There are just six weeks to go before Arts Horizons officially turns 40, and plans for a major celebration are underway! We have had an incredible year of arts education programming in New York and New Jersey, and highlights of our New York City residencies can be found in our previous post. We dedicate this week’s post to highlighting our new partnership with Wellcore Consulting and our spring residencies at 3 schools in East Ramapo School District (ERSD). Situated in the heart of Rockland County in upstate New York and adjacent to the New Jersey state border, ERSD boasts a diverse student body which, according to The Atlantic, is “over 90 percent…children of color, mostly black or Latino, and many of whom are English-learning immigrants.”
Our year-long after school programs at three ERSD schools were funded by the 21st Century Community Learning Center and Empire State After-School Program grants and administered by Wellcore. 6 AH teaching artists – Twinkle Burke, Scott Gaddy, Michael Gardiner, Yah’aya Kamate, Gail Lou, and Suzi Myers – conducted theater, African percussion, Hip Hop, and World Dance residencies for elementary and high school students. Arts Horizons Program Coordinator, Kiran Rajagopalan, recently visited American College Preparatory Academy and Elmwood Elementary School to observe Suzi Myers and Michael Gardiner in action. Let’s take a quick trip into their classes!
Suzi surprised her dance students at Elmwood by showing up with dozens of strange bundles on sticks. She held up a bundle, which looked like cotton candy, and with a flick her wrist, out came a long, silk ribbon! Students were enthralled and very eager to learn Chinese Ribbon Dance. They were taught five fundamental movements from this ancient dance form: waterfall, river, rainbow, snake, and dragon. Afterwards, students freestyled movements based on “writing their names” or “drawing shapes” in the air.
Michael Gardiner’s theater classes at American Prep focused primarily on interactive games which demanded utmost focus and developed critical listening and improvisation skills. Classes began with the “Zip, Zap, Zop” game. This theater exercise is designed to sharpen student’s listening skills by having each student call out either “zip,” “zap,” or “zop” in rapid fire succession. Michael then turned up the energy by having students moving around the classroom with a series of walking and jumping “in character” exercises. One class even ended their session with an improvised a skit set in an African Safari!
Arts Horizons would like to thank the Wellcore administrators, faculty, and staff at Elmwood, American Prep, and Spring Valley High School for their incredible support and for so warmly welcoming us into their schools. We hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership for years to come. Stay tuned for our next spotlight of our summer programs at MMCC and Children of Promise! Have a relaxing and peaceful summer…
Arts Horizons offers a variety of assembly programs in character education, anti-bullying, cultural awareness, dance, music, theater, and storytelling performed by experienced, professional teaching artists. Musicians, dancers, and actors from Broadway, Lincoln Center and other famous world venues capture the students’ imagination and stimulate learning through a fun, impactful, and interactive approach. Our 45-minute live performances address state and national standards and are tailored to grade level and special needs of each audience.
Last week, Limitless Summer Camp celebrated “20 Years of Neurodiversity” with an Arts Horizons live performance, Dance Around the World. AH teaching artist Ramzi El-Edilbi and his team dressed in rich, colorful costumes, and they presented people, their cultures, dances, and music from around the world and those that share a common heritage. Students discovered how dance plays many roles in our daily lives whether for social gathering, political support, or spiritual ritual.
Photo Courtesy of Celebrate the Children
Arts Horizons is pleased to collaborate for the first time with Celebrate the Children and their wonderful “Limitless” summer program for children, adolescents and young adults with unique abilities that supports the development of lifespan goals with the understanding that learning never stops. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them. You can check out more photos from Dance Around the World below or on Arts Horizons’ official Facebook page!
For more information about Arts Horizons’ assembly programs, please visit www.arthorizons.org. For pricing, availability, and other questions, please contact Gloria Page at 201-567-1766 x 120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is currently midway through a glorious summer, and Arts Horizons is still hard at work after a successful year of arts education residencies and assemblies! We thank all of our wonderful teaching artists for being such an integral part of the Arts Horizons community. We sincerely value their amazing work in bringing art to so many classrooms, hospitals, auditoriums, gymnasiums, and community centers throughout New York and New Jersey. We also thank all of the site administrators, coordinators, teachers, and support staff at our many partner schools and organizations for welcoming us into their spaces.
We would like to once again highlight and recognize our longstanding partnership with PS 46X: Edgar Allen Poe, an elementary school located in the Bedford Park neighborhood of the Bronx. We are grateful for Principal Jennifer Ade-Alexander, Assistant Principal Roxanna Bello-Sullivan, Assistant Principal Mary Champagne, Librarian Karen Ramirez, ESL Teacher Cindy Cabral, and the faculty and staff for their continued support and dedication to arts education. During the spring semester, six teaching artists conducted successful residencies at PS 46X in a variety of artistic disciplines including: visual art, dance, music, and storytelling.
Chris Lin’s Saturday morning family workshops were a resounding success, and you can read more about his residency here. Award-winning drummer and longtime AH teaching artist Larry Washington conducted a soulful percussion residency with kindergarteners. Theater artist, musician, and longtime AH teaching artist Navida Stein conducted a brilliant storytelling residency with 1st graders. Multi-instrumentalist Andy Algire taught recorder to 2nd graders. Well-known choreographer and actress Suzi Tipa taught many world dance forms to 3rd graders. Noted Hip Hop and Afro-Brazilian dancer Silvana Marquina conducted a dynamic dance residency for 4th graders.
AH Program Coordinator, Kiran Rajagopalan, returned to PS 46X earlier in May to observe Suzi, Larry, and Andy in action! Let’s take a quick peek into their classes…
Larry’s kindergarten percussion class was high-energy and full of surprises! Students not only learned to play a new percussion instrument each week, but they also learned to sing and enact several songs. Baba Larry then requested Kiran to participate in a “freeze dance” with the students, and the students responded with cheers when he showed off his Indian classical dance skills. The class ended with a Carnaval dance party, and students spontaneously formed a samba line and danced to Baba Larry’s sizzling Afro-Brazilian beats!
Andy’s 2nd grade recorder class began with a series of fun warm-up exercises for the fingers, arms, wrists, and shoulders. Andy then brought out his balafon, an ancient West African wooden xylophone, and the students rehearsed their chosen piece for PS 46X’s annual end of the year showcase. Andy thoughtfully guided his orchestra, and the students’ enthusiasm and eagerness to sing and play their recorders were clearly evident.
Suzi’s 3rd grade class studied a wide range of dance styles from Italy, India, Mexico, and the United States. During this session, students were introduced to el jarabe tapatío, popularly known as the “Mexican Hat Dance.” After a robust warm-up, Suzi introduced the fundamental steps of the dance and then quickly transitioned to a challenging sequence of choreography. Despite the hot cafeteria, students pushed through their rehearsal, and they showed off their moves in an impromptu dance circle at the end of Suzi’s class!
We are thrilled to see such active participation in the arts at PS 46X, and we are excited to continue our collaborative work with the school for the next academic year. Stay cool and stay tuned for further updates from Arts Horizons!
On May 18th, Joyce Kilmer School in Mahwah, NJ invited Dance Around the World to their school for International Day. After the assembly performance, some 5th grade students were asked to share their reactions with us. Wish we could share them all with you but see what a few had to say below.
“The most important this was learning new dances and different cultures.”
“They were lively”
“I think that the most important thing presented in the program was the fact that countries and cultures around the world have different types of dances and uses for it.”
“My favorite parts of the show was when we could dance and when the teachers danced.”
“I like learning cultures from around the world and dance is a big part of culture.”
“My favorite part of the assembly was when kids selected by the teachers got to go on stage. The whole auditorium had a good time.”
“The performers were dancers and they danced many beautiful dances and did an amazing job doing it. They also made it fun for everyone.”
“I learned a Russian dance!”