Blog Archives

Arts Horizons Goes Virtual

It has been almost four months since the NYC School district shut down schools on March 16th, 2020 secondary to COVID-19.   In this time, Arts Horizons has  weathered many shifts in online learning as we have formulated, and re-formulated,  new paradigms of teaching and learning in the arts.   Our collaborative art spaces, performance stages, dance and music studios have shifted into our apartments and living rooms.  Yet, we have been able to maintain and build community; to nurture the role of teaching artists as mentors, collaborators and role models.   We are grateful to our students, families, teachers,  schools and community partners to continue our communities of learning.   We are grateful for all of our teaching artists who have brought a whole new sense of creative problem solving to the virtual classroom.  Arts Horizons forges ahead into our  42nd year as a non-profit arts-in-education organization that enhances the lives of people of all ages and abilities by creating equitable opportunities to engage in the arts.  

Arts Horizons now offers live, pre-recorded and hybrid programs on virtual platforms such as Google Classrooms, Microsoft Teams, ZOOM and more.  Between March and June of 2020, we have had the opportunity to present live virtual programs for NYC schools and communities including digital arts technology, graffiti art, poetry for students with autism.  We have presented customized pre-recorded programs including 10-part series for multi-cultural dance including West African Dance, Bharatanatyam (Indian Classical Dance), Breakdancing, Step Dance, Shim Sham, Irish Dance, Hula and other dances around the world.  We have led programs in recyclable arts, family fitness and specialized programs for special education including the family at home.   What remains the hallmark of our programs is the collaborative process that expresses itself even in this online format – each program manifests in its own unique shape and size.   Our process unites the educational goals, artistic process and individualized student/classroom goals to present a curated arts-in-education experience.  

 Teaching Artist, Pat Russell and Special Education Arts Teacher, Nina Crupiti-Kanjo collaborate virtually for special education students.

The  state of virtual learning has extreme limitations and exposes great inequalities of access.  This is precisely why Arts Horizons is committed to co-creating programs specific to the needs of each student and each site.   Programs may need to be adjusted for the learner accessing schoolwork via cell phone, the learner that may be accessing schoolwork  at all hours of the day, our learners experiencing the significant trauma that this time presents.  Yet, it is precisely the arts that can best support this paradigm shift of education during COVID-19.  It is the arts which will engage our young people to increase interest in learning.   It is the arts that may encourage a shared family experience led by a professional arts educator.  It is the arts that will nurture our young artists to be the creative leaders for social change and innovation.   It is our network professional teaching artists and school educators that may be the mentor to help individual students in this time of crisis.  It is our community of artists and educators that will be a leading voice for arts-in-education in a global pandemic.

For further information, please contact Dena Isles or Kiran Rajagopalan.


ARTS HORIZONS
Department of NYC Residencies & Special Populations

Dena IslesDirector
NY Phone: 212.268.7219 * 108
NJ Phone: 201.567.1766 * 108
dena@artshorizons.org

Kiran RajagopalanProgram Coordinator
NY Phone: 212.268.7219 * 113
NJ Phone: 201.567.1766 * 113
kiran@artshorizons.org

Did you know that AH was originally “Festival of Music?”

Arts Horizons was founded in 1978 by John Devol, trumpet player, music educator and parent. John played in the orchestra of A Chorus Line for the entire 15-year run of the show and, as he sat in the pit night after night, he realized the importance of bringing quality music to children. He got together with fellow Broadway musicians and formed Festival Brass, a lively, interactive music assembly program that taught students about the brass family of instruments. In 1995, Festival of Music became Arts Horizons, a full-service arts-in-education organization.

Now entering our fourth decade, we reach more than 350,000 students and teachers every year. Looking back over the past four decades, John Devol says, “We are committed to fostering the development of the whole person by integrating the arts into the educational experience, and we endeavor to instill in people of all ages and abilities the knowledge of their own creativity. When I visit schools and senior centers and see faces light up, I know that it’s all been worthwhile.”

Arts Horizons is committed to making the performing, visual, literary and media arts and artistic expression equitable and accessible to diverse people of all ages and abilities. We believe that the arts are fundamental to a child’s education, stimulating learning, enriching the teaching process and providing lifelong learning. It is a New Horizon for Arts Horizons. Help us to continue transforming lives through the arts. Even the smallest gift of $10, combined with other donations, can make a difference in the lives of those we serve.

Storytelling, Music and Art at the New York Public Library

NavidaPS29M2

We are excited to share an update on the expansion of the Arts Horizons LeRoy Neiman Center.  For nearly a decade, our physical space of the Arts Horizons LeRoy Neiman Art Center in Harlem engaged the community in vibrant and innovative art classes and exhibits.  After the recent closure of the physical site, we are remain committed to keep the concept of the center, and famed artist Mr. Neiman, alive through our work via the ‘LNAC Without Walls’ to continue offering quality programs which celebrate the rich history of the Harlem community.

Our revered Family Art Programs will continue with a storytelling series featuring Miss Navida who will bring her talents to three New York Public Library branches.  Children and their caregivers can take part in these programs at the Macombs Bridge Library, Countee Cullen Library, and Hamilton Grange Library.   These programs are supported through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.   Miss Navida is a specialist in storytelling, music and is a multifaceted actor, musician, educator, and playwright.  Please see the schedule of programs below and contact the library directly for registration details.

 


Macomb’s Bridge Library
2650 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.library logNew York, NY, 10039
(212) 281-4900

Presenter: Navida Stein

Wednesday April 11th , 10:30am
STORYTELLING & ART – It’s Raining, It’s Pouring! It’s Spring! Making Umbrellas
Flower Power UmbrellaChildren will create their own mini-umbrellas using a paper plate, glue, tissue paper & a popsicle stick. We will sing some rain songs & take a walk in the rain with our umbrellas. Everyone will help to tell the story of Mushrooms in the Rain.

 

Friday May 11th , 10:30am
STORYTELLING & ART – Creating Turtle Puppets & Telling Turtle Stories
Children will create their own Turtle Puppets using a paper plate, glue, construction paper, a popsicle stick and crayons. We will learn the chanting/fingerplay poem There Was A Little Turtle and then use our turtles to tell the fun interactive story The Talkative Tortoise aka Why the Turtle’s Shell is Cracked or Eric Carle’s book The Foolish Tortoise. Everyone will take home their turtles and a copy of the poem.


Countee Cullen Library
104 West 136th Streetlibrary log
New York, NY, 10030
(212) 491-2070

Presenter: Navida Stein

Thursday May 3rd, 11:00am
STORYTELLING & ART – It’s Raining, It’s Pouring! It’s Spring! Making Umbrellas
Children will create their own mini-umbrellas using a paper plate, glue, tissue paper & a popsicle stick. We will sing some rain songs & take a walk in the rain with our umbrellas. Everyone will help to tell the story of Mushrooms in the Rain.

Thursday May 31st, 11:00am
STORYTELLING & ART – Creating Turtle Puppets & Telling Turtle Stories

turtle twins spuyten duyvil

Children will create their own Turtle Puppets using a paper plate, glue, construction paper, a popsicle stick and crayons. We will learn the chanting/fingerplay poem There Was A Little Turtle and then use our turtles to tell the fun interactive story The Talkative Tortoise aka Why the Turtle’s Shell is Cracked or Eric Carle’s book The Foolish Tortoise. Everyone will take home their turtles and a copy of the poem.


Hamilton Grange Library
503 West 145th Streetlibrary log
New York, NY, 10031
(212) 926-2147

Presenter:  Navida Stein

Friday May 4th, 10:30am
STORYTELLING & ART – Creating Crocodile Puppets

Striped Crocodile at Soundview BXChildren will create their own Crocodile Arm Puppets using crayons, glue & construction paper. We will learn the Miss Navida song When I Take a Walk with my Crocodile & take our newly made crocodiles for a walk. We will end with everyone helping to tell the story Crocodile Beat. Limited to a maximum of 20 participants.

 

 

Saturday May 12th, 10:30am
STORYTELLING & ART – Fish Mobiles
Children will create their own Fish Mobiles using colored pencils, heavy paper, glue, string & googly eyes. We will sing the song 5 Little Fishies, the Miss Navida song 1 Fish, 2 Fish & take our fish for a swim. For inspiration we will read the book Fish Eyes ending in a group storytelling experience of The 3 Little Fish & the Big Bad Shark. Limited to a maximum of 20 participants.

IMG_0309

 

 


For more information, please contact Dena Malarek, Director of NYC Residencies and Special Populations at dena @ artshorizons.org  212-7219*108

Calling All Live Performance Assembly Groups

CALLING ALL LIVE PERFORMANCE ASSEMBLY GROUPS!

MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF STUDENTS!

Untitled design copy

Arts Horizons is currently accepting applications for experienced live performance assembly groups  to join our roster.  Arts Horizons provides students with  live performances with skills and knowledge in the arts in accordance with state and local standards.  Live performances must be educational, interactive, and engage students in dance, music, or theatre.

 

Send video, resource guide and an outline of the assembly program to:

 

Gloria Page

Arts Horizons

1 Grand Avenue, Suite 7

Englewood, NJ 07631

Gloria@artshorizons.org 

No phone calls please.

 

This call is for live performance assembly groups.  Interested teaching artists for in-class residency programs should go to our online artist interest form.

Spotlight: Vickie Fremont in Fordham University @ PS 85X

Noted fashion designer, anthropologist, and recycled materials artist Ms. Veronique “Vickie” Fremont has been an AH teaching artist for over eight years.  Fluent in five languages (French, Spanish, English, Portuguese, and Italian), Vickie is a highly effective arts educators for English Language Learners (ELLs).  She has just finished an AH in-school visual arts residency at PS 85 in partnership with Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education in the Fordham Heights neighborhood of the Bronx.  Ms. Joyce Griffen, another AH teaching artist who has been working with us since 2009, is also currently working with PS 85 students in a storytelling program.  Joyce is an accomplished actress, jazz vocalist and director with extensive experience in special education.

Arts Horizons is pleased to enter our second year at PS 85 in partnership with the Fordham Center for Educational Partnerships initiative with Community Schools.  This continues a longstanding relationship working with the students and educators at PS 85 that dates back to 2007.

AH’s new program coordinator, Kiran Rajagopalan, visited one of Vickie’s classes earlier in January at PS 85.  Let’s visit one of her classes

accordion-book-and-storyAn “Accordion Book” by one of Vickie’s students

Vickie’s AH residency was aimed at PS 85’s ELL students primarily in grades 3 and 4.  She focused on bookmaking so that students had ample opportunities to practice writing in English.  In the picture above, Vickie is holding some examples of “The Book of Diversity” created by her students using recycled materials such as cloth scraps, beads, and yarn.  Students were also instructed to draw a self-portrait and write on where they come from and how they are learning English inside the books.  This was just one of several books the students made during the residency!  Other projects included:  “The Book of the Favorite Words,” “Book Accordion,” and “Mobile Book.”

Vickie also used her proficiency in Spanish to great effect, and she conducted her classes in both English and Spanish so that communication was clear for each and every student.  Mr. Carlos Torres, a teacher at PS 85, was very appreciative of having an visual arts program for students because it “really makes a difference with academic[s]” as it “engages their creativity and relaxes their minds to learn.”  Vickie added that her residencies are designed to encourage students to “discover the connection between the hand and creativity.”

img_7047-editedStudents at work in PS 85X with Vickie (left) and Carlos (right)

New Addition to the AH Team: Kiran Rajagopalan

Arts Horizons is pleased to welcome Mr. Kiran Rajagopalan to our team as the Program Coordinator for the NYC Residencies and Special Populations Department.

img_20160609_213047
Kiran in his Professional Avatar
Photo By:  J. Wesley Beeks

Kiran is an accomplished dancer, choreographer, writer, and educator.  Trained extensively in Bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance) for over 25 years, Kiran has given many acclaimed performances in India, Indonesia, Germany, Spain, France, and the United States.  While living in India from 2007-2014, he organized free dance workshops and performances for underprivileged students in government (public) schools throughout the country.  After returning to the United States to pursue a master’s degree in Performance Studies at NYU, he became a teaching artist in the New York public school system and conducted residencies for 3-8th graders which seamlessly integrate poetry, science, and/or reading comprehension with Bharatanatyam.  He joined Arts Horizons in December 2016 as a program coordinator, and he serves as a liaison between the administrative team in the New Jersey office and the teaching artists and site coordinators for residencies in New York.  He also conducts site visits to assess and evaluate residencies.

Aside from his work in arts education, Kiran regularly conducts workshops, lectures, and demonstrations on Indian classical dance and science.  His “NeuroArt” talks on aesthetics, performance, and neuroscience have been particularly appreciated.  In addition, he is the founder and artistic director of Daya Arts which promotes Bharatanatyam through artist-to-artist collaborations and small ensemble work.  In 2016, he co-founded No Rest in the Kingdom as an initiative to facilitate new conversations between disparate communities of color on issues of gender, race, class, & colonialism in the arts.

kiran-1Kiran in his Dancer Avatar
Photo By:  Santhosh Raj

Allison J. Davis Named Acting Executive Director of Arts Horizons

Non-Profit Executive to Lead Premier Arts Education Organization
Through its Reorganization

allisondavis

The Board of Directors of Arts Horizons (AH) has named Allison J. Davis acting executive director   of the iconic arts education organization. She takes over the position held by retiring Executive Director Elizabeth Halverstam.

 “Allison comes to Arts Horizons with many years in television news as well as in the non-profit world,” said AH Board Chair Barbara Sellinger. “She has served Arts Horizons both as an advisor and consultant and she knows us well.  We believe she is well suited to help us through this next phase of our extraordinary organization,” Sellinger concluded.

 Davis has an extensive background in broadcast and digital media as well as communications’ strategy. She began her career as a producer in television news at WBZ-TV in Boston. She moved on to become an investigative reporter in Pittsburgh, Pa (KDKA-TV) and came back to the producing ranks at NBC News serving in various capacities at Nightly News and Today. Davis headed up the team that developed the first original journalism on the internet. She later helped build NBC’s cable and internet business MSNBC and msnbc.com. She then moved to CBS, where she served as Senior Vice President of its syndication unit. In 2004, Davis left television and began her career in the non-profit world. She served on the senior staffs of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the historic Riverside Church in the City of New York. Davis has also been an adjunct professor at Howard University and the Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. A founder of the National Association of Black Journalism, Davis serves on the Board of Poets and Writers. A mother of two boys, she resides in Teaneck, New Jersey with her husband Robert Wright.

About Arts Horizons

Arts Horizons, located in Englewood, NJ, is a premier arts-in-education, non-profit organization that provides live professional performances and artist-in-residence programs to students in grades PreK-12 throughout the New York, tri-state region. Founded in 1978, the organization’s mission is to foster development of the whole person, and to improve education by utilizing its programming to transform schools into vibrant, exciting places where children gain appreciation for the arts, discover and fulfill their own creative talents and use the arts to improve their proficiency in academic subjects including reading, writing and math. In 2008, Arts Horizons opened the Arts Horizons Leroy Neiman Art Center in Harlem, NY, to celebrate and strengthen the community through the arts, and provide programs, exhibitions, screenings, performances and public talks for Harlem residents of all ages.

Arts Horizons is funded in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, with whom they co-sponsor the Artist/Teacher Institute (aTi).  Other funders include LeRoy Neiman Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Horizon Foundation for NJ, PNC Bank as well as several foundations, corporations and generous individuals who believe in the important mission of Arts Horizons.

%d bloggers like this: