July 1, 2014
Video available at: https://youtu.be/blhfYdyXQA0
Additional $23 million spent on arts education in the 2014-2015 school year
New funding to support 120 new certified arts teachers, improved arts facilities in schools, and new partnerships with cultural institutions
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced how the City will spend an unprecedented $23 million in additional arts funding for New York City schools. The City will hire 120 new arts teachers at middle and high schools that are underserved, improve arts facilities across the City, and foster exciting partnerships with some of the City’s renowned cultural institutions. The new investment will reach thousands of students with new classes and activities in music, dance, visual arts and theater.
“We want every child to feel the spark that comes from learning something they are passionate about. And so often, it’s taking up an instrument, honing an artistic craft, or performing for the first time that helps a young person come into their own for the first time. The investments we are making here won’t just help our students explore music, dance and the arts. They will help these children grow in a way that helps them succeed in school and in life,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are proud to work with Comptroller Stringer and the arts community, which have advocated bringing these vital programs to even more students.”
“In New York City, the cultural capital of the world, a zip code should never determine whether a student can access arts education in their school. Mayor de Blasio’s commitment of $23 million for expanded arts education marks an important down payment in our ongoing effort to make sure that every City student, in every neighborhood, has access to a meaningful arts education, as I recommended in my recent report, ‘State of the Arts,’” said Comptroller Scott Stringer. “I also applaud Chancellor Fariña for her commitment to put certified arts teachers in middle and high schools that lack them, which will support their capacity to develop partnerships with our amazing arts and cultural organizations in New York City.”
“The arts teach our students the importance of revising, editing, rehearsing and joy in the pursuit of mastery—a lesson critical in the classroom and beyond,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Expanding access to an arts education will help inspire students, build confidence, and deepen their critical thinking skills. By integrating a rigorous arts curriculum and art making into schools, we can provide hands-on learning experiences that help students thrive.”
Among the most significant investments announced today are:
“Arts education allows students with creative ambitions to follow their passion, but is also a valuable part of academic development for all students,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I’m proud that this year’s budget includes funding for an unprecedented boost in arts education for New York City’s public schools in all five boroughs. I thank Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña for their commitment to funding arts programs for our City’s students.”
“The $23 million we are investing into our City’s schools will improve access to the arts for thousands of children,” said City Council Majority Leader and Chair of Cultural Affairs Committee Jimmy Van Bramer. “Every child deserves the opportunity to pick up a paint brush, dance at a recital, play an instrument, and create a work of art that they can call their own. I am proud the New York City Council strongly supported this addition to the budget of the Department of Education. The art our children create today will enhance their overall educational experience by expanding their ability to think creatively. I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Stringer for making arts education a priority in our schools.”
“Arts education is a major component of a holistic education,” said City Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. “I am thrilled that the Mayor and Chancellor have made this a priority. By committing $23 million to put arts teachers in high-needs schools and by partnering with arts institutions, NYC public schools students will benefit tremendously. I was a NYC public school teacher for 25 years, and when my former students return to me, they always reminisce about the arts lessons I taught them. Art is a big part of what makes life worth living!”
“Arts education is at the heart of Lincoln Center’s core mission, and while we have developed programs for schools for nearly 40 years, this new initiative represents a bold step toward strengthening arts education in New York City, the world’s cultural capital,” said Jed Bernstein, President, Lincoln Center. “The Lincoln Center Scholars Alternative Certification Program—made possible by generous funding from Laurie Tisch, created with the inspiration and guidance of New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, leadership from Lincoln Center Education’s Executive Director Russell Granet, and support from Hunter College, the Department of Education, and other great partners—not only creates and sustains new high-quality arts teaching positions, it enriches and inspires a new generation through arts awareness and appreciation.”
“The arts education practitioners and cultural institutions that make up the Roundtable applaud the Mayor, the City Council, and the Chancellor’s decisive leadership in directing such a significant amount of funding in the FY15 City budget toward a variety of innovative arts education initiatives,” said Kati Koerner and Theodore Wiprud, Co-Chairs of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable. “Our members are excited about the range of meaningful opportunities the Mayor’s plan will afford for us to partner with schools. Together, we can ensure that the peerless cultural resources of this City are used to deepen arts learning for all students from pre-K through high school.”
The Mayor, Comptroller, and Chancellor made the announcement at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, one of the cultural institutions that participated in the Teen Thursdays pilot program this past spring. Prior to the announcement, the band from Kappa III Middle School in the Bronx performed.
“At a time when arts education is lacking in Bronx schools, our mission is to bring tens of thousands of students to the Bronx Museum, creating in-depth partnerships with schools in our community and after-school and summer Teen Programs that wed digital skills with arts education,” said Holly Block, executive director of the Bronx Museum. “I am delighted with the Mayor’s support and initiatives for education, and with his choosing the Bronx Museum for this key announcement.”