Art For Progress' Arts Education Community provides underserved youth with dynamic artistic programming that promotes reflection and self-expression. By connecting youth with working artists, their communities and each other, we hope to transform the way they see themselves and the world around them.
While public schools in New York City have been working hard to meet federal and state mandates for student test scores, arts education programs have become scarce. At Art for Progress, it is our mission to reverse this trend by delivering quality Arts and Humanities programs to the students of New York City’s public schools. Our programs are designed and implemented by professional educators and teaching artists who have a wealth of experience in arts education in public schools and community-based after school programs. In addition, Art for Progress works closely with teachers and administrators at client schools to design programs for students that deepen their understanding of core subject areas. Through arts and humanities education, students will make connections between material covered in class and their community; they will explore other cultures and examine human experience from a variety of perspectives and artistic forms.
We are all familiar with reports such as the Rockefeller Foundation’s The Humanities in American Life, which recommended the establishment of an [arts] and humanities curriculum in all public schools as a step towards improving the public education system in the United States. One need not look any further than the very first page of this report to find some compelling reasons for establishing such a curriculum nationally.
“…the humanities mirror our own image and our image of the world. Through the [arts] and humanities we reflect on the fundamental question: what does it mean to be human? The [arts] and humanities do not necessarily mean humaneness, nor do they always inspire the individual with what Cicero called "incentives to noble action." But by awakening a sense of what it might be like to be someone else or to live in another time or culture, they tell us about ourselves, stretch our imagination, and enrich our experience. They increase our distinctively human potential”
There is not a national arts and humanities curriculum, nor has there been a move towards creating one. We have made it the mission of Art for Progress to bring the arts and humanities into public schools, especially those located in underserved communities. Meaningful exposure to the arts and humanities is beneficial in many ways, and our aim is to deliver academically sound programs that will focus on community building, critical thinking, analytical skills, problem solving, and ultimately human development and personal growth. Art For Progress is dedicated to the development of New York City’s underserved communities, and we will work with public schools to provide a wide range of arts and humanities education programs for the students of those communities.
Art for Progress Music Education Program
We are currently expanding the depth and scope of our education initiative. In 2007, the New York 501(c)3 non-profit developed and instituted its arts education curriculum in several of New York City’s public schools, hosting 1-day workshops and 8-week after-school programs. The success of their inaugural campaign led to increased interest from city schools, specifically seeking unique programs that enhance core subject matter while encouraging student participation. To answer this call, we developed a unique interactive curriculum that focuses on both the arts and humanities.
In 2008 the our Arts and Humanities Initiative became official when our teaching artists began residencies in New York City public schools. The first beneficiaries of this innovative program are Landmark High School in Manhattan and Shorefront Y After- School Stars @ PS 225. At Landmark High our artist in residence has designed a weekly visual arts elective for students in grades 9 and 10. In addition, AFP is developing a multidisciplinary arts and humanities curriculum that works in conjunction with Landmark’s present Global Studies program. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide students with a more comprehensive understanding of the school's Global Studies subject matter, while reinforcing the relevance to the world in which they live. Through active participation and self reflection, they explore visual art, music, theater, fashion and the social norms within different cultures and religions.
Similar to the program at Landmark High School, the after-school program at PS 225 for 4th and 5th graders reinforces the core curriculum while exploring themes of community, self, and culture through the visual arts.
With the goal of bringing the arts and humanities initiative to more schools, AFP plans to continue 1-day workshops, 8-week programs and artists in residence concurrently. All interested parties are encouraged to contact us regarding our unique programs that are designed to fit your specified needs. Throughout the academic year, we will remain dedicated to the development of communities through arts and humanities education.
Frank Jackson, Director of Art For Progress is excited about expanding their education initiative to include both arts and humanities. “With our experiences in the past year, we’ve found that through arts and humanities education, students are making the connection between material covered in class and their own communities. They explore other cultures and examine human experience from a variety of different perspectives…it’s truly about more than just art.”
Art For Progress' Arts Education component offers two programs, designed with
varied activities, objectives and outcomes. While both types of programs share a
common goal in supporting the arts in learning, their diverse structure is created
to suit the needs of any organization, school or community.