Families attend virtual event, AC awarded more funding, and a TA pushes the boundaries of traditional poetry¬†ūüé®

HomeConnection, our new virtual family event series,
takes off!  
A still from “Dances Around the World,” the¬†first episode of the HomeConnection¬†series.

On the evening of March 3rd, ArtsConnection hosted the first of our new virtual event series for students and their parents over Zoom! Developed as a way for families to learn from AC Teaching Artists without leaving their homes, HomeConnection offers a mixture of music, animation, and art-making for a unique, entirely digital learning experience.

This month’s pilot episode, “Dances Around the World,” was attended by the eight¬†schools participating in the NYCT ‚Äď Healing and Learning Through the Arts Grant. An hour of self-expression and fun suitable for all-ages, HomeConnection is our latest¬†organizational effort to make arts education accessible for everyone.
HomeConnection was developed through a Warner Media grant by Program Manager Daniel Levin, and Teaching Artists Andy Gaukel, Kerry Warren, Alda Reuter, Bart Atsin, Katrina Barracato, Aishwarya Madhav, and Dionne Kamara. 

Teaching Artist Aishwarya Madhav teaches HomeConnection participants a traditional Indian dance over Zoom.

Teaching Artist Spotlight:

Ayling Zulema Dominguez

Photo credit:¬†Ayling’s Instagram.¬†

Ayling Zulema Dominguez is a first-generation Chicana-Dominicana poet, mixed-media artist, and educator from the Bronx. She has worked with ArtsConnection in several capacities, including performing at events and most recently, teaching our Teen Programs Visual Poetry Workshop, where she worked with students to use online digital tools to incorporate visual elements to their writing, reimagining what a poem can look like in 2022.

This is in-line with her other artistic endeavors, which similarly seek to engage with communities in organic ways and often question the systems through which art is made and shared. (See public art installation, Under A New Sun, pictured below.) We chat with the artist about how her experiences with ArtsConnection students informs her work.

What did your arts education look like growing up? 

Growing up, our one arts class was filled to the brim and under-resourced, but our arts teacher did her best to make up for it by offering extra arts time in the mornings before 1st period bell rang, and afterschool, in order for us to just sit and create art with her, which I valued so incredibly much and longed for after our arts class got cut. We never had arts teachers specializing in different disciplines come in and spend time with us, which is why I value ArtsConnection and what it offers public school students so much. Who are some of your artistic heroes? 

Some of my poetic and artistic north stars are Lucille Clifton, Ross Gay, Ocean Vuong, and my students.How does teaching with ArtsConnection inform your personal artistic practice? 

Teaching with ArtsConnection encourages and helps me to dip my toe into different artistic mediums and incorporate them into my lessons with students, always adjusting to best showcase their storytelling.¬†What’s something the students have taught you?

Never be afraid to say what’s on your mind.

Under a New Sun is one of the public art installations Ayling has helped facilitate outside of her time teaching with ArtsConnection. 
Photo sourced from her website. 


ArtsConnection is short-listed for Impact 100 NYC grant and partner initiative awarded additional funding from The New York Community Trust

We are thrilled to announce that ArtsConnection has been named one of the 12 nonprofits shortlisted for an Impact 100 NYC Innovation Grant, which are awarded to two organizations helping residents and communities across the five boroughs thrive. If selected, AC will receive at least $100,000 to continue developing our essential arts programming.

And the good news doesn’t stop there!¬†GIVE¬†‚ÄĒ¬†a free online resource¬†created¬†by¬†and¬†for¬†Teaching Artists in collaboration with¬†ArtsConnection,¬†New Victory Theater, and the Community-Word Project ‚ÄĒ¬†has¬†been awarded an¬†18-month grant of $445,000 by the New York Community Trust to strengthen¬†and amplify the reach of its unique resources.

The additional funding is outlined to¬†help refine the initiative’s already available¬†resources, as well as provide new training opportunities for Teaching Artists, educators, and other cultural organizations¬†to better serve students with disabilities.

As a friendly reminder, we accept donations year-round and they can always be made at artsconnection.org/donate!