May 8


Strategic Foundation Building Retreat

MS 325X, Urban Science Academy

April 21st, 2010 @ DreamYard Art Center

Thanks to the generous support of a Technical Assistance Program grant through Partners for Arts Education, Manhattan New Music Project coordinated a day-long “Strategic Foundation Building” retreat for partnership planning, curriculum design, and community-building with partner school MS 325X, Urban Science Academy. In addition to school faculty and staff and representatives of MNMP, the retreat brought together representatives of American Ballroom Theater, Dreamyard Project, Lincoln Center Theater, the New School and Studio in a School — all arts-provider partners of 325X — to explore connections across the school’s culture and collectively help teachers, principal Patrick Kelly, and assistant principal Marcos DeCastro develop a long range vision for arts in the school.

With the facilitation of Hollis Headrick, a nationally recognized consultant for arts, education and philanthropy, the team discussed their common available resources and explored the potential advantages of linking all their partnership programs to better address NY State and NYC arts standards. In a lively exchange, the arts partners shared their programs and ideas to develop a comprehensive approach to arts learning.

Several recommendations were made to pursue this goal. They included:

* Regular meetings for further planning and coordination of arts efforts;
* Sharing the Urban Science Academy’s arts programming with the larger school community through shows and exhibitions;
* Exploring the possibility of creating a school-wide carnival around themes drawn from the Social Studies;
* Articulating a set of core values, skills, and attitudes common to all the arts programs to reinforce learning across the partnerships;
* Inviting student input into an arts plan and encouraging students to create their own mission statement concerning what they want from their arts learning at the school.