Schools Chancellor David C. Banks Releases Annual Arts-in-Schools Report

  • Posted: Tue May 23, 2023

New York City Public Schools increases arts offerings across grades and doubles-down on commitment to prioritizing arts instruction. Nearly 100 percent of schools are offering at least one arts discipline.

New York City, NY – Schools Chancellor David C. Banks today announced the release of the 2021-22 Annual Arts in Schools Report. Alongside the release of the report, Chancellor Banks emphasized the importance of the arts in the education of our young people, helping students perform better in all subject areas, develop essential social-emotional skills and create community for students inside and outside schools. 

“The arts inspire and fill our souls, and they are an essential part of a well-rounded education,” Schools Chancellor David C. Banks said. “Our city is the cultural hub of the world, and that’s part of what makes going to school in New York City so special. We’re committed to bringing that power and inspiration to our students.”

"The arts are a vital component of educating our city's youth, and we applaud the work of Chancellor Banks and his team to restore arts programming to our classrooms following the pandemic," said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. "The arts bring joy, enhance creative thinking skills, and help our students discover and tap into their talents. Studies also show that arts education has particularly big benefits for students in underserved communities, helping them communicate better, deal with trauma, and progress in school at significantly higher rates. I'm also thrilled to see so many of our city's world-class cultural organizations partnering with schools to provide programming. In a cultural capital like New York, our young people deserve access to this extraordinary resource." 

“The arts have the immense power to save lives, and it’s vital our young people have access to the nourishment and enrichment expressing one's voice can provide. I’m proud to work hand in hand with Chancellor Banks and our partners across the city to amplify arts education for our students, creating outlets for expression and pathways to careers and lives filled with passion and purpose,” said Paul Thompson, Executive Director of the NYC Public School Arts Office. 

The 2021-22 “Arts in Schools” report shows an increase in arts offerings across grades 1-12, more consistent with pre-pandemic levels, following a decrease in offerings during the pandemic. The great majority of schools responding to the arts-in-schools survey reported providing instruction in at least one discipline to students during the 2021-22 school year – 99% of all middle and elementary schools and 100% of all high schools. 

Additionally, for the 2021-22 school year, 80% of responding schools reported working with at least one cultural arts organization. More than 400 cultural arts organizations were listed as arts partners who are providing arts education instruction to students in New York City Public Schools.

The release of this report also signifies a prioritization of the arts as a vital component of our education systems. This spring marks the launch of a new mission by the New York City Public School Arts Office to scale successful programming while piloting new initiatives via the Arts Hub. The Hub will serve as a space for students, artists and educators to collaborate, create and learn, by engaging world class artists and cultural partners from across the city.