Drawing the Full Picture: Arts in Schools on the Rise


Each year, the NYC Department of Education releases its Arts in Schools report, presenting a comprehensive view of how the city’s public schools are delivering high-quality arts education to 1.1 million students. Recently the Fund for Public Schools and one of our major arts supporters, Jody Gottfried Arnhold, joined Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña at P.S. 51 in Manhattan to release the latest report.

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The 2016-17 edition demonstrates how seriously the DOE takes arts education. In a recent op-ed piece in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Carmen Fariña, schools chancellor and chair of the Board of Directors for The Fund, said that “the arts are not an add-on or simply an extra-curricular activity — a rich arts curriculum strengthens school communities and teaches students skills and passion, cultivates hobbies, and can instill confidence and creativity that students will keep with them for the rest of their lives.”

The report had several key takeaways, including a record 12-year high in the number of certified art teachers, as well as a $17 million increase in arts spending across all schools.

Kate Alcorn from The Fund, Paul King from the DOE Office of Arts & Special Projects, and major arts supporter Jody Gottfried Arnhold.

Kate Alcorn from The Fund, Paul King from the DOE Office of Arts & Special Projects, and major arts supporter Jody Gottfried Arnhold.

While The Fund joins the DOE in celebrating these accomplishments, we are particularly proud to have contributed to the wide-spread success of the many arts programs across the city funded by private support.

Pre-K Create, thanks to our partners including Jody and John Arnhold, the Hearst Foundations, New York Community Trust, and the Staten Island Foundation, provides professional learning for teachers and site leaders to incorporate visual arts, dance, theater, and music into their curriculum and programs. Over the course of this three-year initiative we expect that Create will guide professional learning for approximately 2000 educators in approximately 435 program sites, ultimately providing opportunities to deeply engage with and spark creativity in approximately 37,000 pre-K students throughout NYC.


Additional arts programs supported through grants facilitated by The Fund include the Arnhold Dance Teacher Program, Arthur Miller Theater Program, Shubert Theater Education Programs, StarTCHR Arts Professional Development, and the Summer Arts Institute.

The Fund for Public Schools is truly grateful to our philanthropic partners for their continued generous support of dance, theater, music, and visual arts programs for students.

Interested in supporting the arts in NYC public schools? We invite you to donate today.

Matt Darian