Category Archives: Special Events

Arts in Atlanta: AH @ VSA Intersections

Is it fall already? Time really flew by as Arts Horizons was fully engrossed in preparing for our 40th anniversary celebrations, running our summer programs, drafting proposals for our school year programs, and attending national conferences! In fact, AH program coordinator Kiran Rajagopalan was in Atlanta in August for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ annual VSA Interactions:  Arts and Special Education Conference. This conference brought together “professionals in the intersecting fields of arts education and special education” from all over the United States, and it fostered opportunities “to share current information in research, practice, programs, and policy” over two days of plenary sessions, rapid-fire presentations, professional development classes, and hands-on workshops.

One of Kiran’s favorite presentations was a quick, 15-minute talk on the role of peer partners in art inclusion programs for public schools. Presenters Jonathan Hale and Kelby McIntyre-Martinez provided evidence-based research, conducted on students at Sprucewood Elementary and Jordan Valley schools in Utah, for optimizing socialization between typically and non-typically developing students through “cluster units” in integrated visual art classes. A unit consisted of 1-2 peer partners and 1-2 other typically developing students from Sprucewood seated alongside 2 non-typically developing students from Jordan Valley at a table. They are eager to expand their research into developing similar “cluster units” for integrated performing arts classes.

Jonathan Hale and Kelby McIntyre-Martinez present a schematic showing “cluster units” in an integrated classroom

Samantha Davis’s practical workshop on positive behavior supports and other classroom management tactics was equally illuminating. The core of her approach to successfully managing disruptive students, especially those with emotional and behavioral disorders, lies in her innovative adaptation of Polsky’s Diamond in the classroom. This social psychology model was originally developed in 1962 by Dr. Howard W. Polsky to assess group dynamics and fluid social hierarchy among at-risk male youth. Ms. Davis discussed the various social types outlined in Polsky’s Diamond and how their unique behavioral traits appear in and inform classroom dynamics. She also stressed the importance of carefully observing shifts in student hierarchy and incentivizing certain productive behaviors to maintain firm control of the classroom.

Overall, VSA Intersections was seamlessly organized and executed, and almost all of the sessions offered were very well conceived and informative. Other highlights from the conference included a rousing keynote address by spoken word artist and poet LeDerick Horne along with energetic performances and touching testimonials by students from DeKalb School of the Arts in Georgia. There was a concerted effort by the Kennedy Center to be inclusive, and they were mostly successful in terms of discussing strategies to increase access to the arts for and engagement with many different special needs populations. It is important to note that a large percentage of this conference’s attendees do admirable work in low-income and/or urban areas around the country with predominantly Black and Latinx students. Therefore, it would be beneficial to devote several sessions in next year’s conference to discussing nuanced cross-cultural pedagogy for students of color with special needs.

Dekalb School of the Arts’ students performing a Broadway musical number

VSA Intersections was a fitting capstone to commemorate AH’s 4 incredible years of implementing arts education programs under contract with the Kennedy Center’s Department of VSA and Accessibility! For the past two consecutive years, Arts Horizons was 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. We are pleased to announce that we are contracted for 5 music and visual arts residencies through the VSA Arts Connects All – Workshop/Residency Program for the 2018-2019 school year:

  1. Sunshine Children’s Home and Rehab Center (Upstate New York)
  2. Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center (Brooklyn)
  3. Hospital Schools @ Kings County Hospital (Brooklyn)
  4. Hospital Schools @ Mt. Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital (Manhattan)
  5. Ps 188X @ PS 34X (Bronx)

Stay tuned for next post in which we officially announce our Arts For ELL+SWD partner schools for the 2018-2019 academic year!


For more information, please contactDena Malarek – Director, NYC Residencies & Special Populations (212-268-7219*108; dena@artshorizons.org) or Kiran Rajagopalan – Program Coordinator, NYC Residencies & Special Populations (212-268-7219*113; kiran@artshorizons.org)

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Spotlight: DYCD’s “Beyond the Voice” with Arts Horizons

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.”

A student improvising various genres of music with Baba and Yako

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!

Baba & Yako freestyling for students in the opening session

Pamela working one-on-one with a student on crafting a hook

ARTS HORIZONS HOLDS ANNUAL GALA

Arts Horizons Holds ANNUAL gala  

 The Organization That Brings Arts Programming To Young People throughout the New York Tristate Area Celebrates 35th Anniversary

 Englewood, NJ – October 22, 2012 – Arts Horizons, one of the largest non-profit arts-in-education organizations bringing quality arts programming to New York City and New Jersey public schools, hospital pediatric wings, and community centers,  celebrated its 35th Anniversary with a Gala on Monday, October 22nd at the Essex House, 160 Central Park South in New York.

This year’s Gala celebrated the distinguished lives of Celeste Holm and LeRoy Neiman. Ms. Holm served as the Chairman of Arts Horizons from 1995 to 2011, when she became Chairman Emeritus. Through a generous gift and ongoing support from the LeRoy Neiman Foundation, Inc., Arts Horizons established the LeRoy Neiman Art Center which opened its doors to the public in June, 2008, and continues to serve over 200 young people and families in the Central Harlem community.

“Celeste Holm and LeRoy Neiman were outstanding ambassadors for our organization and our cause, and believed so deeply in the importance of exposing children to the arts,” said Elizabeth Halverstam, Executive Director of Arts Horizons.  “We celebrate their lives and the levels of excellence they achieved, and will continue sharing their passion for the arts with young people for years to come.”

Some of the outstanding programming that Arts Horizons offers students throughout the tri-state area includes “The Election Show” which uses improvisation to teach about the election process, Percussion with Found Objects, 3-D Animation, Mosaic Murals, Poetry Slam/Spoken Word! and Anti-bullying/character education programs.

At this year’s Gala, Arts Horizons was fortunate to work with another strong supporter of children and the arts. This year’s Master of Ceremonies was Joe Piscopo.  An entertainer and comedian who got his start on Saturday Night Live, Mr. Piscopo is the proud father of four children, and the founder of The Positive Impact Foundation, an organization that creates positive media for at-risk youth. Honored by several children’s organizations including The Boys & Girls Club in NJ, Mr. Piscopo was also named “Father of the Year” by the National Father’s Day Council, and by the New Jersey Council of Children’s Rights.

Entertainment at the Gala

At this year’s event, Joseph P. Benincasa, Executive Director of The Actors Fund, spoke about the late Celeste Holm after a brief video tribute was presented

to guests. Steven Bond, President of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation, spoke about Mr. Neiman following a video tribute to the world-renowned artist. Additional entertainment for the evening included a Drum performance by Arts Horizons students from PS 46 in the Bronx, and a special musical tribute to Celeste Holm performed by her husband, Frank Basile and singer KT Sullivan. Joe Piscopo sang “Fly Me to the Moon” from the Frank Sinatra songbook, accompanied by legendary guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli and Ed Laub.

About Arts Horizons

Arts Horizons, based in Englewood, NJ, is a premier arts-in-education, non-profit organization that reaches more than 250,000 children, teachers and parents a year throughout New Jersey and the New York/Metropolitan area, with vibrant school and community-based programs where children gain appreciation for the arts. Founded in 1978, Arts Horizons is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York and New Jersey State Councils on the Arts as well as numerous foundations, corporations and generous individuals. To learn more about Arts Horizons, or to schedule a program, please visit: www.artshorizons.org or call 201- 567-1766 Ext.106.

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Contact:  Karen Sperling/Rhea Basroon

                 Sperlingreene PR and Marketing

                (201) 543-7421/(347) 645-0638

               ksperling@sperlingreene.com

Elizabeth Halverstam & Frank Basile Talk Arts Horizons 35th Anniversary Gala on Internet Radio

The internet radio show was recorded by Elizabeth Halverstam, Executive Director of Arts Horizons and Frank Basile, husband of our late Chairman, Celeste Holm, who talk about Arts Horizons and our 35th Anniversary Gala on Monday, October 22nd.

Click here to listen to the interview and learn more about our 35th Anniversary Gala

Arts Horizons Celebrates Their 35th Birthday

Arts Horizons (originally know as Festival of Music) presented it first shows on September 28, 1978 in Caldwell, New Jersey. We are one of the largest providers of professional arts programs serving schools in the New York tri-state area.

Here’s How You Can Join Our Birthday Celebration:

School and Parent Associations
To celebrate our 35th Birthday we are offering every school or parent group a chance to have our very first performing group come to your school for free! All you have to do is book a program for your school or community organization. You will then be eligible to to enter a drawing for the free program. The contest will last until the end of October and the winner will be announced in our e-Newsletter.

Book a Program

Donors
Please support us with a donation of $35.00 to celebrate our birthday! Visit our website at http://www.artshorizons.org now. Your donation will go a long way in helping Arts Horizons transform children’s live for another 35 years.

Donate to Arts Horizons

BlackBall On Exhibit Now At The Arts Horizons LeRoy Neiman Art Center

BLACKBALL: Illuminating Negro Leagues Baseball opens on August 27, extending through September 27th, at the LeRoy Neiman Art Center in Harlem. Organized by the Arts Horizons LeRoy Neiman Art Center in partnership with the Harlem Historical Society and the Harlem Black Yankees, and sponsored by Abyssinian Development Corporation, the exhibition includes paintings, fiber art, sculpture, giclée prints and digital renderings created by a selection of emerging and established artists dedicated to sports, storytelling and history.

Participating artists are from New York, New Jersey, Detroit and California and include Donald “Sunn” Anderson, Lou Grant, Charles Hearn, Rod Ivey, LeRoy Neiman, Kadir Nelson, George Preston, Sherry Shine and Grace Y. Williams. Local artisans have also been specially commissioned to create NLB-inspired collectibles, which will be presented at the reception and remain on display for the duration of the exhibit.

Reception: Thursday, September 13, 2012 from 5:30-8:30pm at the LeRoy Neiman Art Center, 2785 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (near 148th Street).

Other special events include free family NLB films and workshops on Saturdays, September 8, 15 and 22. Please contact the Neiman Art Center for more details.

 The LeRoy Neiman Art Center 
2785 Frederick Douglass Boulevard near 148th Street
 neimancenter@artshorizons.org or call us at 212.862.ARTS

Where They Are (When They’re Not in Your Schools) – D. Cross & Mansa Mussa

D. Cross @ The 2012 American Beatbox Championship

Arts Horizons teaching artist Derick Cross (D. Cross) will be hosting the third annual American Beatbox Championships in NYC this Saturday and Sunday. For time, location and ticket pricing, please check out http://www.americanbeatboxchampionships.com/

To get a taste of what you can expect from this weekend-long event, view the clip of last year’s champion below.

D. Cross is a visual & vocal artist and educator. As an Arts Educator Mr Cross has worked with young people from ages 4-21 for the past 20 years. Cross has participated in the Special Education Artist Academy and taught at Hospital School. 

Mansa K. Mussa @ “Dancing in the Key of Life” Opening Reception

Mansa K. Mussa, another one of our multifaceted teaching artist is showing at Les Malamut from August 2 – September 26. “Dancing in the Key of Life” is a solo exhibit that presents a collection of color digital photographs, collages, and shadow boxes expounding on the many facets of the dance universe.

The Les Malamut Art Gallery is located  at 1980 Morris Ave, Union, New Jersey 07083. A reception will be held on  Thursday, August 9, 6:00 – 8:00 PM to not only view this fascinating exhibit but to also meet the artist and dance aficionado behind the works.

Mansa K. Mussa is a visual and performing artist, arts educator, and arts consultant. He has taught photography to children, teenagers, and adults for the past twenty-six years. Mussa has participated in the Special Education Artist Academy and has taught at Hospital Schools. 

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