The State of New York is experiencing the greatest recession since the Great recession of the 1930’s. As the New York State waits for embedding budget cuts to the New York State Department of Education and Arts Education in particular face the lose of programming for the gifted and talented young artist in the State of New York. Again those most effected will be those most in need of opportunity previously funded for enrichment of impoverished youth. This article is a call for action with an overview of the programs offered by NYSAA and a request for promoting the Arts in Education.
The New York State Summer Schools of the Arts (NYSSA) is an arts education program that delivers programs to school age children via the State Education Department. In the past eight component summer residential schools, supported by the Office of the Governor and the State of New York have offered programs for students with special talents in visual and performing arts. NYSSA has a 41-year history offered students who qualify, through auditions an opportunity to receive the highest level of training and instruction.
NYSSA has been open to all high school students (grades 8-12), offering tuition assistant for those who may not have the financial means to participate. The eight component schools offers programs in Ballet, Choral, Dance, Jazz, Media Arts, Orchestra, Theatre and Visual Arts. In order to operate for 2011, there is a need of about $800,000.00, which must be included in the New York State Budget.
Summer Schools audition information; eligibility, schedules and applications can be obtained on-line at the NYSSA Web page. A brief overview of each program follows:
· The New York State Summer School Ballet operates during the month of July (June 26th-July 23rd), offering 60 gifted dance students the opportunity to work under the direction of New York City Ballet, directed by President Jenifer Ringer. Students will be provided with instruction, lectures and the opportunity to work in ballet, pointe, character, jazz, variations and pas de deux. They will attend all New York City Ballet Performances at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, practicing in the National Dance Museum studios and housed at Skidmore College. Auditions will consist of 20 minute to one hour of classroom work to determine those eligible to participate in the ballet program.
· The New York State Summer School of Choral Studies will operate for four weeks at SUNY Fredonia and co-sponsored by the New York State Music Association using the facilities of Fredonia’s music department as they perform at the King Concert Hall at Rockefeller Center for the Arts and the Amphitheatre at the Chautauqua Institution. A nationally acclaimed choral conductor and faculty will educate students as they participate in musical theatre, opera scenes, stagecraft, ensembles, music and voice lessons. Music Educators are encouraged to visit and observe all aspects of the program. Auditions will include vocal selections, sight-reading of standard vocal literature, student will be expected perform a demonstration of musical and technical ability and to supply their own accompaniment.
· The New York State Summer School of Dance is an opportunity for modern dancers and the study of technique, composition, and music for dance, repertory and performance. While living at Skidmore College, this four week program will offer 35 student the opportunity to collaborate with the American Dance Legacy Institution, exploring the works of American dance masters and researching archival materials and dance video in a unique program, Dancing Through The Curriculum, that allows students to assist in a program that they will pursue throughout the school year.
· The New York State Summer School of Visual Arts will be held at Fredonia College from July 2nd to July 29th. The program is offered to visual arts student, their acceptance is based on a portfolio review of ten to fifteen pieces of work, a brief statement about your artwork and what you would like to learn from the School of Visual Arts. Participants selected will experience life as a working artist working in the studio drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media, figure and interdisciplinary arts under the direction of noted exhibiting artists and educators. Students can receive one full unit of high school credit, which will be sent to their school at the close of the program. The application process and art show schedule can be found at www.p12.nysed.gov/nysssa/SVA/.
· The New York State Summer School of Theatre will be housed at Adelphi University, thirty talented actors and actresses will be selected to receive intensive training in theatre arts. Students will take daily acting classes which include voice, movement, scene study, and will experience a number of theatre disciplines as they work with theatre companies in well developed course curriculum which is intensive and may require up to 12 hours of work per day, as they interact with professional actors, directors, designers and playwrights and attend performances in New York City. Audition information and recommended audition scenes can be found on the NYSSSA web page.
· The New York State Summer School of Orchestral Studies is accepting 115 New York State High School students to study and rehearse with the Philadelphia Orchestra in residence at Saratoga Performing Arts Center under the artistic direction of Russell Stanger. Students will have the opportunity to work side by side with first-chair members with the chance to work for four weeks, coached in small groups and in sectional rehearsals, performing repertoire while attending elective classes in the history, literature and theory of music. The orchestra program is co-sponsored by the New York State School Music Association, The Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Auditions will be held at 10 different locations throughout the state, student must audition successfully in order to become a member or alternate. Applications and information can be found at www.p12.nysed.gov/nysssa/SVA/.
Please take this opportunity to visit the web page, e-mail your legislators and request that the Arts In Education programs receive funding as the children of New York State are receiving less arts instruction than ever before. Be proactive in building enrichment through more arts education programs for all.