Report Shows $17 Million Increase in Arts Programming Across All Schools
“The arts are essential to a well-rounded education, bringing classrooms to life and fostering creativity and passion,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Investments in arts education is a game-changer, and I’m proud we have the highest number of arts teachers in twelve years and that we’ve increased arts programing for students with disabilities, in pre-k classrooms and for middle school students.”
Chancellor Fariña today visited PS 51 in Manhattan to celebrate the Annual Arts in Schools Report as well as the school’s strong arts program for all students including those in Pre-K.
As part of the administration’s annual $23 million investment, DOE has launched a number of hiring initiatives to increase access to certified arts teachers to schools across the City, including Arts Matter, a staffing initiative that partners schools – predominantly located in high-needs communities – to share one or two full-time arts teachers. Schools selected for the Arts Matter program receive three years of financial and instructional support from the DOE including ongoing professional development and one-on-one discipline-specific mentoring by experienced teachers as well as arts materials. Since its inception in the 2014-15 school year, Arts Matter has brought 98 certified arts teachers in 123 schools citywide. Through this program 91 of those schools were able to hire an arts teacher for the first time.
The 2015-16 school year also marked the launch of the F-Status Pilot Program a new hiring initiative that allows schools to receive additional support to hire a part-time (F-status) licensed arts teacher. The F-Status program expanded this fall, and now serves a total of 20 schools, up from 16 schools last year. Between the new F-Status program and the Arts Matter expansion, more than 140 schools across the city are now receiving high quality art instruction for the first time.
Additionally, the DOE has substantially increased arts programming for English Language Learners (ELLs) and Students with Disabilities (SWD) through the expansion of several grants, including Arts for English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities, Arts Continuum, and the Arts+Family Engagement program. These grants have expanded from serving 144 schools in 2014-15 to 343 schools in 2016-17. These initiatives provide schools with resources to ensure meaningful arts opportunities for students through external partnerships with the NYC arts and cultural community. Partnership goals include increasing achievement in and through the arts for diverse student learners, bridging arts learning between the elementary and middle school grades, and increasing family involvement around students’ arts education.
The Annual Arts in Schools Report also features a number of new and expanded arts initiatives that are reaching students across all five boroughs – including new family engagement activities, expanded community arts partnerships, additional supports and professional development for educators, and additional funding for arts facilities in schools. Notably, this summer the DOE more than doubled the number of seats available at the Middle School Arts Audition Boot Camp, a program that provides intensive support and targeted training to students auditioning for and applying to arts-based high schools in New York City. Sponsored by the DOE and hosted by Lincoln Center Education, the Audition Boot Camp served 240 students this summer, up from 98 in July 2014. The program helps level the playing field by helping students from Title I middle schools prepare for auditions at competitive arts high schools.
The 2016-17 school year also marked the second full year of Pre-K Create, a three-year professional development opportunity that teaches Pre-K instructors and site leaders how to incorporate visual arts, dance, theater, and music into their ongoing instruction to ensure our city’s youngest learners have access to a quality arts education at an early age. Over the course of the program’s three years, Pre-K Create will train 2,000 pre-K teachers, teaching assistants, administrators, and instructional coaches at 490 pre-k sites across the city, which would impact 11,680 four-year olds in all 5 boroughs. Pre-K Create is supported by a public-private partnership through the Fund for Public Schools.
The report also highlights the continuation and expansion of several arts initiatives taking place across the five boroughs, including Borough Arts Fairs and Borough Arts Directors. The Borough Arts Fairs are a series of year-end borough-wide events that includes student arts exhibitions and public performance. They bring students, families, and educators together in celebration of arts education. In 2014-15, five Borough Arts Directors were also appointed to lead school support and professional development for all schools in their borough. Subsequently, two additional Borough Art Directors were hired for the 2015-16 school year who are tasked with providing targeted supports to low-arts schools, bringing the total number of Borough Arts Directors to seven. These leaders work with superintendents and Borough Field Support Centers to build the supports and environments that promote high-quality arts instruction.
“The City Council has a long history of supporting arts education in our schools," said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. "This year alone the Council dedicated $13.26 million to CASA which supports arts education beyond the school day. Consistent participation in arts education not only improves academic outcomes, but also encourages self-expression and promotes cultural awareness. The Council is pleased by DOE’s investment in expanding arts education that will give more students a well-rounded education. This is especially important in New York City where we have access to so many wonderful cultural institutions.”
“We know that arts education improves academic outcomes, especially for low income youth, and is associated with higher college enrollment and college completion rates. These are clear indicators of economic empowerment for our youth, and as Comptroller, I am very encouraged to see progress from the Department of Education in investing in arts education,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.
"It is a real, measurable achievement of the Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña that the number of certified arts teachers is at its highest in many years. This is what real educational leadership and reform looks like,” said Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, Chair of the New York State Assembly Education Committee.
"Arts instruction in schools have demonstrable benefits beyond the art being taught," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "The DOE deserves kudos for making great advances in expanding access to arts education."
“As a proud New York City public school parent, I’ve seen firsthand how the arts enrich the life of a student and cultivate their creative capacities,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña for their unprecedented commitment to the arts and to ensuring each and every student has access to quality arts programming.”
“Well-funded arts programming ought to be a foundational component of every student’s education in New York City. The arts foster the critical and creative thinking skills essential to academic, social and emotional development,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “The arts engage and inspire students in a way that core curriculum teaching often cannot, and I am encouraged that access to arts education continues to improve.”
“Our schools have shown unprecedented commitment to giving all our students a strong, rigorous arts education,” said Paul King, Executive Director of the Office of Arts and Special Projects. “I am very proud of the progress we made in 2016-17, including hiring new certified arts teachers for schools that did not previously have one. Whether its theater, music or visual arts, the arts are a critical part of every student’s education and I look forward to continuing the important work of expanding arts programming to every student across the City.”
“The Fund for Public Schools joins the NYC DOE in celebrating the increase in high-quality arts education programs available to students at every grade level, throughout the five boroughs, and across diverse arts disciplines,” said Julianne Rana, Deputy Executive Director of the Fund for Public Schools. “We are grateful to our philanthropic partners for their generous support of dance, theater, music, and visual arts programs for students, as well as for professional learning opportunities for teachers such as Pre-K Create, which enables the development of student creativity, sociability, and imagination through the arts.”
“Lincoln Center Theater has been the grateful recipient of several “Arts and ELLs” grants,” said Kati Koerner, Hiltz Director of Education at Lincoln Center Theater. “It is our privilege to bring the creative resources of our cultural institution into the classroom through partnerships with schools across the city. Every day, we see theater help ELLs to become more confident and expressive speakers of English. When students create props or rehearse a scene, they are simultaneously engaged in language and arts learning. Lincoln Center Theater applauds the NYC Department of Education for advancing arts education for ELLs.”
“Pre-K Create provides thousands of early childhood educators with the training and materials they need to make the arts a vital part of their classrooms,” said Valerie G. Lewis, Third Street Music School Settlement’s Anna-Maria Kellen Executive Director. “Third Street is delighted to collaborate with the DOE on this groundbreaking initiative.”
“Professional learning is critically important for teachers of the arts,” said Jody Gottfried Arnhold, dance educator and advocate. “My colleagues at 92Y Dance Education Laboratory and I are honored to partner with the DOE Office of the Arts and Special Projects to provide PK-12 dance educators with the experiences, tools and materials they need to provide a quality sequential dance education for their students. It is wonderful to see confirmation in this report of the great progress we are making.”
Additional information on the arts in New York City schools can be found in the full 2016-17 Annual Arts in Schools Report available online.