The Harlem School of the Arts’ tuition-free Educational Outreach program (formerly Opportunities for Learning in the Arts) was established in 1977 as a response to drastic cutbacks in local government funding for arts education during the 1970’s. The challenge of limited arts training in New York City public school continues today, particularly in impoverished communities. HSA's Educational Outreach program currently serves 15 public schools in Harlem, Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.
The Educational Outreach program embodies HSA’s historic commitment to nurturing and stimulating a lifelong interest in the arts by offering pre-K through 12th grade students interactive exposure to multicultural, flexible programming that integrates music, dance, theater and visual arts education with a core academic curriculum. Educational Outreach is offered in the following settings:
* In-school day program
* School-based & After-school enrichment program
* One-day lectures & performances
This partnership between the arts and academics broadens students' world view, motivates their quest for knowledge, improves their self-esteem and provides an opportunity to experience first-hand the natural, life-affirming relationship between art and everyday life.
Curriculum & Philosophy
HSA’s Educational Outreach programming is aligned with the New York State public school art education plan and includes teacher training opportunities and performance offerings. HSA recognizes that an important aspect of education reform is the identification of methodologies that build bridges connecting disciplines. Because the arts focus on the creative process, they offer unique possibilities for encouraging collaboration among teachers. Interdisciplinary teaching and learning are based upon a philosophy of education that emphasizes the exploration and discovery of analogies, relationships and metaphors.
HSA’s approach requires students and teachers to apply the process of inquiry and integrate specific disciplinary skills and knowledge into a broader context. Innovative interdisciplinary teaching begins with questions, unites teachers and students as learners and investigators, and makes innovative use of community resources.
Goals and Accomplishments
The Harlem School of the Arts' Educational Outreach initiative enriches the public school curriculum, demonstrates new methods of learning, enhances literacy skills and applies them to classroom learning, fosters self-discipline and personal responsibility, builds self-esteem, motivates the student’s quest for knowledge, demonstrates the intrinsic value of the arts in everyday life and identifies and develops talent.
Interdisciplinary connections are embedded in the Educational Outreach program. Literacy is an important component for all of HSA’s faculty. At its most basic, this is demonstrated when students learn the vocabulary of our four arts disciplines. At its most complex, this is evident when children have written and performed an original play. Mathematics, history and science are also integrated into the four strands through counting, mixing, measuring, estimating and classifying.
The Harlem School of the Arts is recognized for its unique arts education programming. As a result, HSA has been invited by the New York City Department of Education and individual schools to establish after-school programs in a number of public schools. The Educational Outrech program continues to expand and HSA continues to assess and update our practice and methodologies for the benefit of our students and faculty.
HSA’s geographic service area is the Harlem/Upper Manhattan community as well as the greater New York City metropolitan area. Of the population directly served by ARTS in Education , 53% are of Latino background, 43% are of African-American background, 2% are Caucasian, 1% are of Asian or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Island background, and 1% are of a Native American/Alaskan Native background. Eighty percent of the students served are below the median income. The program serves students with special needs, including elementary through high school age students with autism.
Programs for Students with Special Needs
The Educational Outreach curriculum for students classified as having Autism Spectrum Disorder is based on a Multi-sensory approach to arts instruction that supports the acquisition of skills in the areas of behavior, communication, literacy, math and social studies.
The curriculum is based on New York State's Alternative Learning Standards in the Arts and includes instruction in music, dance and the visual arts with specific workshops in ceramics, group keyboard, recorder, percussion, photography, creative movement, West African Dance and yoga.
Through funding from the Center for Arts Education's, Parents as Arts Partners program, parents and caregivers are able to participate, with their children, in music and visual arts workshops.
For further Information contact:
Christopher Keramidas, Educational Outreach Director