Lisa Robb: The Center for Arts Education | One to One


♪[THEME MUSIC]♪>>>HELLO. I’M
SHERYL McCARTHY OF THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF
NEW YORK. WELCOME TO “ONE TO
ONE.” EDUCATORS SPEND A
LOT OF TIME TRYING TO PINPOINT THE
BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS OF
KNOWLEDGE THAT CHILDREN NEED IN
ORDER TO HAVE REWARDING LIVES. WE KNOW THAT THE
ARTS ARE ESSENTIAL. BUT WHAT
CONSTITUTES ART AND HOW CAN IT BE
INCORPORATED INTO EACH CHILD’S
EVERYDAY LIFE? IS THERE MUSIC FOR
ALL OF US? ONE ORGANIZATION
THAT’S BRINGING THE ARTS TO NEW
YORK CITY SCHOOLCHILDREN IS
THE CENTER FOR ARTS EDUCATION. THE NONPROFIT WAS
ESTABLISHED 20 YEARS AGO, AND
IT’S NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LISA
ROBB, IS HERE TO TELL US WHAT HER
ORGANIZATION IS DOING TO MAKE ART
AS VITAL A PART OF CHILDREN’S EDUCATION AS
MATH AND HISTORY. WELCOME.>>THANK YOU VERY
MUCH. I’M SO HAPPY TO BE
HERE.>>PERIODICALLY,
ONE HEARS ABOUT NEW YORK CITY
SCHOOLS THAT DON’T HAVE A SINGLE ART TEACHER, THAT
DON’T HAVE A MUSIC PROGRAM. SOMETIMES THEY
DON’T EVEN HAVE A LIBRARY ABOUT
SCHOOLS WHERE TEACHERS HAVE TO
PURCHASE ART SUPPLIES AT LEAST
FOR LITTLE KIDS WITH THEIR OWN
MONEY. I ASSUME THIS IS
BECAUSE SCHOOLS HAVE TO PRIORITIZE
WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO SPEND THEIR
BUDGETS ON AND SEE IF THEY HAVE A
REAL NEED FOR TEACHERS’ AIDES OR
FOR PEOPLE TO DO REMEDIAL WORK OR
IF THEY HAVE A LOT OF — HELP A LOT
OF NON-ENGLISH- SPEAKING KIDS, NEED TUTORS FOR
THE STATE EXAMS. THEN THE PRINCIPAL
WILL DECIDE THAT IT’S OUR PROGRAMS
THAT HAVE TO GO. IS THAT WHAT
HAPPENS?>>I THINK SETTING
THESE EDUCATIONAL PRIORITIES IN A
LARGE URBAN DISTRICT LIKE NEW
YORK CITY IS A TREMENDOUS
CHALLENGE. WE HAVE SEEN,
THOUGH, SADLY PROBABLY SINCE THE
19 — LATE ’70s, EVEN IN THE ’80s,
THE CHIPPING AWAY OF CERTAIN PARTS
OF THE COMPLETE EDUCATION THAT
SORT OF BECAME VIEWED AS
NONESSENTIAL OR DISCRETIONARY EVEN
IF THERE WERE REQUIREMENTS
AROUND THEM. AND WE’VE SEEN
THAT IN A VARIETY OF PLACES, AND
ARTS IS ONE OF THEM. IT’S EASY FOR ME
TO SINGLE OUT ARTS, IT’S A PASSION FOR ME,
BUT I DO BELIEVE CLEARLY THAT THE SKILLS
THAT STUDYING THE ARTS BRING TO THE
CHILD’S LEARNING EXPERIENCE AND THE
TEACHERS’ SORT OF BAG OF TRICKS IS
UNDENIABLE. THE GOOD NEWS IS,
WITH THE 21st CENTURY KNOCKING AT OUR DOORS AND HERE
WE ARE, THE KIND OF SKILLS
THAT MAKE THEMSELVES AVAILABLE THROUGH
ARTS LEARNING MAKE IT SOMETHING I
THINK THAT WILL BE EASIER AND EASIER
TO PRIORITIZE TO LEADERS AND
POLICYMAKERS.>>WHAT ARE WE
TALKING ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT PUBLIC SCHOOL ART
PROGRAMS?>>THERE ARE A
VARIETY — WE HAVE TO REMEMBER, LET’S
GO BACK A BIT TO THE NEW YORK CITY
AND NEW YORK STATE AND WHAT’S
REQUIRED. NEW YORK STATE HAS
FOUR CURRICULUM AREAS THAT ARE
REQUIRED IN ARTS LEARNING, AND THEY
ARE VISUAL ARTS, THEATER, DANCE,
AND — >>MUSIC?>>MUSIC, THANK
YOU. AND THOSE FOUR AREAS ARE
TAUGHT IN A VARIETY OF WAYS. AND THERE ARE
DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS AT
DIFFERENT PARTS OF A CHILD’S
EDUCATION IN THE ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE
AND HIGH SCHOOL. AND THE REGION’S
DIPLOMA CERTAINLY REQUIRES THE STUDY
OF ART TO RECEIVE A REGENT’S DIPLOMA. NOW,
WE’LL START AT THE BEGINNING AND NOTE THAT
MUSIC AND VISUAL ARTS ARE PROBABLY
THE STRONGEST ART FORMS THROUGHOUT A
CHILD’S 12-YEAR LEARNING
EXPERIENCE. AND WE KNOW THERE
ARE DEDICATED ARTS TEACHERS IN MUSIC
ROOMS. THERE ARE CERTAIN
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES THAT
CAN OCCUR ACROSS A WIDE VARIETY OF
ARTS ACTIVITIES.>>CHOIR, BAND.>>EXACTLY. YEARLY
SHOWS, CLASSROOM SHOWS, EXHIBITIONS, ET
CETERA. SOME OF WHICH ARE
BASED IN THE ARTS LEARNING FROM AN
ARTS TEACHER AND SOME OF WHICH ARE
COMING OUT OF A CLASSROOM OR A
SCHOOL SITE AS A WAY TO GATHER. WE ALSO HAVE THE
REAL MOVEMENT OVER THE LAST PROBABLY
20 YEARS TO HAVE WORKING ARTISTS
COMING INTO THE CLASSROOM SITUATION AND
ASSISTING A CLASSROOM TEACHER WITH LEARNING
WHICH USES THE ARTS SKILL SET TO
ADVANCE OTHER TYPES OF LEARNING
OPPORTUNITIES IN MATH, IN SCIENCE,
IN ENGLISH.>>SO WHAT IS IT
THAT SCHOOLS ARE MOST LIKELY NOT TO
HAVE? WOULD IT BE
PAINTING AND SCULPTURE, THAT
KIND OF THING?>>IT REALLY VARIES, YOU
KNOW, BECAUSE I THINK THAT — I WOULD HATE TO
FOCUS ON ONLY THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE OUT THERE
BECAUSE THERE ARE A SIGNIFICANT
NUMBER OF CLASSROOMS IN NEW
YORK CITY, IN NEW YORK STATE, IN THE UNITED STATES
WHICH DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF
ARTS TAKING PLACE IN TERMS OF WHAT WOULD BE
IDEAL AND IN SOME CASES REQUIRED. AGAIN, THIS IS
PHYSICAL EDUCATION WE’RE DEALING WITH
A LOT OF THE SAME ISSUES. I THINK THAT IF WE
GET THE RIGHT — IF WE GET THE
RIGHT FRAMEWORK ABOUT THINKING
ABOUT HOW ART CAN ADVANCE THE SKILLS
AND THEN WE EMBED THEM INTO OTHER
CURRICULUM AREAS AND THEN DON’T
LOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT THAT EVERY
SCHOOL NEEDS TO HAVE A DEDICATED
ART SPACE AND A DEDICATED ARTS
TEACHER THAT TAKING THAT COMPREHENSIVE
IS APPROACH IS PROBABLY HOW WE CAN GET THE
ARTS BACK TO WHERE THEY NEED TO BE AS A
REALLY PROMINENT PART OF A
CURRICULUM.>>AND DO MOST
SCHOOLS HAVE THAT NOW, OR DOES IT
JUST VARY?>>IT REALLY VARIES. AND
THAT’S WHY I DIDN’T — IF WE TALK ABOUT
WHAT REALLY WHAT IS THE STATE REQUIREMENT
AND THE CITY REQUIREMENT, THERE
IS A LOT OF VARIABILITY. THERE ARE PROBABLY
SEVERAL HUNDRED SCHOOLS THAT STILL
DON’T HAVE A DEDICATED ARTS
TEACHER ON SITE. THERE ARE SOME
SCHOOLS THAT HAVE A DEDICATED ARTS
TEACHER, BUT PERHAPS THE RATIO
OF STUDENTS TO THE TEACHER IS VERY
HIGH, AND THEY COULD USE ANOTHER
ARTS TEACHER. AND I WILL SAY
AGAIN THAT TO YOUR FIRST COMMENT,
WHAT A TREMENDOUS JOB THE ELECTED
OFFICIALS, THE SCHOOL LEADERS AND
THE TEACHERS DO IN TRYING TO FIGURE
OUT HOW TO ALLOCATE THESE
RESOURCES IN TERMS OF THIS BROAD SET
OF PRIORITIES. WE DO THINK THAT
ARTS ADVANCES SO MANY OTHER
PRIORITIES, AND IT CAN BE A REALLY
INTERESTING LITMUS TEST ABOUT HOW
WELL THE OVERALL WELL-ROUNDED
EDUCATION OF A CHILD CAN BE. WE SEE SCHOOLS
WHERE ARTS LEARNING IS TAKING
PLACE, HAVE HIGHER GRADUATION RATES
AT THE SECONDARY LEVEL. WE SEE A LOWER
ABSENT — YES, LESS ABSENTEEISM
AT SCHOOLS WHERE THERE ARE BEFORE
OR AFTER-SCHOOL ART ACTIVITIES. MOST AFTER-SCHOOL
PROGRAMS WHICH WE KNOW BRING
TREMENDOUS BENEFITS TO
CHILDREN LEARNING ALWAYS INCLUDE
ARTS CULTURE HERITAGE AS PART
OF THEIR OFFERING.>>AND I WOULD
THINK THAT PRETTY MUCH EVERY SCHOOL — MOST
PUBLIC SCHOOLS WOULD HAVE A CHOIR, SOME KIND
OF — PROBABLY A BAND, MAYBE A RHYTHM BAND FOR THE
LITTLE KIDS. WOULD THEY HAVE
THOSE BASICS?>>NO, I WOULD SAY
NOT.>>NO?>>I WOULD SAY
THERE ARE A LOT — THERE ARE ABOUT
1800 NEW YORK CITY SCHOOLS SERVING
1.1 MILLION CHILDREN. AND ALTHOUGH THE
NEEDLE HAS MOVED TREMENDOUSLY ON
THE ENGAGEMENT IN DEDICATED SPACES
BY ARTS TEACHERS, THERE ARE 300 NEW
ARTS TEACHERS IN THE LAST CAREER
AND A HALF THAT HAVE COME INTO NEW
YORK CITY SCHOOL SYSTEMS DUE TO A
NEW FLOOD OF FUNDING THAT CAME
IN IN A VERY HISTORIC AGREEMENT
IN 2014. BUT AGAIN, IF WE
STEP BACK A BIT AND THINK ABOUT YOU KNOW, I GREW
UP DOWN SOUTH. AND IT WAS BEFORE
THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT. AND THE WOMEN WHO
WERE TEACHING, MOST OF THEM WERE
MUSICIANS. SERIOUSLY, LIKE
HALF OF MY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
CLASSROOMS, THERE WERE PIANOS. WE WERE RECITING
POETRY. THERE WERE ANNUAL
SHOWS. THERE WERE THESE
KIND OF EXTRACURRICULARS
THAT YOU MIGHT THINK ABOUT. AND IT WASN’T A
PARTICULARLY WEALTHY DISTRICT I
WAS IN. THINGS HAVE REALLY
CHANGED TREMENDOUSLY IN
TERMS OF THE RESOURCES THAT ARE
AVAILABLE FOR WHAT WE CONSIDER A
COMPLETE OR WELL-ROUNDED
EDUCATION.>>SO WHERE DID
THE MONEY FOR ALL THESE NEW ART TEACHERS COME FROM
IN NEW YORK?>>WELL, IT WAS A GREAT
PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP DUE TO THE MAYORAL
ELECTIONS AND CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS
AND THE HISTORIC AMOUNT OF NEW
ELECTED OFFICIALS THAT WERE GOING TO COME IN
IN THE END OF ’13 FOR ’14. THE NEW COMPTROLLER GOT
VERY INTERESTED IN SOME OF THE STATISTICS
AROUND ARTS EDUCATION BECAUSE THE
DEPARTMENT OF ED, WHICH IS VERY SUPPORTIVE
ACTUALLY OF ARTS EDUCATION, THEY ARE VERY SUPPORTIVE. THEY’VE GOT
STATISTICS GOING BACK TO 2006. SO THE COMPTROLLER
ACTUALLY REALIZED OH, I CAN REALLY
LOOK AND MAP AND LOOK AT SOME OF
THE ASSETS, THOUSAND THEY’RE
DISTRIBUTED, SEE IF THERE ARE ANY
PATTERNS OR TRENDS THAT ARE LAUDABLE
OR TROUBLING. AND HE FOUND SOME
TROUBLING PATTERNS, THE COMPTROLLER’S
OFFICE DID, IN WORKING WITH THE CITY COUNCIL, THE
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, THE MAYOR’S OFFICE
AND THE COMPTROLLER TOGETHER, A HAPPY QUARTET
FIGURED OUT A WAY TO DRIVE 93 MILLION MORE
DOLLARS OVER FOUR YEARS TO ADDRESS,
THERE WERE INEQUITIES, THERE WERE CLUSTERS OF SCHOOLS
IN POOR NEIGHBORHOODS WHERE HOUSEHOLD
INCOME WAS VERY LOW, CLUSTERS OF
SCHOOLS WITHOUT A FULL-TIME
DEDICATED PERSONNEL. AND THEY MADE
IMMEDIATE EFFORTS TO ADDRESS THIS.>>AND WOULD THAT
BE BECAUSE THE MONEY HAD TO BE SPENT — THERE
WERE JUST OTHER PRIORITIES? WOULD IT BE
BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE THE
KIND OF PTAs THAT COULD RAISE A
MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR FOR ARTS
PROGRAMS OR WHAT?>>I THINK THAT WHERE YOU
SEE FUNDING COMING INTO SCHOOLS, IN GENERAL FOR ACADEMIC PRIORITIES, THERE’S A
SENSE WITH ARTS THAT IT IS NOT NECESSARILY ONE
OF THE BASICS. THAT MYTH NEEDS TO
BE DISPELLED IMMEDIATELY. IT IS A BASIC. IT IS
A BASIC BUILDING BLOCK OF A STRONG AND
COMPLETE EDUCATION. AND IN THE 21st CENTURY, THE
SKILLS THAT WE LEARN ABOUT IN THAT KIND OF
EXPRESSION BECOME MORE AND MORE
IMPORTANT IN THE KIND OF WORK FORCE
MARKETPLACE THAT WE TALK ABOUT. IT IS COMPLICATED,
YOU KNOW, I DON’T QUITE UNDERSTAND
WHY THERE’S NOT MORE WILLINGNESS
WHEN THE RESEARCH IS VERY STRONG AND
THAT WHEN YOU BRING MORE ARTS
INTO THE LEARNING DAY, YOU GET BETTER SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT
ACADEMIC SKILL ENGAGEMENT. YOU REALLY SEE THE
NEEDLE MOVE IN A VARIETY OF
DIFFERENT KIND OF OUTCOMES THAT A
SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT SHOULD BE
CONCERNED WITH. IT IS SORT OF MYSTIFYING,
BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF COMPETING INTERESTS,
AND I DO THINK THAT IN GENERAL, THE WAY ART FUNCTIONING
IN THE UNITED STATES, IT DOESN’T HAVE A STRONG A
VOICE IN THE PUBLIC REALM FROM A GOVERNMENT
PERSPECTIVE. YOU KNOW,
GOVERNMENT FUNDING OF THE ARTS IS NOT
PARTICULARLY LARGE OR STRONG IN THE
UNITED STATES. IT’S A PRIVATE
SECTOR. WE SEE WHERE ARTS
DOES TAKE PLACE IN THESE 1800 PUBLIC
SCHOOLS. A TREMENDOUS
AMOUNT OF THAT RESOURCE IS COMING
FROM THE OUTSIDE, ACTUALLY FROM
PHILANTHROPY NOT ONLY OF THE SCHOOL
COMMUNITIES WITH PTAs BUT ACTUALLY
WITH FUNDERS. WE ARE SO
APPRECIATIVE TO THE PHILANTHROPIC
COMMUNITY IN NEW YORK.>>BUT ALSO, I
GUESS, IF YOU HAVE SCHOOL DISTRICTS
OR EVEN WHOLE SYSTEMS WHERE YOU
ONLY HAVE 30% OF THE STUDENTS — I
MEAN, YOU HAVE SCHOOLS WHERE 5%
OF THE STUDENTS ARE READING AT
GRADE LEVEL.>>CORRECT.>>SO PROBABLY ART
IS NOT GOING TO BE A BIG PRIORITY
THERE.>>WELL, IF WE
DON’T THINK OF THAT — IF WE DON’T THINK OF
MULTIMODAL SKILL SETS OR, YOU KNOW, HOWARD GARDNER
AND HIS MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE, HIS THEORY, AND THE
FACT THAT THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET A CHILD TO
THE DESIRED OUTCOME THAT MAY — I
MEAN, I HAD A CHILD THAT LEARNED THE MULTIPLICATION
TABLES THROUGH MUSIC. THAT WAS THE WAY
THE MUSIC MULTIPLICATION — ♪ TWO TIMES TWO IS FOUR ♪ SO I DO THINK WE NEED
TO HELP TEACHER ED –>>BIG ONION TO
PEEL, BUT TEACHER EDUCATION IS, OF
COURSE, WHERE A LOT — WE WOULD LOVE TO SEE MORE
ART SKILL-BASED LEARNING FOR THOSE THAT ARE
STUDYING TO BE TEACHERS.>>HAVING VISITED
A NUMBER OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS
AROUND THE CITY AND HAVING SEEN
THE KIND OF STUDENT ARTWORK
THAT THEY HAVE ON DISPLAY, I GATHER THAT PRIVATE
SCHOOLS IN CONTRAST, BECAUSE THEY HAVE
A LOT MORE MONEY TO WORK WITH, TEND TO HAVE RATHER RICH
ART PROGRAMS AND THAT –>>WELL, I THINK
THAT IT’S INTERESTING, YOU
KNOW, THERE ARE PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS,
RIGHT, AND THERE ARE INDEPENDENT
CHURCH SCHOOLS, AND THEN THERE ARE
INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS, A WHOLE
REALM. I THINK IN
GENERAL, WITH THEIR — DEPENDING ON THE PRIVATE
SCHOOL YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT, MOST PEOPLE
CONSIDER MUSIC AND VISUAL ARTS AT
LEAST TO BE SOMETHING WHICH,
ON A WEEKLY BASIS, THEY ASSUME THEIR
CHILD IS PARTICIPATING IN,
WHETHER IT’S VOCAL ORCESS RAL MUSIC,
MUSIC THEORY AND INDEED VISUAL
ARTS. SO I THINK
THEY’RE, FOR SOME REASON — AND I DON’T KNOW IF THAT’S
BECAUSE THE STRESSES AND STRAINS ON AN
URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICT DEALING
WITH MANY, MANY FAMILIES THAT ARE
NOT IN THE SAFETY NET TO BEGIN WITH,
SO THE LEARNING CHALLENGES THAT
MANY OF THE STUDENTS ARE
BRINGING WITH THEM ASSOCIATED
CHALLENGED THAT ARE GOING ON IN
THEIR HOUSEHOLD MAY BE SOMETHING
DIFFERENT ABOUT HOW THEY CAN MAKE
SOME OF THE DECISIONS ABOUT
ALLOCATING THEIR RESOURCES. BUT WHAT WE SEE
WITH THE ART IS IT MEETS LEARNERS
WHERE THEY ARE. YOU COULD BE A
SPECIAL ED STUDENT. YOU COULD BE A
VERY HIGH-PERFORMING STUDENT. YOU COULD BE A STUDENT
THAT’S SEEN WITH BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS, A
STUDENT THAT STUMBLES WITH
MAYBE MATH LEARNING AND BE
ABLE TO THRIVE AND FLOURISH IN THE
ARTS AND SEE SOME OF THOSE SKILLS
ACTUALLY BEAR WITNESS TO YOU
DOING BETTER IN SOME OF THOSE
ACADEMIC AREAS. SO I THINK THAT WE
CAN’T LOSE SIGHT OF SCHOOLS NEEDING
DEDICATED SPACES FOR ARTS LEARNING
TO GO ON, RIGHT, AND THEN WE ALSO
NEED MORE AND MORE OF OUR CLASSROOM
TEACHING TO BRING IN ARTS-BASED
PRACTICES TO HELP IN SCIENCE, IN MATH, IN ENGLISH.
IT’S EASIER CERTAINLY IN ENGLISH AND SOCIAL
STUDIES, THERE’S AN EASIER CONNECTION. BUT
EVEN IN MATH AND SCIENCE THERE, WE SEE IN
REAL-WORLD PRACTICE
CREATIVITY-BASED LEARNING AND ARTS
SKILL-BASED LEARNING CAN
REALLY HELP ADVANCE THOSE
GOALS.>>WE’RE GOING TO
TAKE A SHORT BREAK. THEN WE’LL BE BACK
WITH MORE WITH LISA ROBB, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
OF THE CENTER FOR ARTS EDUCATION AFTER THIS MESSAGE.>>>WELCOME BACK
TO “ONE TO ONE.” I’M SHERYL McCARTHY OF
THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, AND I’M TALKING
WITH LISA ROBB, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE
CENTER FOR ARTS EDUCATION. THE CENTER WAS
STARTED IN 1996 TO ADDRESS, I GUESS, THE GAPS IN ART
PROGRAMS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. WHAT — WHAT
IMPACT HAS THE CENTER MADE? WHERE ARE WE NOW
AS COMPARED TO WHERE WE WERE BACK
THEN?>>WE’RE BETTER. WE’RE BETTER. AND WE DO THANK
ALL THE TAXPAYERS OUT THERE WHO ARE
WATCHING AS WELL AS THE ELECTED
OFFICIALS BECAUSE THERE ARE MORE
RESOURCES BEING PUT IN BY THE
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION INTO
ARTS LEARNING, CAPITAL RESOURCES,
SUPPLIES, TEACHERS AND THIS ISSUE
ABOUT DEDICATED SPACE. THE NUMBERS ARE
BETTER THAN THEY’VE BEEN IN
SEVERAL DECADES. THERE WAS SORT OF
A WHITTLING AWAY AND THEN LARGE
CUTS, AND WE’VE HAD A STEADY
PROGRESS UP. I THINK THE
DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS
IN NEW YORK CITY IS ALSO VERY
SUPPORTIVE OF ARTS LEARNING NOT ONLY
IN THE CLASSROOM, BUT THERE ARE
PROBABLY 650, I THINK, CULTURAL PARTNERS THAT
WORK WITH SCHOOLS WHO ARE 501C3 NONPROFIT
ARTS GROUPS BIG AND SMALL. SO THINGS ARE
DEFINITELY ON THE UPSWING. THE STATISTICS ARE
BETTER THAN THEY’VE BEEN. CLASSROOM TEACHERS
ARE MORE AND MORE RECEPTIVE TO THE
IDEA OF, YOU KNOW, KIND OF WRAPAROUND
LEARNING, WRAPAROUND SKILLS,
THINKING ABOUT WELL-ROUNDED
EDUCATION AND HOW 21st CENTURY
LEARNING IS REALLY DIFFERENT AND IT’S
HERE TO STAY. SO I THINK THE
NEWS IS GOOD. I THINK THE
SETTING HAS REALLY IMPROVED OVER THE
LAST 15 YEARS. AND CERTAINLY OVER
THE LAST FIVE YEARS
TREMENDOUSLY.>>AN EARLY FOCUS
FOR THE CENTER WAS PROVIDING GRANTS
TO SCHOOLS TO PARTNER WITH VARIOUS CULTURAL
ORGANIZATIONS IN THE CITY. IS THAT STILL THE
MAIN THRUST OF YOUR WORK?>>WHAT WE’VE
DONE, WE STARTED AS A REGRANTING
ORGANIZATION THROUGH THE GREAT
WINDFALL OF PHILANTHROPY WHEN
WALTER ANNENBERG SOLD THE “TV
GUIDE” COMPANY. AND A LOT OF THAT
MONEY WENT TO ARTS EDUCATION AND
AFTER-SCHOOL. AFTER THE TEN-YEAR
PERIOD IN WHICH REGRANTING ENDED,
THE NEEDS WERE STILL SO LARGE IN
NEW YORK NOT ONLY TO PROVIDE
ACTIVITIES FOR SCHOOLCHILDREN IN
PARTNERSHIPS WITH SCHOOLS, WHICH WE STILL DO NOW, ABOUT
10,000 STUDENTS WE’RE SERVING, IN ABOUT 150 SCHOOLS,
BUT THERE WAS REALLY A NEED TO ADVOCATE, TO
HAVE SOME KIND OF A VOICE FOR ARTS EDUCATION. AND THERE WAS ALSO
THE NEED TO DEVELOP AND ROLL
OUT PROFESSIONAL LEARNING FOR
SCHOOL LEADERS AND CLASSROOM
TEACHERS, TEACHING ARTISTS AND ARTS
TEACHERS TO GIVE MORE OF THE
PEDAGOGICAL HEFT THAT’S THERE WITH
ARTS EDUCATION BUT HAD EBBED AWAY AS
SOME OF THE RESOURCES HAD
EBBED AWAY. SO RIGHT NOW THE
CENTER FOR ARTS EDUCATION DEALS
WITH PROFESSIONAL LEARNING FOR ALL
OF THOSE GROUPS, SCHOOL LEADERS,
PRINCIPALS, SUPERINTENDENTS. WE WORK WITH THE
UNITED FEDERATION OF TEACHERS. WE WORK WITH THE
PRINCIPALS UNION, PROVIDING DIFFERENT PROFESSIONAL
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES, CLASSROOM TEACHERS,
TEACHING ARTISTS. THEN WE’RE ALSO
ADVOCATING. WE’RE TESTIFYING. WE’RE HERE
TODAY MAKING SURE THAT THE BIGGER VOICE
AND THE CENTER FOR ARTS EDUCATION IS
OUT THERE MAKING SURE SCHOOL
PARENTS UNDERSTAND THAT THEIR KIDS
ARE ENTITLED TO ARTS EDUCATION,
AND THEY NEED TO, YOU KNOW, LEND
THEIR VOICE TO MAKING SURE THOSE
RESOURCES GET THERE.>>SO WHAT ARE YOU
EDUCATING THESE TEACHERS,
PRINCIPALS, WHATEVER IN? ARE YOU TEACHING
TEACHERS HOW TO TEACH? VARIOUS ARTS? OR WHAT ARE YOU
TEACHING THEM? HOW ARE YOU
EDUCATING THEM?>>THERE’S A LOT
OF INTERESTING WORK IN
PROFESSIONAL LEARNING AROUND
ARTS EDUCATION NOW THAT IS MUCH MORE
EVOLVED FROM, SAY, 40 AND 50 YEARS
AGO. SO WE’RE SEEING
THE KIND OF DIFFERENT SORT OF
LEARNING PROCESSES THAT TEACHERS ARE
USING IN CLASSROOMS NOW,
LEARNING THROUGH DIFFERENT MODES.>>HISTORY OR MATH
OR ENGLISH OR WHATEVER.>>TO TEACH
ANYTHING, TECHNOLOGY. WE’RE SEEING THE
USE OF THE RESEARCH TOOLS THAT ARE AVAILABLE NOW
CERTAINLY LEND THEMSELVES VERY WELL TO ARTS
LEARNING. AND SO A LOT OF
THE SORT OF NEW RESOURCES THAT
TEACHERS HAVE IN THEIR ROOMS ARE
LENDING THEMSELVES TO ARTS LEARNING. AS WELL WE’RE
HELPING CLASSROOM TEACHERS
UNDERSTAND HOW VERY CONCRETE ART
SKILLS PERSPECTIVE MUSICAL NOTATION
OF NARRATIVES SCRIPTING CAN ADD
TO THEIR OWN EFFORTS IN LESSON
PLANNING AND LESSON
DEVELOPMENT. YOU KNOW,
GEOMETRY, GEOLOGIC TIME, A VARIETY OF
WAYS.>>NOW, YOU MENTION 10,000
STUDENTS SERVING IN 150 SCHOOLS. WHAT IS THAT –>>WELL, ONE OF THE
WAYS WE KEEP UP ON WHAT’S WORKING AND WHAT’S
HAPPENING IS WE CONSIDER OURSELVES
SORT OF A SMALL LAB. WE DO PROBABLY
FIVE OR SIX DIFFERENT KINDS OF
PROGRAMS IN ABOUT 150 SCHOOLS. SOME OF
WHICH ARE AESTHETIC EDUCATION WHICH
MIGHT BE BRINGING IN PERFORMING
GROUPS OVER A PERIOD OF TIME
WITH LEARNING THAT THE CLASSROOM
TEACHERS ARE THEN BRINGING BACK IN
ABOUT AN ART FORM, PERFORMING ART
FORM THAT AN ENTIRE SCHOOL IS
SEEING. WE’RE DOING CLASSROOM-BASED
RESIDENTIES WITH TEACHERS, TEACHING
ARTISTS. WE’RE DOING WORK. WE HAVE A DRUM
CORPS AND SOME CHORUSES THAT WE
RUN AND OPERATE IN SCHOOLS. SO WE’RE TRYING TO
MIRROR HOW WE SEE THE ARTS BEING
DELIVERED. WE’RE IN SOME
AFTER-SCHOOLS, SOME CASA
PROGRAMS, WORKING WITH CITY COUNCIL. SO TRYING TO
MIRROR WHAT ACTUALLY GOES OUT
THERE IN THAT SORT OF LABORATORY OF
LEARNING IN ARTS EDUCATION. WE TRY TO MIRROR
THAT SO WE HAVE ABOUT 12 DIFFERENT
PROGRAMS IN ABOUT FIVE DIFFERENT SORT OF
PEDAGOGICAL APPROACHES. AND THAT’S WHERE
WE’RE ROLLING THESE ACTIVITIES
OUT.>>PROFESSIONAL
PAINTERS COMING IN TEACHING PAINTING
CLASS WHICH YOU HAVE SOME DANCERS
COMING IN.>>ABSOLUTELY.>>DOING DANCE
CLASSES.>>THEATER ARTS,
STORYTELLING. WE DON’T DO THAT
MUCH IN LITERARY AND FOLK ARTS YET. DANCE.
VISUAL ARTS, TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF VISUAL ARTS
ACROSS A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT ART
FORMS ALSO. AND THAT’S ANOTHER
THING THAT’S GOING ON NOW AS WE SEE
THE INTERDISCIPLINARY
APPROACH COMING UP WHEN WE WORK WITH
THEATER AND MUSIC. WE SEE ELEMENTS
AND DANCE OF THOSE FUSING TOGETHER. AND THAT CAN BE
VERY EXCITING FOR KIDS TO ALLOW A
VARIETY OF DIFFERENT KIND OF
TALENTS TO PARTICIPATE. AND ALSO, THESE
PROGRAMS ALLOW PUBLIC GATHERINGS
OFTENTIMES TO SHARE WITHIN YOUR
OWN GRADE LEVEL, WITHIN YOUR OWN
CLASSROOM AND THEN WITHIN LARGER SCHOOL-BASED
PERFORMANCES. AND THAT’S ANOTHER
OPPORTUNITY THAT THE ARTS BRING.>>SO YOU HAVE AN
ART EXHIBIT AT THE SCHOOL.>>CORRECT.>>OR YOU HAVE
SOME KIND OF PERFORMANCE.>>OH, A MUSIC
FESTIVAL, IT COULD BE CHORUS, COULD
BE ORCHESTRAL MUSIC, DANCE,
BALLROOM DANCE, FOLK LORIC DANCE,
CURATED HIP-HOP, RHYTHM & BLUES,
WE’RE DOING A NEW CURRICULUM AROUND
THAT. WE HAVE A CURRICULUM
WITH HISTORIC HUDSON ON RUNAWAY SLAVE,
ADVERTISEMENTS, PRIMARY SOURCE MATERIAL, AND WE
WORK WITH A COLLAGE ARTIST TO
WORK WITH THE COLONIAL SLAVERY
CURRICULUM THAT IS FOR THE FOURTH AND
FIFTH GRADE — NO, EXCUSE ME, MIDDLE
SCHOOL GRADES. SO THERE ARE SO
MANY DIFFERENT PLACES WHERE THE
ARTS ARE ALREADY EMBEDDED IN
EXACTLY WHAT IS OCCURRING, AND IT’S VALUE ADDED.>>WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL IN
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, IF YOU SANG IN THE
CHOIR, THERE WAS AN ANNUAL CITYWIDE
MUSIC FESTIVAL WHERE ALL OF THE CHOIRS
FROM ALL OF THE SCHOOLS — WELL, I WAS IN ALABAMA,
SO THESE WERE ALL BLACK SCHOOLS, YOU KNOW,
CHOIRS WHERE ALL THE BLACK SCHOOLS
GOT TOGETHER AND PERFORMED. IS THERE ANYTHING
LIKE THAT IN NEW YORK?>>YOU THOUGH,
IT’S NOT HAPPENING AS MUCH IN THE ARTS SPACE AS WE
WOULD LIKE. THERE IS A VERY
COMPREHENSIVE POETRY OUT LOUD
PROGRAM THAT IS A NATIONAL PROGRAM
THAT A LOT OF NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC
SCHOOLS PARTICIPATE IN. THERE ARE BALLROOM
DANCING THROUGH FIFTH GRADE.>>AND
COMPETITIONS.>>THERE ARE. WE
SEE MORE WORK IN FORENSIC SPEECH, RHETORICAL
SPEECH WITH DEBATE. WE SEE MORE WITH
SCIENCE AND MAKER FAIRS. WE DON’T SEE AS
MUCH WITH THE ARTS, MUSIC, DANCE
AS WE WOULD LIKE, BUT WE KNOW THAT
THAT’S SOMETHING THAT THE PUBLIC
AND PARENTS HAVE A COMFORT LEVEL
WITH. IT WOULD NOT BE
SOMETHING THAT WAS A STRANGE
EXPECTATION FOR THEM. SO WE DO HOPE THAT
THAT’S WHAT’S INFORMING
PRINCIPALS. AND AS THEY ARE IN
THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IS
THEY’RE MAKING THESE DIFFICULT
DECISIONS ABOUT WHAT TO PRIORITIZE
AS THEY ARE ALLOCATING
RESOURCES.>>ARE YOU
INVOLVED AT ALL IN, SAY, PURCHASING TICKETS
FOR THE KIDS AT A PARTICULAR SCHOOL
TO GO TO A PLAY OR TO A CONCERT? DO YOU DO THAT OR
DO OTHER CITY AGENCIES OR
ORGANIZATIONS DO THAT?>>YES, THERE IS A
WONDERFUL SERVICE ORGANIZATION, THE
ART EDUCATORS ROUNDTABLE, WHICH
IS, MY GOODNESS, I DON’T KNOW THEIR
STATISTICS, BUT DOZENS AND DOZENS
AND DOZENS OF NOT-FOR-PROFIT
ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED WITH ALL
OF THE WORK THAT’S GOING ON WITH ART
EDUCATION. SO MUSEUMS AND
PERFORMING ARTS CENTERS WHOSE WORK
IS IN BRINGING CHILDREN INTO
THEIR SPACE. WE DO SOME OF THAT
AS APPROPRIATE AND CERTAIN TYPES OF
PROGRAMS. I MEAN, THERE ARE LARGE ORGANIZATIONS,
YOU KNOW, THAT HAVE 10,000, 15,000,
100,000 SCHOOLCHILDREN THAT THEY’RE ABLE TO
SERVE EVERY YEAR. AND MANY CULTURAL
PARTNERS WORK TO BRING THE YOUTH
INTO THEIR SITE FOR THAT KIND OF
ART AND AESTHETIC EDUCATION
EXPERIENCE WHICH IS SO IMPORTANT AS
NEW YORK IS ONE OF THE GLOBAL — WELL, IF NOT THE
GLOBAL ARTS CAPITAL, WE HAVE A LOT OF AMENITIES
AND COMMUNITIES, LIBRARIES, PARKS
AND CULTURAL RESOURCES THAT ARE
PART OF THAT WHOLE SORT OF LIFELONG
LEARNING ARTS CULTURE LEARNING
WORLD. AND WE WISH WE
WERE DOING MORE OF THAT IN THE ELEMENTARY,
MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL.>>THE ARTISTS WHO
DO RESIDENCY IN THESE DIFFERENT
SCHOOLS WHETHER IT’S A DANCER, A
PAINTER, WHOMEVER, NOW, ARE THEY PAID
OR DO THEY TEND TO VOLUNTEER THEIR
SERVICES?>>OH, YES. NO, WE
WANT TO PAY THE ARTISTS ALWAYS. WE WANT TO ALWAYS
PAY THE ARTISTS. IN OUR ORGANIZATION,
THE ARTISTS ARE PAID. WE HAVE ABOUT 150
TEACHING ARTISTS ON OUR ROSTER. AND THEN ABOUT —
I THINK ABOUT 60 OR 70 THAT ACTUALLY ON A
GIVEN YEAR ARE WORKING IN THE DIFFERENT PROGRAMS. THEY ARE PAID A
VARIETY OF RATES. SOME ARE ON, YOU KNOW,
GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS. SOME OF THE RATES
ARE FIXED BY, SAY, A PTA OR THE
SCHOOL FUNDING. AND SOME OF THEM
ARE FIXED BY US.>>AND THE FUNDING
FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION COMES
FROM WHERE?>>OH, WHO ISN’T — WHAT
GENEROUS SOULS OUT THERE AREN’T HELPING US? WE’RE GETTING
FUNDING FROM GOVERNMENT. WE HAVE FEE-FOR-SERVICE
CONTRACTS FROM DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. WE HAVE FUNDING
FROM THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE
ARTS, FROM THE FEDERAL DEPARTMENT
OF EDUCATION, FROM THE NEW YORK CITY
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, FROM
THE STATE. MANY, MANY FUNDERS, MANY
FOUNDATIONS. WE’RE IN THE BEA
ALTMAN BUILDING, ALTMAN FOUNDATION
IS A FUNDER. LOTS OF WONDERFUL,
THE ILLUMINATION FUND NEW YORK
COMMUNITY TRUST. MANY INDIVIDUALS,
OUR VERY GENEROUS BOARD. SO LIKE SO MANY
OTHER NONPROFITS, WE’RE TRYING TO
HAVE A VERY DIVERSE SOURCES OF
REVENUE, AND WE TRY TO EARN SOME
OF OUR FUNDING AS WELL AS HAVE SOME
OF IT DONATED.>>SO YOU SEE ARTS
ON THEIR WAY UP IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL
SYSTEM IN NEW YORK?>>OH, ABSOLUTELY. AND WE
STILL ARE UNFORTUNATELY IN A POSITION WHERE
THERE SORT OF STILL IS ONLY ONE
WAY TO GO. WE DO HAVE A
JOURNEY THAT WE’RE STILL ON, BUT WE
SEE SO MUCH RECEPTIVITY WITH
THE CITY COUNCIL, WITH THE ELECTED
OFFICIALS, WITH DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION,
CULTURAL AFFAIRS, PARENTS. THE MOST IMPORTANT
ADVOCATES THAT WE CAN DEVELOP ARE
OUR PARENTS. THERE’S NO PROBLEM
IN GETTING PEOPLE EXCITED. BUT WE ARE, LIKE
MANY OF THE OTHER ACADEMIC CONTENT
AREAS, FIGHTING, PERSUADING,
ADVOCATING FOR RESOURCES THAT ARE
ADEQUATE TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS
AND REQUIREMENTS.>>OKAY. WELL, I’M
AFRAID WE’RE OUT OF TIME. I WANT TO THANK LISA ROBB,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR ARTS
EDUCATION FOR JOINING ME. IF YOU’D LIKE MORE INFORMATION
OR WANT TO GET INVOLVED, JUST GO TO THE
CENTERFORARTSED.ORG, IS THAT CORRECT?>>YES, IT IS.>>OKAY. FOR THE
CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AND “ONE TO
ONE,” I’M SHERYL McCARTHY. ♪[THEME MUSIC]♪

1 thought on “Lisa Robb: The Center for Arts Education | One to One”

  1. CAE finally opened their eyes and saw how horrible Lisa Robb is as an Executive Director. Poor leadership and communication skills. Working under her was a nightmare. She procrastinated and blamed her staff when things went wrong. She has poor delegating skills and pushed all her work on her subordinate's without proper supervision and don't ask her a question. She'll look at you like you have 2 heads and then insult you for trying to consult with her. She only got the title EA at CAE because she was colleagues with Jill Baufman and when hired, her starting salary was $165,000.00 annually while the Program Managers made no more than $37,000.00 annually. Makes sense why they couldn't afford a more efficient IT infrastructure.

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