Picture: (From left to Right) Mayor Mike Spano; Froma Benerofe, President of ArtsWestchester’s Board of Trustees; Assemblyman Gary Pretlow; Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer; and Yonkers Federation of Teachers President Pat Puleo. Photo courtesy of Jerry McKinstry.
ArtsWestchester and the Yonkers schools have won a $500,000 grant to create artist residencies in the classrooms.
The grant, announced this week by Assembly members Shelley Mayer and Gary Pretlow, will bring 60 artists-in-residence in music, dance, visual arts and theater to oversee enrichment programs in 12 Yonkers schools and provide art supplies to all the district’s schools and professional development to teachers in the chosen schools.
“I am thrilled that we are able to provide resources for this important partnership between ArtsWestchester and the Yonkers Public Schools. This program will promote the integration of arts education into our academic curriculum and will provide many Yonkers’ students with additional opportunities for arts education,” Mayer said while announcing the grant. “This important initiative will draw on the strengths of the school district and of ArtsWestchester to provide many of Yonkers’ students the arts programing they need and deserve.”
The program is expected to begin in January 2015 and run through December of that year. Riverside High and Saunders Trades & Technical High schools will get the artists, along with 10 elementary schools selected by the district. The artists will be vetted by ArtsWestchester after a competitive review process. ArtsWestchester has a roster of trained artists with classroom experience. Yonkers artists not on the roster can apply for inclusion. ArtsWestchester is planning workshops to explain qualifications for the program.
This is not the first time ArtsWestchester and Yonkers schools have worked together. Their connection goes back nearly 30 years, according to Janet Langsam, ArtsWestchester chief executive officer.
“ArtsWestchester has been at the forefront of programs that integrate the arts with math, science and language arts to foster innovative teaching and learning practices,” she said. “This grant continues our commitment to the Yonkers School District.”