Holiday Message from our Board Chair & Executive Director

Dear Friends, Happy Holidays! As the year winds down and we take stock of our many successes — and some challenges — of the past year, we are heartened and so grateful for the unwavering support from our community, and the resilience and dedication of our teaching artists, staff, partners, and most importantly, all the young people who participate in our programs. It seems incredible that we are still dealing with the fallout from COVID, but for anyone who has children, knows children, or works with them, you know the impact is long lasting and still very much real. When our teen participants voted on a theme they wanted to explore for our Teens Curate Teens (TCT) Program last year, they chose mental health; and this year’s teen selection is body positivity. Young people’s message is loud and clear — mental health is something they want to talk about, and more importantly, use art to express themselves, process their emotions, and make sense of their world. There have been so many exciting initiatives and developments over this past year. We have been deepening our partnerships in schools with which we work by enhancing our MLL SWD (multilingual learners/students with disabilities) residencies with family events hosted by teaching artists, and look to expand upon this in the new year. In Teen Programs we launched an incredible music program with our partner, Sony, in the South Bronx. Sony Music Makers is a 25-week program that celebrates the Bronx origins of hip hop. The program teaches students practical music production skills, arms students with knowledge on navigating the music industry and awards students the equipment used during the program to continue skill acquisition after the program has ended. On the professional development side, we’ve continued providing workshops and enhancing our tools and resources. From providing teacher workshops to the 200 schools that received the Arts for Multilingual Learners & Students with Disabilities Grant, to working on two brand new digital resource libraries for educators working in early grades and those working with multilingual students, and which will launch next summer, this past year has been incredibly busy and exciting. We are very much looking forward to 2023, and the opportunity to reach and impact more children and teens across the 5 boroughs, as well as continue to provide professional development opportunities to teachers and educators — but we need your support. Your investment in our mission and in NYC’s public-school youth, makes it possible for young people across the city to continue to participate in our programs in dance, visual arts, music, and theater, among many others, and have access to rich and diverse opportunities for learning, exploration, and expression. We are asking all members of our community and beyond to consider making a donation to ArtsConnection this holiday season. No donation is too small, and all donations have an impact. Thank you so much for your support!

Debra Harounian Peltz, Board Chair, and Rachel Watts, Executive Director


Support ArtsConnection this holiday season