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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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“Make a Date with the Arts”

Make a ‘Date With the Arts’ and celebrate our 40th birthday by bringing an Arts Horizons Educational Program to Your School !

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Spotlight: Summer Programs in NYC

After a busy and fruitful school year, Arts Horizons plunged straight into our summer arts education programs in Brooklyn, Bronx, and Staten Island. 10 AH teaching artists conducted five to six week-long residencies at various sites administered by the following community-based organizations:  Moshulu Montefiore Community Center (MMCC), Children of Promise, NYC (CPNYC), and United Activities Unlimited (UAU). We are pleased to recognize our longstanding partnerships with MMCC and UAU, and we are eager to continue deepening our new partnership with CPNYC. All three organizations have been doing exceptional work to provide spaces that foster educational, recreational, counseling, and/or social programs for children and young adults in New York City’s outer boroughs. After school and summer programming offered by these organizations are part of the Beacon and SONYC (School’s Out NYC) initiatives by the Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) in collaboration with the Administration for Child Services (ACS) and the Department of Homeless Services.

At 7 MMCC Cornerstone sites, our teaching artists provided an eclectic offering of engaging programming to elementary and middle school children ranging from Afro-Caribbean Dance with Silvana Marquina to Percussion with Larry Washington, Jewelry-Making with Ken Fury, Jazz Vocal with Pamela Hamilton, and Visual Arts with Natalie Alleyne, Yako Prodis, and Mansa Mussa. AH teaching artist Ibrahima Camara had a very busy summer as he conducted African dance and drumming residencies for all three organizations!

AH Program Coordinator Kiran Rajagopalan had the opportunity to visit two music residencies this summer – Grace Galu’s songwriting program for MMCC at Fort Independence Community Center in Bronx and D. Cross’s beatboxing program for CPNYC in Brooklyn. Let’s take a quick peek into their classes!

Student songwriters riffing on their favorite food & activities with Grace Galu

Noted soul vocalist and vocal coach Grace Galu is a new teaching artist for Arts Horizons. Students in her songwriting classes learned all about using figurative language, counting syllables, and crafting narratives. She opened up her classes with a fun icebreaker, “Jump In, Jump Out,” in which students introduce and identify themselves to the class as a “singer/dancer/gamer/etc. for the rest of their lives!” Once they were energized, Grace asked them to name their favorite food or activity – the first class eventually chose ice cream and the second class chose dance. Together, students created short, poetic phrases with adjectives to describe how ice cream and dance made them feel, and these lines were compiled into a short stanza and chorus. Grace then brought out her guitar and sung her students’ songs acapella!

Kiran’s second stop was at CPNYC in Brooklyn to attend a beatboxing class by longtime AH teaching artist and multidisciplinary artist D. Cross. CPNYC specializes in enrichment programing for children of incarcerated parents to “empower them to break the cycle of intergenerational involvement in the criminal justice system.” The focus of D. Cross’s residency was to introduce students to the basic elements of vocal percussion and music production through the creation of beats for songs. D. Cross assembled the students in a Hip-Hop cypher to facilitate improvisation and conversation through music. Students took turns beatboxing, improvising lyrics, or adding other sounds, and D. Cross layered their vocals into a cohesive beat with the help of a splicer machine!

Students freestyling in a cypher with D. Cross over their own beats

Arts Horizons was thrilled to see such active participation in the arts at MMCC, UAU, and CPNYC, and we are grateful to hear that our teaching artists’ efforts were well appreciated by students, faculty, and administrators. We would also like to thank Ms. Kim Viade, Ms. Monique Newton, and Ms. Gizzelle Lopez along with all of the site directors and staff for welcoming us into their programs. We are excited to continue our collaborative work with these amazing organizations for the next academic year.


AH’s Summer Arts Programs in Music & Visual Arts

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)

Arts and Literacy with “Lady Rose”

Arts Horizons is pleased to welcome Ms. Cynthia “Lady Rose” Roberson as a new assembly leader and residency artist.  Cynthia “Lady Rose” Roberson, Singer, Songwriter and Library Media Specialists, designed the RITTA BOOK concept to promote literacy as a life skill and generate excitement about learning and academic achievement in the 21st Century.  Her mission is Reaching Imaginations Today Tomorrow & Always with Breathtaking Objects of Knowledge (RITTA BOOK).

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Through Music, Movement, and Rap, with an up close and personal meet and greet from THE RITTA BOOK MASCOT, students are encouraged and challenged to embrace academic achievement as a gateway of preparation toward making a difference in themselves, their family, their communities, and the world. The RITTA BOOK MASCOT promotes literacy, builds up excitement about reading and celebrates lifelong learning. Live educational, interactive, fun performances are available for students K – 5.

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Cynthia “Lady Rose” Roberson is a singer and songwriter, flooring audiences from the famous Apollo Theater in New York City to Sapporo Japan. She has even performed with the late great Ray Charles!!!  As a dedicated Mother and School Media Specialist, this modern day Educator is using her gift of creativity and artistic accomplishments to enhance the quality of learning through what she calls, “the Arts in Language Arts.

”Lady Rose” shared her many talents and energized students in literacy learning through music, movement and rap as part of  Arts Horizons programs with Newark Summer Plus 2018.
For additional information and booking, contact Gloria @ artshorizons.org or call 888-522- ARTS x 120 (5767).

Summer Learning with Newark Summer Plus

Arts Horizons is excited to support summer learning with Newark Summer Plus 2018 ! Our teaching artists are leading programs in Wearable Art, Book Arts, African Storytelling, Mask Making and Storytelling and Music at five different schools (Belmont Runyon Community School, Elliott School, Speedway Academy, Oliver Street Elementary School, and the First Avenue School).

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Percussion program at Speedway Academy,  led by Baba Larry. 

Newark Public Schools (NPS) SummerPlus, a collaborative effort with the Newark Public Schools (NPS) Office of Expanded Learning Time (ELT) and Office of Curriculum and Instruction (OCI), offers a summer program focused on summer learning that joins the best practices of academic preparation and enrichment. This partnership builds on and leverages the expertise and resources of both NPS and Community Partners in delivering summer learning opportunities.

 
NPS SummerPlus embodies a vision for Newark public school students in 1st-8th grades with access to creative and engaging summer learning programs that contribute to increasing college and career readiness, narrowing the achievement gap, promoting attendance and engagement, involving families as partners, and encouraging health and fitness. The overall goal of this initiative is to make summer learning a scalable and sustainable strategy for improving student outcomes.

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Wearable Art led by Ms. Michele Baldwin

 
Arts Horizons was, once again, selected as one of the art partners to provide enrichment content and programming (from July 10-August 4, 2018) to the Newark Public School students. This year, we served more than 800 children with a variety of innovative, educational, and culturally diverse arts programs appropriate for all age levels, utilizing percussion, visual arts, theatre, dance, and storytelling. Our unique workshops included Wearable Art, African Rhythms Drumming, Storytelling & Music, Mask Making, A Journey through Book Arts, African Storytelling, Fun with Portraits, and Sing, Rap & Read.

For more information please contact Stephanie , Manager of NJ programs: stephanie @ artshorizons.org, 201-268-7219 * 114

 

Seeking Professional Teaching Artists (NY/NJ)

Arts Horizons enhances the lives of people of all ages and abilities by creating equitable opportunities to engage in the arts.  Professional teaching artists offer a wide variety of unique, multicultural programs, including custom designed artist-in-residence programs, live performances, professional development for teachers, and parent workshops.  All programs are designed to reinforce State Learning Standards and NYC Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts.

Arts Horizons seeks Experienced Professional Teaching Artists for 2018-2019 for contracted artist-in-residence programs.   We are looking for experienced teaching artists in a variety of genres – visual arts, dance, theatre, music, art and technology, and literary arts.  Arts Horizons programs take place in schools, community centers, hospitals, and adult program facilities with students of all ages and abilities.  Program locations may include:

  • NYC (All 5 boroughs)
  • NJ (Northern and Southern)
  • NY State (Rockland County)

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TEACHING ARTIST JOB DESCRIPTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Develop arts-in-education programs that follow sequential learning and meet needs of specific audiences
  • Attend/facilitate planning meetings with educators, staff, administrators, and artists to harness expertise, define goals, and program delivery expectations
  • Present hands-on and engaging programs that target arts, academic, and social learning objectives
  • Employ effective classroom management techniques and observe site policies and guidelines
  • Collaborate with classroom educators and/or program directors to tailor learning programs towards collaborative goals
  • Demonstrate keen attention to detail in submitting required paperwork and documentation for compensatory and evaluation purposes.
  • Communicate promptly and efficiently in response to program-related matters and correspondence
  • Allow sufficient travel time for setup and preparation at contracted program sites.
  • Represent Arts Horizons with professionalism and respect within our communities at all times
  • Demonstrate commitment continued professional development and work experience

 

Skills and Experience:

  • Bachelors Level Degree or equivalent in your field
  • Minimum 3 years working in the field or equivalent experience as an artist-in-residence
  • Knowledge of and ability to integrate the NYC Blueprints for Teaching and Learning in the Arts into program curriculum
  • Ability to tailor program curriculum to site needs and complete goal oriented lesson plans
  • Ability to travel to programs
  • Detail-oriented and demonstrated ability to prioritize and balance multiple, simultaneous engagements
  • Fingerprinting for NYC or NJ will be required

 

To Apply:

Please complete our online Artist Interest Form: http://fs30.formsite.com/artshorizons/form1/index.html

From our website, www.artshorizons.org, Go to Contact, Teaching Artist Roster

NO phone calls or emails please

Submission Deadline:  Friday August 3rd, 2018

Spotlight: Arts for ELL+SWD in Manhattan

Spring is finally in full bloom in New York, and Arts Horizons is preparing for the end of the school year and planning the launch of our summer programs. We are pleased to announce the fifth post of a series in which we spotlight two more of our partner schools in Manhattan that received an “Arts for English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities” (ELL+SWD) grant:  PS 184M: Shuang Wen in Chinatown and PS 79M: Horan School in East Harlem. This is Arts Horizons’ fourth season participating in this initiative, and we have announced our 10 partner schools for this academic year in a previous post.

Through this grant, participating schools “receive funding to create new or expand existing partnerships with arts and cultural organizations with experience serving English Language Learners (ELLs) and/or Students with Disabilities (SWD).” Our visual and performing arts programs for Literacy Development and Socio-emotional Growth effectively engaged these student populations through hands-on workshops that stimulated creativity, vocabulary development, speaking, and other communication skills.

At PS 184M, three AH teaching artists – Pat Russell, Navida Stein, and Jeannine Otis – conducted residencies for grades 3, 4, and 7 in Circus Arts, Storytelling, and Musical Theater. AH teaching artists Mansa Mussa and Natalie Alleyne have been part of an extensive visual arts program with District 75 elementary school students at PS 79M. Let’s take a quick visit to their classes!

Earlier in April, AH program coordinator Kiran Rajagopalan attended (and videotaped) the final performances of Jeannine Otis’s 7th grade and Pat Russell’s 3rd Grade classes at PS 184M. Jeannine is an award-winning singer, songwriter, actress, and author, and she is co-director of Theatreworks USA’s production “Freedom Train.” Pat is a multidisciplinary theater artist and longtime teaching artist who specializes in clowning, circus skills, facepainting, and puppetry.

Jeannine’s 7th grade classes presented “Message Songs,” an uplifting series of student-selected songs centered on the theme of social justice. A student representative from each of the three classes spoke briefly about their song choices and how they related to issues they have experienced at school and in their communities. “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson, “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent, and four songs from the megahit musical Hamilton were performed to a packed audience of students and parents. Jeannine even had a guest drummer, bassist, and spoken-word artist STARDA as part of the ensemble!

Immediately following “Message Songs,” the auditorium was transformed into a circus with the assistance of several parent volunteers who hung up pennants, student artwork, and other paraphernalia. Pat’s 3rd grade classes then paraded into the auditorium and performed tricks, skits, and gags that wowed and amazed a second group of students and parents. Students juggled scarves, balanced feathers, played tug-of-war with an imaginary rope, tumbled on mats, performed magic illusions, and did tricks with hula hoops! The 45-minute show ended with an engaging Q&A in which students asked other students about all of the tricks they saw.

Grand Finale of PS 184M’s 3rd Grade Circus Arts Performance with Pat Russell

It was a monumental undertaking to coordinate the logistics of these performances, and we thank visual arts teacher Ms. E-Anna Soong for all of her effort in their organization and execution. We also thank the principal Ms. Chiu and assistant principal Ms. Mee for welcoming us into their schools.

Kiran then travelled uptown to visit noted mixed media artist Natalie Alleyne at PS 79M, and he observed her students creating collage portraits with such enthusiasm and concentration. Most students were instructed to create collage portraits using bits of construction paper and gluestick. Several students had already completed their collages in a previous class, and they learned how to use a tile cutter in preparation for next week’s lesson of transforming their collages into mosaics. The paraprofessionals and teachers were critical support to Natalie and her students, and we thank them for their assistance throughout the residency.

For further information on applying for the Arts for ELL+SWD grant with Arts Horizons as a partner, please contact Dena Malarek at 201-567-1766 ext. 108 or dena@artshorizons.org. The deadline for new applications and renewals is Friday, June 8!

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