Arts in Education

Students from PS 13 with their teaching artist.

Staten Island Arts’ Arts-in-Education Program offers grants, programs, and technical assistance to public, private, and parochial schools; cultural organizations that are interested in AIE partnerships, and teaching artists. Staten Island Arts works to increase arts in education in our community.
Arts in Education supports the belief that the arts are central to both teaching and learning. It’s less about what students learn and more about how they learn it. Whether it’s using computers in a music harmony class or creating a mural that examines the interrelationship between different ecological systems, arts-centered experiences provide students with different ways to look at learning from more engaged points of view.
If you would like to discuss how you can become involved in arts in education, e-mail Elizabeth Bennett at or 718-447-3329 x1002.


  • Why is Arts in Education So Important?

    Arts education fosters personal growth and development.
    The arts help all students succeed in school and life by providing students with the opportunity to develop habits of mind such as critical and creative thinking, perseverance and dedication to task.

    The arts can engage youth who are not being reached through traditional schooling and can positively affect the personal qualities critical to becoming psychologically healthy.

    On the highest levels of literacy, in the realms of social and personal growth and development, and in the development of higher-order thinking skills, the arts provide an ideal setting for multi-faceted and profound learning experiences. (From Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning; Arts Education Partnership and The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, 1999)

    The Arts Improve the School Climate

    Schools organized around the arts look, sound and feel different…[They are more] attractive, warm, welcoming, and visually exciting.

    The Arts’ Comprehensive Tasks Challenge Students

    Art students, with the help of their teachers, undertake big projects. They produce a play, present a concert or dance recital, …mount exhibitions. In doing so, students master an enormous number of artistic skills, direct a myriad of aesthetic and expressive qualities toward given ends, and symbolize human behaviors and emotions in a great variety of ways.

    The Arts Turn Schools into Communities

    [Students, teachers, administrators] of arts-centered schools see themselves as members of communities—communities that they have a role in creating and sustaining. [Arts-centered schools] are able to capitalize on the fact that the arts encourage students and faculty members to work together, to create things together, to perform together. Teachers are continually modeling their skills, revealing their interpretation, insights, and judgments to the younger members of these arts communities. (From Gaining the Arts Advantage: Lessons Learned from School Districts that Value Arts Education, Brent Wilson, Ph.D.)

    Arts Education is Relevant to Careers

    “As we all know, New York is the world leader in arts-related industries such as publishing, fashion, commercial theater and new media. Equally important is the observation made by Hugh O’Neill and Mitchell Moss in their 1991 study, Reinventing New York, that New York City is home to the headquarters of large numbers of Fortune 500 companies, as well as corporate research and development facilities, customized manufacturing, innovative global financial services, foreign firms and banks- in other words, industries that require high level, creative thinking. To retain these industries, it is vitally important that our schools produce the highly skilled and innovative workforce on which these businesses depend, and that we offer our children the education they need to successfully compete for the jobs these industries have to offer. There is no more effective way of doing so than providing all of our children with a solid education in the arts, and by exposing them to the incredible array of cultural resources to be found in New York City today.” (Excerpts from testimony of Kate D. Levin, Commissioner, April 2003 to the NYC Council, Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations – Arts Education; April, 2003)

  • Arts-in-Education Resources

    Staten Island Arts offers downloadable files, searchable articles, and links to professional arts-in-education organizations. Get facts on how arts-in-education programs help students, innovative teaching artist practices, and more! A searchable selection of some of our favorite articles is available here.

    Staten Island Arts also offers this Arts-in-Education Partnership Planning Process Checklist for teaching artists and schools planning to work together to bring arts-in-education programs to students.

    The Staten Island Teaching Artist Institute (SI TAI) is a professional development forum for Staten Island teaching artist who wish to develop their craft and teaching technique, while fostering a greater sense of community among educators in Staten Island. Learn more about the program.

  • Grants for Arts in Education

    Staten Island Arts provides regrants for Arts in Education projects in Staten Island schools with funds from the Staten Island Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and individual donors. Find out more information about Arts in Education Grants.