the final professional development session.
The mentoring day ended with Baba leading a workshop on lyric writing with figurative language, beatmaking, and music production with the assistance of Yako. This was followed by an essential, but brief professional development lecture on copywriting, royalties, promotion, and liabilities by Baba. Although scheduled to end at 4:00 PM, the session lasted until 4:20 PM with students fully engaged!
Pamela working one-on-one with a student on crafting a hook
Arts Horizons is one of the arts partners included in the Arts Integration Grant residency at the Academy for Urban Leadership in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. The Academy for Urban Leadership (AULCS) is a five-year comprehensive public charter high school that serves students in eight through twelfth grades from Perth Amboy, in Middlesex County, New Jersey. AULCS was one of 9 schools in the state of New Jersey to receive the highly competitive Arts Integration Grant from the NJ Department of Education.
New Jersey is the first state in the nation to use Title I carryover funds to support arts integration as a lever for school change and means of bolstering academic achievement. In February 2017, the NJDOE launched the Title I Arts-Integration Pilot program, awarding nine schools grants of up to $100,000 to implement arts-integration programs and to track their impact on student achievement, student engagement, and school culture. The cohort of Pilot schools are located in eight of New Jersey’s twenty one counties, and represent urban and non-urban elementary, middle and high schools. The Departments’ goals for this project are twofold; to promote practitioner research as a means of informing programmatic improvement – and to identify and disseminate lessons learn from the Pilot projects regarding conditions and instructional circumstances under which arts-integration supports student learning and mastery, and fosters student, family and community engagement.
Arts Horizons teaching artist Vince Ector is conducting “Integrated Math and Music Workshops”. Taught in tandem with a classroom Math teacher, students create musical compositions with mathematics. Polyrhythm activities (using tambourines and drums) are conducted that explore multiples and ratios. Concepts of algebraic function, transformation and graphing are engaged by students naturally, initially in a musical language, later evolving as pure mathematical expressions. Students also learn fundamental concepts of melodic structure, notation, beats, rhythm and music composition. Students will naturally develop the fundamental algebraic concepts of variable, function and graphing from the study of musical scales and melody. This residency began in March and continues through the school year.
Vincent Ector hails from the musical city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he attended the University of Pennsylvania. Trained in Music beginning at age nine through GAMP, a music magnet school in Philadelphia that also enabled him to study at Temple University while still a junior high school student. He then began studying privately with drummers such as, Mickey Roker, Ralph Peterson Jr., and Armand Santarelli, as well as performing for six years as a percussionist with the United States Army Band.
As a performer, he has worked with jazz luminaries that include: NEA Jazz Masters, Freddie Hubbard, Randy Weston, James Moody, Slide Hampton and Jimmy Heath as well as Gloria Lynne, Charles Earland, Bobby Watson, Lou Donaldson, Grover Washington Jr., Dr Lonnie Smith, Ron Carter, Claudio Roditi, John Lee, Ralph Peterson Jr., Melvin Sparks, and Shirley Scott.