Arts to Grow

Arts to Grow works with schools and community organizations in the NY/NJ metro area to provide art programs that change children's lives, inspiring them to love to learn and helping them discover their personal, intrinsic motivation.

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    22 posts tagged nonprofit

    Innovative Educational Program ‘Hi Art!’ Immerses Little Kids In High Art (PHOTOS)

    By Priscilla Frank in Huffington Post 

    Most educational programs, even those with solid art programs, portray art as a reprieve from homework and arithmetic. Frivolous and fun, art is a way to decorate the realities of learning, growing up and living. But not this program. "Hi Art!” exposes kids to opera and other forms of high art starting at toddlerdom. A bold mission, it’s true, but a hugely successful one thus far. In its 15 years of running the program has become one of the most talked-about in New York.

    Cyndie Bellen-Berthézène, “Hi Art!”s founder and director, said, “Great art transmits something that is essentially human.” It doesn’t just color our lives, it has the power to be at the core of how we live. Although when I think of opera we tend to think of a stodgy, elderly woman with teeny binoculars and white gloves, at its core opera is pure human expression. The words, the costumes, the sets, all take the back seat to an indescribable momentum and feeling. What is more accessible than that?

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    How Fundraising Techniques Paid Off in 2011

    A new survey finds that seven in 10 groups expect giving to rise in 2012, largely because of the improving economy, but small groups continue to struggle.

    Some solicitation approaches proved more successful than others last year. Here’s a look at what worked and what didn’t.

    Majority of Nonprofits Reached Fundraising Goals in 2011, Survey Finds

    Seven in 10 nonprofits expect their donations to increase this year, after 2011 became the first year since the recession started that a majority of nonprofits reported an increase in the amount they raised.

    Still, the recovery is uneven, according a report of 1,600 nonprofit released today. Thirty-one percent, mostly small organizations, said contributions dropped in 2011, and 41 percent said they did not meet their fundraising goals.

    A big burst in donations during the last three months of 2011, propelled by a recovering economy, enabled 53 percent of groups to surpass the amount raised in 2010.

    The study was conducted by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, a coalition of nonprofits and fundraisers that report on the state of giving twice a year.

    “With some caution, I think [charities] should be taking it as a turning around,” says Chuck Longfield, chief scientist at Blackbaud, the fundraising-software company that is one of the sponsors of the survey. “They have a reason to be optimistic.”

    Boosts to Online Giving

    Most nonprofits attributed their success to taking advantage of online fundraising tools, relying on diverse sources of money, and encouraging their board members to take their role as fundraisers more seriously. Of all the techniques used, online giving was the strongest, with 59 percent of organizations that raise money online saying they achieved an increase. That was followed by special fundraising events, with 52 percent of groups saying their walkathons, galas, and other such efforts were more lucrative in 2011 than in 2010. The lowest percentages of increases were for groups that seek foundation grants and ask board members to give their own money; just 42 percent of groups that rely on those approaches reported gains.

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    Arts Education: Why Is It Important?

    In Huffington post by Cafe McMullen

    art - education

    My name is Café McMullen and I am the program director at the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center in Leimert Park, Calif. We offer free performing arts classes (dance, guitar, piano, jazz band, filmmaking, and music recording) to elementary, middle and high school students. Daily I am reminded about how important the arts are and of the struggle to keep them as a part of our student’s lives. The community arts center I work at is all privately funded as of now.

    Fernando Pullum started life in extreme poverty in Chicago in the ’60s, when an African-American male had little chance of succeeding in life, let alone growing up to inspire generations of disadvantaged kids in South Los Angeles where he has taught for over 25 years. This happened in part because he was introduced to the trumpet at an early age and through music was able to transcend his circumstances and go on to college and grad school on full scholarships. Many organizations and individuals have recognized Fernando throughout his career, including Oprah, VH-1 and the State of California as its teacher of the year. During that time, 100 percent of Fernando’s students graduated with a high school diploma and only one student failed to enroll in college.

    As we know arts education has been dwindling away in the U.S. public school education system for some time. The LAUSD Arts Education branch has been cut by more then 70 percent in the past three years alone. The proposed total elimination of the elementary arts program would close the 133-year elementary music program and the 13-year-old elementary dance, theatre and visual arts programs.

    This trend of doing away with the arts is seen as a way to re focus students on the “important” subjects. While math, science, history and the other basic curriculum are invaluable, the value of arts education is completely overlooked. The arts are closely linked to almost everything that is viewed as academically important: academic achievement, social and emotional development, community involvement, and how to work with others. The confidence, self-exploration and reliance that students experience during arts programs are taken with them into their academic lives and beyond. We are not trying to make great musicians and artists, we are trying to make great citizens.

    Click here to read full article…

    10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2012 (from Arts Watch)

    POSTED BY RANDY COHEN 

    10 Reasons to Support the Arts

    1. True prosperity. The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. They help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. When times are tough, the arts are salve for the ache.

    2. Improved academic performance. Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, lower drop-out rates, and even better attitudes about community service—benefits reaped by students regardless of socioeconomic status. Students with four years of arts or music in high school average 100 points better on their SAT scores than students with one-half year or less.

    3. Arts are an industry. Arts organizations are responsible businesses, employers, and consumers. Nonprofit arts organizations generate $166 billion in economic activity annually, supporting 5.7 million jobs and generating nearly $30 billion in government revenue. Investment in the arts supports jobs, generates tax revenues, and advances our creativity-based economy.

    4. Arts are good for local merchants. The typical arts attendee spends $27.79 per person, per event, not including the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters. Non-local arts audiences (who live outside the county) spend nearly twice as much as local arts attendees ($40.19 vs. $19.53)—valuable revenue for local businesses and the community.

    5. Arts are the cornerstone of tourism. Arts travelers are ideal tourists—they stay longer and spend more. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that the percentage of international travelers including museum visits on their trip has grown annually since 2003 (17 to 24 percent), while the share attending concerts and theater performances increased five of the past seven years (13 to 17 percent since 2003).

    Click here to read full article…

    makemusicspeak:

    This story, “For second-graders, an operatic difference,” is a must read! Washington Post reporter Theresa Vargas spotlights an opera arts education program for second graders at the New Hampshire Estates Elementary School in Montgomery County. It’s a beautiful story about how the experience of putting on operas changed these students’ lives for the better. What a prime example of why we need to support the arts in schools!

    Click on the bar above to comment or to share your own story!

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