Category Archives: Professional Development

Arts Horizons 2017 Program Guide

The Arts Horizons 2017 Program Guide is available for schools and communities to browse our diverse array of arts-in-education opportunities.


Contact our experienced staff to find out more information and book your program.

1-888-522-ARTS (2787) 


Start your creative engagement with Arts Horizons today! View or download our 2017 Interactive Program Guide.



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.


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

Arts Horizons Trains Teachers to Work with Special Needs Students

“Your workshop was education building bridges and was liberating to my soul.” 

November 11, 2011 – These are the words of one of the 80 teacher assistants from CPNJ who participated in a professional development program with Arts Horizons (AH) to integrate the arts into the education curriculum at  the Horizon Lower School and High School in Livingston NJ. Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey  (CPNJ) is dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities and other special needs by supporting personal growth, independence and participation in the community.

Arts Horizons Teaching Artists, Vince Ector and Arthur Wilson led this day of learning through the arts.  Both are Master Teaching Artists and Mentors in the Arts Horizons Special Education Artist Academy.

Mr. Ector facilitated a day of adapted music trainings for staff to learn specialized percussion for their students.  Vince Ector –  drummer, composer, bandleader and educator – is a professional recording industry musician in high demand and performs at leading jazz festivals both in the US and abroad.  He brought his expertise in a day of active music making for the CPNJ staff to make sure everyone of their students can have an a true opportunity for technical music instruction and participation.

The “Drama and Gesture Workshop,” presented by AH Master Teaching Artist Arthur Wilson filled the second part of the day with lively poetry, movement, theater, and song.  Arthur Wilson is a published poet, playwright, teacher, and Co-Editor/Publisher (Attitude Magazine), and has contributed to theater, education, and community based programs for over forty years.

Many of CPNJ’s students are non-verbal, use wheelchairs, and have multiple disabilities but all of them have an individual voice.  This day was dedicated to making sure that all children may express their voice and talent through the art of theater and music.  “What can I take with me?  I can listen more to the children and realize how much they matter.   I learned that I can try to be more “alive.”  I learned that all children have a voice and want to be heard….it’s our job to help them communicate and connect.”

For more information contact Dena Malarek, Director of Special Populations with Arts Horizons, or Lindsay Grasso, Training Specialist, Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey

Crash Glass Workshops for You and Your Students

Artist Teacher Institute (aTi) alums and David Brearley Middle/High School teachers Janice Marsili and Cindy Perez conducted a Crash Glass Professional Development Workshop at AENJ’s October 4th Conference in New Brunswick, NJ. “Cindy and I really enjoyed working with all of the teachers,” said Marsili.

The crash glass frames started at David Brearley last year after the school welcomed Jackie Stack Lagakos as a visiting artist  which sparked funding for their 68′ mosaic wall project. “It was very tough for the kids and us to master the technique in just two afternoon sessions,” said Marsili. The first frames produced were not good enough to sell but “the process got easier and a core group of students emerged who just loved doing it,” Marsili added. Once the students mastered the frame making process, the business class divided into “apprentice-like” teams to market and sell the frames. Over 300 frames were sold for $15 each!

The frames have become very popular among New Jersey artist, teachers and their students. To learn more about bringing this crash glass project to your school, contact:

for Artist-in-Residence Workshops in New York
Dena Malarek, Director of  Special Populations and NYC Programs
(212) 268 – 7219 ext.108
for Artist-in-Residence Workshops in New Jersey
Michele Renaud, Manager of NJ Programs/ Artist Teacher Institute

(201) 567 – 1766 ext. 114

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pictures from the AENJ Professional Development Workshop

%d bloggers like this: