From the Chair:
After two years of uncertainty, New York City will be opening her doors to students once again—this time, in-person. ArtsConnection is thrilled to return to classrooms across all five boroughs, rounding out our 43rd year of arts programming in the city’s public schools.
It’s not been easy, but we are entering the new school year with an even deeper understanding of students’ needs and a commitment to our mission of providing accessible, dynamic and socially engaged arts education to our city’s youth. I had the pleasure of witnessing this community of artists and educators implement creative and interactive methods of virtual learning. Watching not only our teaching artists’ continued dedication, but the students’ genuine investment in furthering their artistic education, served as a reminder for why this work is so important—especially in the aftermath of a lockdown which has gravely impacted young people’s mental well-being.
In this fractured time, we believe art possesses the power to deepen our collective understanding. ArtsConnection encourages students to think critically, introducing them to new avenues of expression. As we resume in-person classes, our city is presented with an opportunity to change the way we discuss students’ intellectual development. Arts education should not be viewed as figurative icing, but instead a crucial ingredient in a child’s development of critical thinking skills and creative problem solving. This year, as always, our organization will be on the frontline of this conversation.
I want to extend my gratitude to our investors—the many individuals, foundations, corporations and government agencies whose financial support makes ArtsConnection’s work possible. It is this private-public partnership which ensures that New York City public school students continue to benefit from our multifaceted arts programming. I’d also like to thank my family and friends, ArtsConnection’s staff—in particular, our brilliant Executive Director, Rachel Watts—whose collective support and work keeps ArtsConnection thriving.
The arts are, fundamentally, an exploration of the human condition. No student in New York City should be left out of these conversations due to a lack of access. Thank you for joining me in keeping arts programming in the lives of young people in New York City.
Debra Harounian Peltz, Chair
ArtsConnection Board of Directors