Blog Posts for New York

Parents As Arts Advocates

Posted by Doug Israel, Sep 16, 2011 3 comments

In my previous post, I wrote about the value of arts education in keeping students on track to graduation—regardless of their career aspirations—and the role of parents in ensuring that principals are aware of the value of arts learning to students and the school community.

For those students who are interested in a career in the arts, one would think there is no greater place to be than in New York City. Arts-related businesses in the city generate $21 billion annually, providing over 200,000 jobs in everything from set production and theater management to video game design and advertising.

Unfortunately though, far too many of our city high schools are not providing a quality arts education, even though arts instruction is mandated by state law and we are surrounded by an incredible wealth of cultural institutions and amenities.

As part of our advocacy and public awareness efforts we work with parents in new and exciting ways to build support for the arts in schools.

Parents are helping lead advocacy workshops for other parents and school leaders, they are working with principals to encourage local elected officials to support their school arts programs, and they are helping create resources that can move others to action.

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Keeping Students on Track to Graduation

Posted by Doug Israel, Sep 15, 2011 0 comments

Doug Israel

Most people these days would not disagree with the notion that the first step to a promising career, in any field, is attaining a high school diploma.

Sure, there are some well-known exceptions (see: Johnny Depp, Chris Rock, Peter Jennings, Britney Spears, and “Wendy’s” Dave Thomas), but good paying jobs are few and far between for those that don’t graduate from high school.

In fact, earning a diploma increases the likelihood of steady employment by 30 percent and cuts the chances of experiencing poverty in half. Despite this, today, in the United States, more than one million students across the United States drop out of high school each year.

The good news is that there is evidence from the field that shows that the arts can play a role in reversing this trend.

In several national studies over the past decade, students at risk of dropping out cite participation in the arts as their reason for staying in school. Research has also shown that arts education has had a measurable impact on at-risk youth in deterring delinquent behavior and truancy problems while also increasing overall academic performance.

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My Cultural Tourism Adventure - Part Two

Posted by Theresa Cameron, Sep 07, 2011 0 comments

Downtown Niagara Falls

After our amazing visit to Cooperstown, my family headed farther upstate to Auburn, NY. (We also stopped in Elmira to see where Mark Twain wrote most of his books.)

When we arrived in Auburn, we headed for the Seward House. The Seward house was the home of William Seward who was Governor of New York, a U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State to Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. In addition to serving as the family home, it was also a stop for the underground railroad.

The house has been perfectly preserved as the family kept everything, including receipts for many of their purchases. The Seward family resided in the house until the late 1950s when it was made into a museum.

The next day, I was lucky enough to meet with representatives from a few of Cayuga County’s arts and history organizations, along with the economic development director, the director of the Cayuga County Office of Tourism, and the head of economic development for the county. We discussed cultural tourism in the county and how they might enhance the visitor experience by developing a cultural district in downtown Auburn.

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My Cultural Tourism Adventure - Part One

Posted by Theresa Cameron, Aug 29, 2011 1 comment

National Baseball Hall of Fame

Well it’s the end of August and I have just returned from a very American vacation where I traveled throughout upstate New York.

The trip was mainly designed around visiting one main attraction -- an iconic American museum. None like it anywhere else in the world and attracts thousands of visitors every day! Have you guessed it yet?

It’s located in little Cooperstown New York.

Yep, it’s the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum!

It was really an experience to visit this amazing place full of history about our national pastime. There was a feeling of reverence and silent worship around the exhibits as people starred at all these players and their magnificent abilities. I was in awe at how many people talked in hushed, respectful voices about their favorite players. It was like Valhalla for so many visitors, including my family.

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Partnerships: Envisioning Our Interdependence

Posted by Sahar Javedani, Jul 26, 2011 1 comment

Sahar Javedani

As Director of Educational Programming at Pentacle in New York City, I am constantly seeking opportunities to partner with organizations that share our mission of educating students on career opportunities in the performing arts through our “Behind the Scenes” program.

Last year, we welcomed a new relationship with Exploring the Arts, Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto’s nonprofit charitable organization. We have our long-standing relationship of eight years with Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (Exploring the Arts’ original partner school) to thank for providing the foundation for this new partnership.

I believe that we've created a successful model of arts education where the collaboration of a school, funding partner, and arts education provider can come to the table with a common goal of better preparing students for entering the creative workforce through hands-on and experiential learning.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Susan Benedetto, co-founder and board president of Exploring the Arts to share her perspective on cultivating relationships with new partner schools and arts education providers:

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