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 is pleased to highlight and recognize the support of Ronald McDonald House Charities of NYC Tri-State Area in bolstering our Art Beat program for this fiscal year through a generous grant. Art Beat is partnership between Arts Horizons and Hospital Schools, a division of the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) that provides educational services for all special education students who are hospitalized for extended stays. Art Beat provides interactive music and visual art workshops to promote rehabilitation, learning and cultural experiences for special needs students in an arts-rich, safe, creative, and emotionally uplifting environment.
The program merges the fields of art, healthcare, and academics, to create a space of comprehensive education, healing and expression for special needs students with extended, and in some cases residential, hospital stays. This collaborative effort was established in 2009 and has since been integrated into more than a dozen of the NYCDOE’s hospital school locations. Arts Horizons’ aim to expanding our arts education offerings to hospitals through Art Beat aligns well with Ronald McDonald House Charities of NYC Tri-State Area’s mission to “help as many children as possible achieve their fullest potential by supporting programs in education and the arts.” Arts Horizons is grateful for Ronald McDonald House Charities of NYC Tri-State Area’s generous support, and we look forward to nurturing and sustaining this fruitful partnership for years to come.
Our 2017 Hospital Schools programs supported by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of NYC Tri-State Area take place at four hospital sites. Mr. Yah’aya Kamate leads percussion programs at Metropolitan Hospital Center and Mt. Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital Center. Mr. Shidaun Campbell leads students in Beatboxing and Dance at Bronx Lebanon Hospital – Fulton Center, and Ms. Tira Bluestone presents music programs to students Sunshine Children’s Home and Rehabilitation Center (part of Westchester BOCES). AH Program Coordinator, Kiran Rajagopalan, had the opportunity to see students play pulsating African rhythms on djembe drums at Mt. Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital Center with Yah’aya. He also saw students use their own bodies as percussion with Shidaun at Bronx Lebanon Hospital – Fulton Center. Let’s take a quick peek into their Art Beat classes!
A dancer, instructor, choreographer, masquerade artist, and fire-eater from Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, Yah’aya Kamate is a dynamic performer and a longtime teaching artist with Arts Horizons. For his classes at Metropolitan Hospital Center and Mt. Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital Center, he arranged students in a drum circle and taught them some basic hand movements and sound patterns on djeme drums from West Africa. Yah’aya used a variety creative methods for engaging students to play for long periods of time including: handclapping, numbers signifying where to hit on the drum (“1 2 2 1”), and a carefully constructed sentence embedded with a rhythm to be played (“We walk the big dog now”). Oscar Riquelme, site coordinator at Metropolitan Hospital Center, stated that Yah’aya was an “outstanding residency choice…and an amazing teacher,” and that “the kids were in rhythmic heaven!”
Shidaun Campbell is a sought-after dancer (Hip Hop, modern, jazz, and African), spoken word artist, and published author who formally joined Arts Horizons roster of teaching artists this year. His sessions at Bronx Lebanon Hospital – Fulton Center focused on beatboxing and elements of Hip Hop dance. The first part of his class began with a simple breakdown of the fundamental sounds in vocal percussion: “Everyone say ‘base!’ Say ‘ba!’ Say ‘b!’ Now say ‘pbf!’“ This exercise was followed by a “beatbox cipher” in which students gather in a circle and add a single word or sound to a rhythmic pattern in a round-Robin manner. Finally, students learned “tutting,” a basic move in Hip Hop dance directly inspired by the reliefs in Ancient Egyptian art. Gym teacher Eric Gentry noted that it was a pleasure to work with Shidaun because he made sure to “showcase his expertise in dance” so that students “could understand what they can possibly practice into with hard work.”
Shidaun teaching “tutting” to students in his Beatboxing & Hip Hop dance residency at Bronx Lebanon Hospital – Fulton Center
Arts Horizons, a premier arts-in-education organization located in Englewood, NJ partners with several Community and School based organizations in our community. Working with professional, highly qualified teaching artists who are masters in their field, Arts Horizons provides workshops in the Visual and Performing Arts to both in school and after school programs.
With a grant funded by the Englewood Municipal Alliance Arts Horizons partnered with the Liz Corsini, Director of the ZONE at Dwight Morrow High School and the Janis E. Dismus Middle School to provide incoming freshmen with an in school assembly and a series of follow up summer workshops focusing on the theme of drug and alcohol prevention, conflict resolution and peer pressure. Through the Visual Art and Beat Boxing workshops, with teaching artist Yako Prodis, student participants were able to express themselves and their thoughts on peer pressure and drug and alcohol prevention through their art work and the music they created in the workshops.
Each summer Arts Horizons works closely with the Englewood Youth Librarian, Lynn Kaminski, to enhance the Teen Summer Reading Program at the Englewood Library with arts workshops. Funded by a grant from the Community Chest of Englewood, Tenafly and Englewood Cliffs, Arts Horizons provides teaching artists to conduct a series of visual art and music workshops. Teaching artist Mansa Mussa brings Wearable African Art to the participants, introducing them to the symbolism behind each item used to make the jewelry. Ritika Gandhi instructs the participants on the ancient art of salt resist painting using silk and fabric dyes to create an individual piece of art. Latin rhythms are brought to life as musician Hector Morales leads the participants in the Latin percussion workshops.
Arts Horizons worked with the Edward Choi at the Bergen Family Center to provide an after school Visual Art residency to the students at Janis Dismus Middle School as part of their after school program. The “Urban Illustration” workshops led by teaching artist Aaron Lazansky, introduced students to graphic design and illustration through the creation of a “Drop Book”. Students created their own art work focusing on contemporary character design using techniques such a graphic design, topography and illustration expressing themselves through the arts using popular youth culture. Each Student then assembled their individual art work into a “Drop Book”.
A generous grant from the Englewood Rotary Club makes it possible for Arts Horizons to offer The Southeast Senior Center for Independent Living a series of Visual Art and Creative Movement workshops for its seniors. The hands on Visual Art workshops instructed by Mansa Mussa introduce senior participants to photography, graphic design and collage while demonstrating various concepts and techniques. The Creative Movement workshops led by master dancer and choreographer, Yahaya Kamate, are appropriate for all seniors who enjoy innovative exercise and dance.
Please contact Michele Renaud at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201.567.1766 x114 to book your program today!