The Newark Arts Council Artist-In-Residency (AIR) Program
The Newark Arts Council’s Artist-In-Residency (AIR) Program built on its successful ArtStart Grant Program by re-defining its work with school-age youth. For 7 years, the ArtStart program has fulfilled a large portion of the organization’s mission in supporting, providing, and encouraging beneficial relationships with artists and communities through grant-driven residencies. Since its inception, ArtStart’s primary focus entailed community-based residencies during Out-of-School-Time hours. As an extension of the ArtStart mission, the AIR Program addressed the needs of students during In-School-Time by facilitating four (4) 14-week residency programs utilizing comprehensive, interdisciplinary learning in a subject-based classroom through the vehicles of music, dance, drama and the visual arts. Each teaching artist utilized the Core Curriculum Content Standards in the content-area(s) they were assigned including the Visual and Performing Arts. The NAC facilitated residencies at Newton Street Elementary School, Sussex Avenue School, South Street School, and Broadway Elementary School. These four schools were identified through NPS’ Office of the Visual and Performing Arts to participate in the program.
Why an Artist-In-Residency Program?
The Artist-In-Residency Program was developed based on recommendations derived from the 2005 report, “Within Our Power: The Progress, Plight and Promise of Arts Education for Every Child”, that examined the level of proficiency and performance in each subject area: Music, Theater, Dance, & Visual Arts. The arts partners responsible for issuing this report strongly recommended that Newark and other New Jersey Schools develop and implement arts programs that complement other initiatives to improve children’s education and to improve skills. The Newark Arts Council, following the recommendations of the report in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Education Adequate Yearly Progress Report, developed a comprehensive arts education program that greatly benefits underperforming Newark Public Schools by providing sustainable arts-education in the classroom and supporting professional development of classroom teachers and teaching artists. The merit of implementing
arts-based learning in the classroom encourages students to utilize the arts and art-making as a means of absorbing the full breadth of content-based learning.
Goals of the AIR Program
The outcomes and goals outlined in this initiative provided each pilot school with a comprehensive approach to incorporating the arts in subject-based classrooms. From this, classroom teachers and most importantly NPS students benefited from a “holistic” approach to their education.
The arts are an effective vehicle for youth to reach their full potential. The New Jersey Arts-Education Census Project results provide an effective impetus for the NAC to address the issue of the quality of arts education in the local schools as an essential extension of NAC’s commitment to the arts and community.
The goals bulleted below are many-fold; NAC’S Arts Education Program has in its pilot year:
- Supported and collaborated with NPS classroom teachers to provide students with quality, inter-disciplinary arts education over a 14-week period.
- Underscored the dynamic aspects of the City of Newark to encourage students to change Knowledge, Attitude, Behavior and Skills (KABS) as it relates to the visual and performing arts.
- Utilized the arts to support subject-based learning (Science, Math, Language Arts Literacy, Social Studies, etc.).
- Developed a cohesive arts-education model that can be sustained and expanded upon at the completion of the 14-week residency.
- Engaged students/youth, teachers, school administrators and community in understanding that arts-education is a crucial component in supporting academic achievement.
- Provided opportunities for students to perform or exhibit their art with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Artist-in-Residency (AIR) Archive
Select a school from the archives below to see images from past AIR projects: