Blog Archives

A Mural Rising for Summer Rising at East Bronx Academy

UPDATE!!

Students and teachers celebrated with a special mural unveiling on Thursday, August 12, 2021. Enjoy the brilliant final masterpiece!!!


original post August 4, 2021

Students at East Bronx Academy eagerly began painting a large outdoor mural as part of Summer Rising under the artistic direction of esteemed muralists Vanezza Cruz and SIENIDE. Arts Horizons and East Bronx Academy of the Future are proud to have received this special grant award through the New York City Department of Educations’ Office of Arts and Special Projects, made possible by the New York City Artist Corps. Students filled the recently renovated park area with splashes of color against the backdrop of a new basketball court and park benches overlooking blooming flowers along a colorful walking path. This park gives residents peace and tranquility within a busy South Bronx neighborhood, and the mural is an ideal addition to the school and a great way for the community to come together through the arts.

The mural design process was led by Vanezza with close collaboration from Principal Sarah Scrogin and Assistant Principal Steven Brady of East Bronx Academy as well as Principal Emily Shu of Bronx Envision Academy, a school co-located in the building. Students shared their ideas in special workshops which led to the rich design depicting iconography that represents the school and surrounding community: a knight, cacti, and the subway. The knight [school’s mascot/logo] symbolizes strength, honor, integrity and courage. The cacti represent resilience, endurance and fortitude as they are known to survive in new environments and situations all the while remaining adaptable and strong. Lastly, the subway is a unifying factor for the entire school campus as their building is right next to the 174th Street train station in the Bronx. The stack of books and the apple in the shield echo elements of education. The decorative dark hands symbolize an otherworldly power of protection and guidance, and colored in a way to represent the gamut of skin tones amongst the BIPOC community in the area.

SIENIDE joins Ms. Cruz at East Bronx Academy as an artist and teaching assistant, and together, they carefully guide students to make their mark on the newly primed wall while implementing newly learned techniques in color theory, color mixing and painting. Students from both schools work collaboratively to help bring to life this stunning largescale mural which will be unveiled in a special opening ceremony in August 2021. We are excited to see the final result and cannot wait to share the images of the mural that will cheerfully welcome students, staff and community members back into the school community after a very tumultuous school year in pandemic.

About the Artists:

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.

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.

For more information , please contact Kiran Rajagopalan:


Kiran Rajagopalan
Director of New York Programs
kiran@artshorizons.org 
201-567-1766 ext. 113

#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)

A Message from Holt McCallany (from Netflix’s Mindhunter)

Holt McCallany, star of Netflix’s Mindhunter, shares how the arts have impacted his life and how the ‘arts are everything!’ An actor, writer, and producer, Holt tells how he was born into a family of artists. Listen to his message on why we must keep the arts in our schools and communities during this time.


Be part of the change with Arts Horizons as we educate, heal, and unite our schools and communities through the arts. Help us CREATE A NEW HORIZON FOR ARTS HORIZONS.

Learn more: https://fundly.com/arts-horizons

In a career spanning over 30 years, Holt McCallany has worked with some of the world’s best directors including David Fincher, Guillermo del Toro, David O’Russell, Guy Ritchie, William Friedkin, Lawrence Kasdan, Walter Hill, Clint Eastwood, Brian De Palma, and Michael Mann among others. Holt currently stars in the Netflix series Mindhunter where he plays Bill Tench, an FBI agent researching serial killers in the late 1970s. He also has roles in three upcoming films: Nightmare Alley by Academy Award winning director Guillermo del Toro, Cash Truck by Guy Ritchie and The Ice Road by Jonathan Hensleigh. Holt has appeared in memorable supporting roles in movies like Fight Club, Three Kings, Alien III, and Men of Honor to name a few. Born into a theatrical family, Holt’s father, Michael, was a Tony Award winning Broadway producer and his mother was the legendary cabaret singer Julie Wilson.

Internet Safety with WinceyCo

WINCEY TERRY-BRYANT, NJ native and founder of Winceyco, has been using music and drama to educate audiences about school curricula and social issues since 1988. Wincey has been an Arts Horizons teaching artist since 2006 and offers an extensive repertoire which is now adapted for virtual and hybrid programs!   Offerings include arts-integration professional development training for teachers as well as performances in African Heritage/Black History, Women’s History, Latin Heritage, Anti-Bullying, Character Education, and many others. Programs align with the National Core to teach the regular school curriculum through live musical stage plays, dance, and dramatic storytelling.

Arts Horizons is excited to share Wincey’s latest virtual programs that include live interactive segments, call and response songs and lively animated scenes.  WinceyCo has a new and important series that help us learn more about internet safety.  Now that we are spending so much of our time online, both students and families can benefit from these interactive programs.


INTERNET SAFETY with WinceyCo

Traffick Jam (3-5)

Kids spend anywhere from 6-10 hours online EVERY DAY. Games, videos, and even online learning platforms make them susceptible to online predators. This Winceyco arts-infused program uses animated scenes and music to teach your students about internet safety.

Safe Surf (6-12)

Not only will your middle and high school students be surprised to find Ms. Wincey hanging out in cyberspace, but they’ll be shocked to learn who else is waiting for them out there in the world wide web.


Wincey has worked throughout the music and film business with such industry giants as Spike Lee, Bill Cosby, Sting, and Tina Turner. Terry’s television credits include Soul Train, Arsenio Hall, and David Letterman. Her voice can be heard on Sesame Street, Grover Washington Jr’s live cd, Monie Love’s hit single “Its A Shame”, and Cosby show commercials. Wincey is the author of 3 children’s CD book sets on bullying, character, and safety, as well as a cartoon DVD on African American history.  Wincey serves as the Arts co-chair for the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking and former VP of Zonta International Women’s Organization, Wincey has been awarded the Civil Rights Activist Award by Women in Media and the Future is Female Award by A Life Recycled for her work in Human Trafficking awareness, as well as the Woman of the Year award by Kiss FM Radio for her innovative children’s programs.


For more information or booking please contact Gloria Page, Program Manager, at 201-567-1766 x 120 or gloria@artshorizons.org .


Please consider supporting Arts Horizons.

Special September Discounts!

In honor of National Arts In Education Week and the start of the new school year, Arts Horizons is offering a limited time discount!!

The pandemic may have shifted us to a new normal, but arts education is here to stay! Arts Horizons’ virtual arts programs are highly interactive and help bolster student engagement, creativity, and well-being. Contact us for more information about our livestream, prerecorded, and hybrid virtual arts programs and take advantage of this limited time offer!

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.

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