The Uplifting Power of the Arts
Dear New Yorkers,
We were treated to the LaGuardia choir’s performance at our central office last week to help celebrate the release of our annual Arts in Schools Report—and to mark the start of a new era in arts education in New York City Public Schools.
The arts uplift the spirit and foster understanding and appreciation of other cultures. They instill valuable character traits like discipline, persistence, self-confidence, and the courage to take risks. Studies show that students who study the arts in school perform better in reading, writing, and mathematics, have improved attendance, and develop essential social-emotional skills. The arts also help kids communicate better, deal with trauma, and make progress in school.
That is why I’m thrilled to see in this report a significant increase in arts offerings across grades 1-12, back to pre-pandemic levels. In addition, more than 400 cultural arts organizations provided arts education instruction to our students last school year.
I am absolutely committed to building on our successful arts programming, while piloting new initiatives that have the power to change children’s lives. One example is our new Arts Hub, a groundbreaking approach to urban arts education…and a fantastic way to connect our schools to the magic and splendor of our city’s arts scene.
Translations are available on YouTube.
Launched this spring at The Waters Edge Campus at Brooklyn’s Urban Assembly School of Music and Art, the Hub features world-class performances to inspire principals to infuse the power of the arts throughout our campuses. The Hub also includes an innovative professional-learning opportunity that lets principals collaborate, create, and learn together—with the clear goal of expanding high-quality arts instruction in a meaningful way in every one of our schools.
I invite you to watch the video of our arts event and enjoy the gospel choir performances, along with a soulful trumpet duet featuring LaGuardia High School senior Elijah Allen and Paul Thompson, Executive Director of our Arts Office.
The arts inspire and fill our souls—they are an essential part of a well-rounded education. Our city is the cultural hub of the world, and that’s part of what makes going to school in New York so special. We’re committed to bringing the uplifting power of the arts to all our students.
David C. Banks
Singing to Alicia Keys! … at Queens Metropolitan High School
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