Spotlight: Arts for ELL+SWD at PS 28M

Arts Horizons is pleased to announce the second post of a series in which we spotlight some our partner schools that received an “Arts for English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities” (ELL+SWD) grant. A list of all of our “Arts for ELL+SWD” partner schools can be found here. In the previous post, we visited AH teaching artist Judy Richardson’s engaging set design residency at CIS 303X, one of our newest partner schools.

In this post, we highlight another new partner school – PS 28M:  Wright Brothers School in West Harlem. Arts Horizons program coordinator Kiran Rajagopalan recently visited PS 28M to attend a session of longtime AH teaching artist Navida Stein’s storytelling residency. Miss Navida is a specialist in storytelling and a multifaceted actor, musician, educator, and playwright. Let’s take a quick peek into two of her classes at PS 28M!

Navida Boomerang 2Miss Navida teaching a new song about a boat in English & Spanish to her students!

Miss Navida’s highly energetic and engaging teaching style enabled students (and teachers!) to move swiftly between each activity. The 1st grade class began with students “singing their name” to the accompaniment of Miss Navida’s keyboard and the tinkling of jingle bells. Then they practiced statue friezes and movements for fish, iguanas, rabbits, snakes, and turtles in preparation for performing Mañana, Iguana by Ann Whitford Paul. Miss Navida even taught them a new song in English and Spanish about a boat. Her Kindergartners were so ecstatic when they got to perform a new song with scarves!

“On!” “Off!” “In!” “Out!” “Up!” “Down!” & “All Around” with Miss Navida

1st Grade Teacher Mrs. Perez, Assistant Principal Ms. Peña, and Principal Ms. Baez were all extremely appreciative of Miss Navida’s storytelling residency. Mrs. Perez, in particular, was especially impressed with how positively her students’ “behavior had changed in response to art.” We would like to thank all of the faculty and staff at PS 28M for their incredible support and for so warmly welcoming us into their programs. We hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership for years to come. Happy Holidays and check back with us in January for more spotlights on our other partner schools!


Spotlight: Arts For ELL+SWD at CIS 303X

It has been a busy fall at Arts Horizons with the successful launch of several arts education residencies with our partner schools receiving the NYCDOE’s “Arts for English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities” grant. Under this initiative, 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).” 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.

Arts Horizons will periodically spotlight one of our partner schools in a series of posts featuring the wonderful work of our incredible teaching artists. We start with our newest partner – CIS 303X:  The Leadership and Community Service Academy in the Bronx. Arts Horizons program coordinator Kiran Rajagopalan recently visited IS 303X to attend a session of longtime AH teaching artist Judy Richardson’s set design residency. Let’s see how Judy, a noted sculptor who built the giant peaches in “James and the Giant Peach,” shared her expertise with students at CIS 303X!

Judy’s students priming the cardboard bushes for the “Alice in Wonderland” set.
Pictured behind is a large backdrop created a few weeks before.

CIS 303X is the first middle school in New York to receive a Disney Musicals in Schools grant, and students were hard at work creating two set pieces for a production of “Alice in Wonderland” that premieres in March 2018. One group of students were in the auditorium with Judy creating large, cardboard rose bushes to be placed in front of the surreal forest backdrop they had created a few weeks ago. Judy instructed them to first apply primer to the cardboard in order to prevent it from absorbing paint and shriveling up.

Back in the classroom, another group of students were fully engrossed in painting large panels for the maze in the Queen of Heart’s castle. Such seamless coordination between the two groups of students was only possible because of the total cooperation and involvement of Ms. Emily Perez, CIS 303X’s dynamic visual arts teacher. Both Judy and CIS 303X’s principal Ms. Patricia Bentley expressed their satisfaction with how this arts education program is proceeding.

Judy’s students painting part of the maze for the Queen of Hearts’ castle

We would like to thank Ms. Bentley, Ms. Perez, Ms. Cookie, and all of the faculty and staff at CIS 303X for their incredible support and for so warmly welcoming us into their programs. We hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership for years to come! Stay tuned for more spotlights on our other partner schools…

Giving Tuesday at Arts Horizons

At Arts Horizons, we believe that art “transforms lives”. For nearly 40 years, we enhance the lives of people of all ages and abilities by creating equitable opportunities to engage in the arts. On this #GivingTuesday, we ask you to support the work we do in schools, after-school programs, hospitals, senior centers and community centers to nurture and develop the creative spirit that is in all of us. Donate here and thank you!!

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Spotlight: Brian “Raydar” Ellis @ GGE

Arts Horizons is pleased to spotlight our ongoing partnership with Girls for Gender Equity (GGE), a community-based organization in Brooklyn. According to their mission statement, Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is “an intergenerational grassroots organization committed to the physical, psychological, social, and economic development of girls and women.” Founded in 2001, GGE strives to “create opportunities for girls and women to live self-determined lives…through education, organizing and physical fitness.”

Although primarily focused on girls and women, GGE has a few initiatives that are coed such as the Urban Leaders Academy (ULA), an afterschool program for middle school students in the Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Bergen Beach, Flatlands, and Canarsie neighborhoods in Brooklyn. AH teaching artists Dawn Crandell, Veronique Fremont, Monique Martin, Mansa Mussa, Donovan Nelson, and Larry Washington have all conducted successful arts education residencies with ULA over the past five years.

This fall, Larry is repeating his percussion music residency with ULA students at New Visions Charter School for Advanced Math & Science, and Brian “Raydar” Ellis is teaching songwriting and music technology at JHS 78K: Roy H. Mann School. An assistant professor at Berklee College of Music, Raydar is a new teaching artist with Arts Horizons and a well-known DJ, emcee, vocalist, and music producer specializing in blending Hip-Hop and Jazz.

A native of Harlem, he served as DJ/MC for The Revive Big Band at Central Park Summer Stage and for the opening night of MoMA’s Jacob Lawrence event. Raydar is also the official remixer and a credited producer on Revive/Blue Note’s “Supreme Sonacy” LP. Ellis is also a featured vocalist and producer on Esperanza Spalding’s recent Grammy-winning album, Radio Music Society. Raydar has shared the stage with internationally known artists including: Me’shell Ndegeocello, Questlove, CeeLo Green, Pharoahe Monch, John Cena, and many others.

AH Program Coordinator Kiran Rajagopalan had the opportunity to visit Raydar’s classes last week. Let’s take a quick peek!

Raydar & Asha setting up the sound equipment before the first class

Students are working together on composing and recording an original song that ties in with ULA’s social justice curriculum. They had already selected their favorite songs last week and were creating “samples” to use for the beat of their song during this session. Raydar taught them how to “slice” and isolate the “open parts” (sections of music without drums) of a song using music editing software. Students then selected snare, kick, and hi-hat drum samples from a digital rhythm pad to layer on top of their samples to create an original remix. Finally, they will compose the lyrics for their original song over the next few weeks.

RaydarGGE2Raydar’s students selecting their favorite drum sounds for their original song

Arts Horizons is excited that the fall semester has been eventful with the successful start of our programs with GGE and several other residencies. We would like to thank Ms. Nicole Hamilton (Director of ULA), Ms. Marguerite Copeland (Program Manager of ULA), and Ms. Asha John (ULA Staff) for their support and for welcoming us into their programs. We are looking forward to continuing our collaborative work with this amazing organization in the spring semester!

Spotlight Returns: Fall Programs @ MMCC with Yako Prodis

Fall has finally arrived in full force, and Arts Horizons is busy with launch of many arts education residencies. We would like to once again highlight and recognize our longstanding partnership with Moshulu Montefiore Community Center (MMCC) and our fall arts education residencies at their Edenwald Campus site in the Bronx. MMCC is a longstanding community organization that serves more than 35,000 preschoolers, school age children, teens, adults and senior citizens in Bronx and Manhattan through free and affordable support, enrichment, education, and recreation programs. MMCC offers a wide selection of after school programming for all age groups at more than twenty sites in the two boroughs. MMCC’s after school and summer programming is 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.

We are thrilled that 6 AH Teaching Artists are offering an eclectic offering of engaging programming to elementary and middle school children. Larry Washington is conducting a lively percussion residency while Dean Maitland and Ken Fury are teaching various styles of dance. Students are studying visual art with Yako Prodis, Vickie Fremont, and Natalie Alleyne. AH Program Coordinator Kiran Rajagopalan had the opportunity to visit Edenwald Campus to observe Yako in action! Let’s take a quick peek into his class!

Yako introducing students to the subway graffiti art of the 1970s & 1980s

Yako is a Bronx-based Hip Hop artist, multi-instrumentalist, music producer, beatboxer, and graffiti writer, and he is a long-time teaching artist and assembly performer with Arts Horizons. He has an MFA from Goddard College’s Interdisciplinary Arts program, and he has composed music for the multi-media performance “The Spinning Wheel” and co-curated his first large scale exhibition at BRIC Arts Media in Brooklyn with longtime collaborator and AH teaching artist Baba Israel. YAKO 440 also a co-founder of the new rare groove band SOUL INSCRIBED.

Yako writing with paint pens alongside his students

His residency at MMCC focused on graffiti writing, and students were first given a brief introduction to NYC’s stunning subway graffiti art of the late 1970s and 1980s. He then had students draw their names in large letters on thick art paper and select two colored markers (one dark and one light shade). He taught them some fundamental techniques of graffiti including drawing shadow boxes and outlining letters. He also asked students to incorporate their favorite character into their writing – skulls and monsters were a clear favorite since it was Halloween and Día de los Muertos! After a few sessions of working with markers, students graduated to paint pens to create their own graffiti art like the professionals!

Some examples of the students’ amazing artwork created with Yako

Arts Horizons is thrilled to see such active participation in the arts at this MMCC Beacon site, 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. Tashan Dawkins, and all of the MMCC staff for welcoming us into their programs. We are excited to continue our collaborative work with this amazing organization during this academic year.


November is Native American Heritage Month

Bring a Live Interactive Performance with The Redhawk Native American Dancers to your school.

_Redhawk Dancers West Pointsmall

The Redhawk Dance Troupe focuses on three important factors: to educate; to entertain; and to break stereotypes. By sharing the origin and history of the dances, as well as the meaning of their traditional regalia, they provide the audience with authentic interpretations. The dance troupe has fashioned breathtaking performances that will make one’s heart soar while experiencing an explosion of color and sound.

Traditional dances and stories are combined with a contemporary style of presenting that continues to capture audiences around the world. The programs include different forms of audience participation, allowing participants to share Native American Indian cultural traditions.



“The students and teachers loved the live music, dances, and the traditional regalia they wore while learning about Native American culture and traditions. ”  Ms. Jacqueline Garcia, PS 25 X

To book an assembly program with the Redhawks Native American Dance Troupe contact: Gloria Page,   1-888-522-ARTS(2787) x 120



October is Bully Prevention Month!

Bring an Arts Horizons Live Assembly Performance to your Program.

bully prevention

Bullying isn’t a new problem, but with modern technology students are facing new challenges unique to their generation. It affects not only the students being bullied, but also the parents, the teachers, the bullies themselves, and the entire school culture. Arts Horizons offers programs that address bullying through specially designed residencies, assemblies, and professional development workshops that focus on conflict management, character development, and community building.

Arts Horizons’ talented teaching artists will work with you to custom design artist-in-residence programs that integrate the arts into any curriculum area or focus on a specific art form. Let Arts Horizons help you create a culture of empowerment through the arts!

Grades K-12  Available Programs

These programs are part show, part workshop. Students watch and learn from the scripted elements of each show and then participate in conflict resolution improv scenes to foster a greater understanding on what to do if they find themselves in these situations



Grades K-6  Available Programs

Thorough lively music, humor and audience interaction, children learn important Character Education messages.


Grades 3-12  Available Programs

Anti-bullying through music is a series of live short stage plays. These assemblies increase the awareness of bullying as a common serious problem of school-age children and advocates for effective bullying prevention approaches by educating students, boosting self-confidence and teaching critical lessons about character and other important social skills.



 Contact: Gloria Page

888-522-ARTS EXT. 120

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