About Us


ytp 01For nearly 45 years, ArtsConnection has provided innovative arts programming to millions of students in the New York City public school system, enhancing children’s intellectual, personal and social growth, while developing award-winning educational models. ArtsConnection’s programming for students, professional development, and research all contribute to a comprehensive approach, nationally recognized for its quality, design and impact across diverse learning communities.


We provide:

  • Customized in-school programming to over 120 schools, pre K-12, citywide, serving tens of thousands of young people annually

  • Out-of-school programs for teens, providing experience-rich opportunities for young people to engage in NYC’s cultural world

  • Free and reduced-priced tickets to performances and cultural venues through our Culture Connected program.

  • Extensive professional development opportunities for classroom teachers and arts specialists, as well as for our own teaching artists

  • On-line resources for educators and like-minded practitioners to enrich the arts education field


In the aftermath of New York City’s fiscal crisis of the late ‘70s, ArtsConnection was founded through a collaboration between the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Youth Bureau, and the New York City Board of Education. This founding partnership, along with the commitment to creativity and excellence from our teaching artists and schools, has been integral to our success.

Over the years, we have evolved from service provider to a full educational partner — working in-depth to create new ways of teaching and learning in and through the arts. Recognized as a national model for creating successful arts education opportunities, ArtsConnection has been recognized locally and nationally for its outstanding work.


Mission and Workmw-01

To address the educational challenges of the 21st-century, ArtsConnection’s research-based arts programs create socially just learning environments. Our programs support literacy, communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. ArtsConnection’s partnerships include and strengthen the diverse voices of NYC’s children and youth, cultivating their arts and academic skills for success in a changing world.

To achieve this mission, ArtsConnection:

  • Develops long-term relationships with NYC public schools, providing customized arts education programs and building understanding among teachers, school leaders and parents about the arts’ potential to enhance teaching and learning.

  • Engages students in active learning through authentic arts experiences, allowing children to experience the arts first-hand and bringing new content into classrooms.

  • Identifies and engages children and families in high-need communities with limited cultural opportunities to participate in a comprehensive arts program and take advantage of the City’s cultural resources.

  • Continually refines programs to meet city, state and federally mandated learning standards for the Arts and English Language Arts, including alignment with the new Common Core standards.

  • Provides arts-based critical thinking and self-expression opportunities to teens in out-of-school programs, encouraging connection with the arts, artists and each other, and allowing young people to find their voice while developing pre-college skills.

  • Encourages young people’s “ownership” of the City’s cultural opportunities by offering reduced-price and free tickets to all students, ages 13 – 18, throughout the five boroughs.

  • Serves the field of arts education nationally and locally through our research and professional development opportunities and resources.