Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Mural Rising at Russel Sage Junior High School

A long-awaited mural enlivens the courtyard at Russel Sage Junior High School 190 in Forest Hills, Queens. This in-person outdoor mural program is part of a special grant award made possible by the New York City Artist Corps. The large mural encompasses the spacious outdoor courtyard and conveys themes of unity, love, family, equality, respect and inclusion. The owl mascot and school’s name are enveloped by “heart-headed” figures which symbolize the universal idea of a loving humanity and serve as a reminder of the common bond amongst students and Queen’s dynamic cultural diversity. Individual student names are scribed amidst the mural as they leave their mark on their school community.

Mr. Sien Ide leads the mural design process and in class workshops to prepare the middle school students in the aspects of mural design, color theory, painting technique and details of aspect and ratio. Ms. Vanezza Cruz shares her artistic experience and expertise by assisting Mr. Sien Ide with both the mural application and the mural-making.  Mr. Hemamset Angaza is creating a documentary with behind-the-scenes footage of the artists and students creating and unveiling the mural. Thank you to the school leadership team Principal Greggo, Assistant Principal Monahan, Assistant Principal Aulicino, and all the dedicated educators to help make this opportunity available to launch the new school year as we return from pandemic.

About the Artists:

SIENIDE is a multi-layered artist whose life and is inspired by life and art. Dozens of Sien’s masterfully illustrated murals are scattered throughout the five boroughs of NYC. His public works engage a younger generation of street art enthusiasts with abstract compositions and mood altering color. SIENIDE is an Illustrator, and Professor currently teaching Digital Media Arts at TCI College in New York City.

Vanezza Cruz is a mixed media artist, graphic designer and with an early education in fine arts and music, she graduated Cum Laude from FIT with a BFA in Graphic Design. After working as a graphic designer in the fashion industry, she pursued her MFA in Printmaking at Lehman College. Working as an Art Education Administrator, a freelancer and a muralist, she continues to explore her passions of drawing, binding books, taking pictures, creating collages, and other creative odds and ends. Her work explores ideas of body image and beauty, cultural identity and representations of women.

For more information, please contact Kiran Rajagopalan, Program Director:

Kiran Rajagopalan
Director of New York Programs 
201-567-1766 ext. 113

AH Continues our Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15th – October 15, 2021

Start off the school year with a vibrant celebration of the heritage, artistry, culture and pride of the Afro-Latinx, Latinx, and Hispanic communities through Arts Horizons’ in-person and virtual school assembly programs and arts workshops. While Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th, our programs are available all-year long. Examples include Calpulli Mexican Dance Company’s Day of the Dead Celebrations in early November, Three Kings Day in January, Battle of Puebla and Cinco de Mayo in early May. Preview some of our brilliant programs highlighting the rich artistic traditions of Central and South America, the Caribbean, Spain, and the United States including:

VIVA MEXICO! Live Performance Assemblies and Workshops with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company

This program presents a colorfully costumed, engaging and passionate repertoire that presents Aztec dances and dances from states in Mexico such as Jalisco, Michoacan, Puebla, and Veracruz. Music is an important element of the performance. The music combines coastal Mexican rhythms, Aztec drums and sounds, and Mariachi to create a stimulating visual and auditory performance.

Calpulli’s mission is to teach and produce dance-based programming incorporating live music and theater to promote the rich diversity of Mexican cultural heritage. Calpulli celebrates the rich, regional dance traditions of Mexico’s diverse cultural history interpreted through its unique artistic vision. The fresh, vital repertoire honors Mexico’s past and immigrant life in the United States. Calpulli offers an array of programming to educators allowing access to the company’s expertise in Mexican traditional dance, music, garment-making, and culture.

SALSA FESTIVAL: Live Performance Assembly led by Mr. Louis Bauzo

Using a variety of jazz and authentic Latin percussion instruments, talented musicians explore the Afro-Cuban roots of Salsa and its more contemporary variations. Students are introduced to basic techniques, the role of each instrument, and the concept of the clave rhythm – the unifying element of Salsa. Students will move to the beat of Salsa, Merengue, Bachata and more! Celebrate the tremendous influence that Latin American music and American Pop and Jazz have on each other with Salsa Festival.


Dances Around the World is one of our most popular assembly groups that has been delighting audiences for decades. Dances and dance stories from Spain, Mexico, Argentina and Columbia are woven into a dynamic display of expressive movements, powerful rhythms and rich, colorful costumes.

Additional Classroom and Family Workshops

Latin Fusion Dance * Zumba * Afro-Cuban Dance * Afro-Cuban Percussion * Mexican Folk Dance * Visual Arts Workshops celebrating Hispanic and Latin Artists

For More Information or bookings, please contact:
Gloria Page, Manager of Performances 
201-567-1766 ext. 120

AH Welcomes Marion Ahamat to Our Team!

Arts Horizons is pleased to welcome Ms. Marion Ahamat to the team as our new Program Assistant. Based in Englewood, NJ, she brings her extensive background in office administration and business development along with her keen interest in supporting arts education and cultural endeavors. She has also has a background in Immigration Law and has worked closely with immigrant populations for a number of years. In her own words, she is an avid painter and loves “to visit as many cultural institutions whenever possible.” She firmly believes in self-improvement of the mind and body through the arts, yoga, and cultural awareness.

Initially, Marion joined Arts Horizons as a volunteer, and in just a few short months, she has proven to be an invaluable addition to our Englewood office. Whether it is assisting Kiran Rajagopalan (Director of New York Programs) with an emergency teaching artist supply run, creating comprehensive spreadsheets, or conducting site visits, Marion does it all with a smile! As Program Assistant, she is a liaison between the AH administrative team in Englewood and our teaching artists and partners in New York and New Jersey.

Marion Ahamat
Program Assistant
201-567-1766 ext. 105 (NJ)
212-268-7219 ext. 105 (NY)

Summer Spotlight: VSA-VAD at PS 396K

What a busy summer it has been for us at Arts Horizons! And what an incredible season it has been for arts education! In this special edition of Spotlight, we are pleased to highlight and recognize our virtual and in-person arts education programs under contract with John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Department of VSA and Accessibility. During the past academic year and this summer, Arts Horizons has been contracted for 5 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) for students with special needs. 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.” Through VSA-VAD, Arts Horizons provided approximately 6 hours of instruction per student at each of the schools below: 

  1. PS X811 – Virtual Storytelling & Puppet-making with Miss Navida
  2. Hospital Schools – Virtual Cartooning with Mr. N. Steven Harris*
  3. Hospital Schools – Virtual Visual Arts with Mr. Mansa Mussa*
  4. PS 188X @ PS 34X – Virtual Visual Arts with Mr. Mansa Mussa
  5. PS 396K – In-Person Visual Arts with Mr. Mansa Mussa

* Virtual Hospital School Programs served students in 5 sites:  Kings County Hospital, Brookdale University Medical Center, Richmond University Medical Center, Bronx-Lebanon Fulton Medical Center, and Mt. Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital.

We would like to first thank these incredible teaching artists for their resilience, resourcefulness, and expertise to successfully conduct virtual and in-person visual arts residencies during these difficult times. We would also like to thank the administrators, faculty, staff, and support staff for their adaptability and unconditional support in ensuring that all our programs through VSA-VAD proceeded as smoothly as possible. We can only continue our mission of providing equitable opportunities in the arts to people of all ages and abilities with our amazing teaching artists and partners.

Let’s take a quick peek at Mr. Mansa Mussa’s recently concluded in-person visual arts summer program at our new partner PS 396K. Mansa is a New Jersey-based visual and performing artist, educator, and consultant who has been a vital part of the Arts Horizons community for over 20 years. He brings to Arts Horizons and PS 396K his extensive experience working with special populations through a variety of artistic mediums including:  collage, mask-making, iPadology/digital art, and bookmaking.

Students and staff at PS 396K created 3 different projects over the course of the 6-week program. For the first project, Scratch Art Drawings, participants utilized a wooden stylus to scratch off black wax coating on a 3.5-inch square to reveal a colorful surprise underneath the carved geometric patterns. The second project was the Healing Hands Collage, one of Mansa’s most beloved lessons. As the name suggests, participants created a collage piece with glue and paper using cutouts of their palm prints and portraits which were then decorated with geometric shapes, text, and stickers. The final project, Book Arts Workshop, combined all of the techniques that participants had studied throughout the residency into a handmade accordion book.

It was a wonderful surprise for Kiran Rajagopalan, AH’s Director of New York Programs, to discover that the PS 396K team had organized a Virtual Art Show as a culminating event. PS 396K teacher Ms. Raquel created a beautiful video presentation of student artwork and behind-the-scenes pictures. We would like to close with a special thank you to Ms. Rachel McCaulsky for being such a great teacher and liaison along with the greater PS 396K community for being welcoming us into your school. Stay tuned for more spotlights with our incredible teaching artists and partners. Have a great rest of the summer and a relaxing Labor Day Weekend!


Kiran Rajagopalan
Director of New York Programs
201-567-1766 ext. 113

#MoveOverCovid – Celebrating DANCE Week in April

Arts Horizons says “Move Over Covid!” because it’s Dance Week! A long day of Zoom meetings and virtual classes can be exhausting, and our high-energy, fun, and interactive dance programs can help re-energize the mind and body! Our virtual, in-person, and hybrid dance programs are great for students, teachers, and families and are fully customizable to your programming and budgeting needs.


Our live performance programs are one time events perfect for large audiences.

Additional Performances Programs Include:

African Rhythm Tap * The Art of Chinese Dance * The Dances of India ** 100 Years of Popular Dance * Red Hawks Native American Dancers


Plan a visit to West Africa and the Caribbean through dance with Ms. Reina Pelle as she gets you moving through a sizzling mix of Soca, Dance Hall, Reggaeton, Bachata, Merengue, and much more!

Zumba® with Dawn
Have fun with the whole family while working up a sweat! Get in your cardio for the day with Ms. Dawn Crandell’s high-energy Zumba® dance program.

Dance Around the World with Suzi
How would you like to take a trip around the world through? Explore dance styles from Italy, Mexico, China, India, and so many other countries with Ms. Suzi Tipa as your guide!

Creative Movement for Early Childhood with Irene
Get the little ones moving with Irene’s creative movement program for kids in Pre-K to 2nd grade! Irene’s signature blend of dance and percussion is sure to keep them engaged and to help them develop key motor coordination skills.

Dance workshops are available for groups of 30 participants or less and can be scheduled consecutively for different grade levels or age groups. Workshops can be designed for Families as well.

Additional DANCE WORKSHOPS include:
Afro-Brazilian & Capoeira * Indian Classical Dance * Break Dance * Step Dance * Latin Dance * West African Dance

These programs are part of ‘Arts Horizons at a Distance,’ our specialized virtual and hybrid programs in response to the pandemic. Additional arts programs can be customized for your audience including Improv Comedy, Collaborative Murals for Mental Health, Songwriting Circles and more!
(Logos by Ms. Sangeetha Kowsik, of IhsanIshan Design)

For more information about our virtual program offerings, please contact:

Kiran Rajagopalan, Director of New York Programs 
201-567-1766 ext. 113

Gloria Page, Manager of Performances 201-567-1766 ext.

Stephanie Bostic, Manager of NJ Program 201-567-1766 ext.

An Evening of Dance-Theater by AH’s Program Director on 3/25 @ 8:00PM EST!

Did you know that our Arts Horizons Program Director, Kiran Rajagopalan, is a professional Bharatanatyam Dancer? Make sure to tune in Thursday, March 25 at 8 p.m. to see his independent livestream dance-theater production with Daya Arts as part of “Made In Jersey,” presented by Ramapo College’s Berrie Center.

Poster for dance-theater production, “Vaisravana, The Untold Story of Kubera.’ Click image for link to live viewing.

On Thursday, March 25th at 8:00pm, classically trained Indian dancer and choreographer Kiran Rajagopalan performs the first act of his work Vaiśravana which includes dance, spoken word, and live drumming. Vaiśravaṇa, commonly known as Kubera, is the Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu deity of wealth in the form of natural resources, currency, and commerce. In some depictions, he is the pot-bellied, self-serving, dark-skinned ruler of the Yakshas – an indigenous tribe of magical healers and shamans coveted for their knowledge of Earth’s secrets but feared by “respectable” society. In others, he is the radiant, noble, golden-skinned guardian of the north and official treasurer to the gods. His shapeshifting in religious art and literature is reflective of South Asian society’s framing of good and evil around wealth, caste, and complexion. His endurance in collective consciousness symbolizes mankind’s relentless pursuit of wealth in an era dominated by consumerism and driven by instant gratification.

This solo work by Kiran Rajagopalan has been commissioned by Prakriti Dance. This program is part of “Made in Jersey” which will feature a series of New Jersey based performing artists sharing new works-in- progress. After each broadcast, audiences will be able to join the artist in a live chat where they can ask questions.

Arts Horizons congratulates Kiran on his professional artistry and we can’t wait to enjoy!

#MoveOverCovid: New Family Workshop Series

One year into the pandemic this week, Arts Horizons reflects on this time of creative problem solving where artists have met the call to share expressions of artistry, culture, tradition, healing and shared creative experiences amidst a global pandemic. We have worked to adapt our artist-in-residence programs, live performance assemblies, professional development and family programs into the virtual classroom.

We say #MoveOverCovid as we present NEW short workshop series especially designed for families.

A long day of Zoom meetings and virtual classes can be exhausting! Re-energize your mind and body in this high-energy dance class! Our #MoveOverCovid dance classes are a great way to get the whole family moving together in a variety of styles including: Zumba, Bollywood, Hip Hop, Salsa, Merengue, West African, and so much more!

This is our family-friendly take on the classic paint-and-sip! Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, and get your creative juices flowing in a variety of visual and performing arts workshops including: painting, jewelry-making, mask- making, mosaics, bucket drumming, improvisation, and West African percussion.

Release some tension and relieve some stress with our sound healing and meditation workshops for all ages. You and your family will be immersed in a tranquil environment filled with calming live vocals, instruments, and visuals. You will even learn how to use your voice to create your own healing undertones and overtones!

These programs are part of ‘Arts Horizons at a Distance,’  our specialized virtual and hybrid programs in response to the pandemic. Additional arts programs can be customized for your audience including Improv Comedy, Collaborative Murals for Mental Health, Songwriting Circles and more!

(Logos by Ms. Sangeetha Kowsik, of IhsanIshan Design)

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