Newsletter Issue 8


Arts to Grow Newsbrief – Issue #8

February 25, 2008

Dear Friends of Arts to Grow:

Arts to Grow had a productive year in 2007, full of new program partnerships, expanded programs that serve more kids, the addition of new board members, our first benefit event, and radio and television coverage of our work. I’m delighted to share with you some of our recent activities.

Programs Continue to Grow

This fall we expanded our program partnerships in several ways: We offered two sessions per week at Mott Hall II Middle School; increased the session length at the Elysian Charter School; offered two courses at PS 75; and continued working with some of the same kids in a second and third cycle with the same teaching artists at both Riverdale Neighborhood House and the Elysian Charter School. We also worked with a new program partner in Harlem, the Ralph Bunche Elementary School.

As always, our program concluded with a final project where the kids share their work with family, friends, and members of the community. Our most recent events were:

November 2007:

Riverdale Neighborhood House

Creative Scenes and Dramatic Improvisation II
Teaching Artist: Joyce Griffen
Students ages 9-11 created, wrote, and designed an original play “The Crazy Neighborhood,” which they performed for an enthusiastic audience of family, friends, and RNH community members.

December 2007:

Elysian Charter School

Classic Plays
Teaching Artist: Patricia Runcie
During the session, middle school students explored several key scenes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and then performed them at a school-wide event for grades K-8.

PS 75

Making Africa Art with Recycled Materials
Teaching Artist: Vickie Fremont
Our youngest students K-1 created original works including African masks, jewelry designed with African beads, handmade books, picture frames, and dolls.
These works were then displayed at an art show attended by friends and family members.

Musical Theater
Teaching Artist: Maeve Hoglund
Another group of K-1 students explored movement and musical expression and showcased their work for family and friends at a year-end celebration.

Ralph Bunche School

Introduction to Drawing and Painting
Teaching Artist: Judy Richardson
Students in grades 4-6 learned to work with several media beginning with pencil, charcoal and finally acrylic paint.
Their work was exhibited at our Heart to HeART Benefit and their acrylic on canvas pieces were hung in the school building for the entire community to enjoy!

January 2008:

Mott Hall II Middle School

Urban Dance
Teaching Artist: Erica Rebollar
Students in grades 6-7 spent the session learning hiphop/ martial arts moves while exploring their own creativity through choreography and improvisation.
They presented an original 5 minute piece that was performed for the school-wide WinterFest and received rave reviews!

Heart to HeART Benefit a Huge Success

On November 29 more than 100 people celebrated the work of Arts to Grow at Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem for our first annual benefit. The event was cosponsored by the Columbia Business School Alumni Club/NY, received corporate sponsorship from Commerce Bank and the Gerson Lehrman Group and included a silent auction of original art work by internationally renowned artist, Sheila Isham. Over $18,000 was raised to support our programs.

The benefit was the brain child of ATG board member, Joseph Godfrey who together with co-chairs Amy Moses and Mara Gardner conceived, planned and executed a wonderful evening and an important community outreach effort for ATG. Very special thanks to Brian Dawson, Bob Koo, Harlan Eplan, Ivy Zalenka, Guido Weber, Bill Stanton, Charles Steinberg, and all the members of the benefit committee for making this a memorable event!

We’re delighted that Amy and Mara will continue as cochairs for Heart to HeART 2008. Keep your eyes peeled for a save the date announcement this spring and please contact Mallory King if you are interested in joining the benefit committee – it takes a great team to make this event a success.

New Program Partner – Harlem RBI

This spring, thanks to support from our first annual Heart to HeART Benefit, we are delighted to begin a new program partnership with Harlem RBI, a unique year-round youth development program in East Harlem serving more than 700 boys and girls, ages 7-18. Our first program will engage young people enrolled in their REAL Kids After-School Program (Reading and Enrichment Academy for Learning) which develops academic, social, and emotional skills. We look forward to partnering with Harlem RBI to offer kids in this community the opportunity to participate in arts learning. Our first offering will be African Arts with Vickie Fremont for kids in grades 5-6.

Strategic Planning Process Engages Diverse Leaders

Creating a truly meaningful strategic planning process, Sophie Lechner, StratEdge lead a full day workshop for ATG on October 24th. A group of twelve (including our board members, program partners, teaching artists, funders and educational advisory council members) worked together to hone our key strategic directions and define ATG’s unique selling proposition. This workshop offered a rare opportunity for sharing visions amongst our very different leaders. Space for this working session was provided in-kind by EMCArts. We are pleased to announce that executive summary materials of our strategic plan are now available to share with the community at large.

Outreach in the Community

ATG Featured on Comcast Cable in December

On December 6th, ATG Founder/Executive Director, Mallory King was interviewed for a five minute segment on Comcast Cable’s “Newmakers” . The segment was recorded live to tape and aired in Hudson County, NJ from December 24 through January 15th. Presentation at Manhattan School of Music, Arts Education Panel for graduate students Arts to Grow was invited to participate in an artsin- education panel for graduate opera students on January 16th. Panelists included representatives from Young Audiences NY, Lincoln Center Institute and Midori and Friends. Click here to see

New Intern Coordinator

Jessie Decort, a graduate of New York University’s Graduate Program in Theater Education has been acting as a program evaluation intern for Arts to Grow since 2006. This winter, Jessie is stepping into a new role for ATG as our Intern Coordinator where she will lead recruitment efforts for program evaluation interns, administrative interns and multi-media interns. Jessie will also be the liaison for teaching artists and program partners in scheduling site visits for program evaluation and documentation. We welcome Jessie in this new role. If you are interested in learning more about these opportunities please contact Jessie at

Thank you for your interest and support. We attribute our success to the involvement of our many supporters, partners, and friends.

Warm regards,


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