ArtsConnection is an organization that addresses the educational challenges for the 21st century, ArtsConnection’s research-based arts programs create socially just learning environments. The programs support literacy, communication, creativity,
collaboration, and critical thinking. ArtsConnection’s partnerships include and strengthen the diverse voices of New York City’s children and youth, cultivating their arts and academic skills for success in a changing world.
With the pandemic, learning has been challenging for many kids over the past month, ArtsConnection’s manager Kristina Gonzalez mentioned that her organization is a bit different. She points out that every child is different. She says “I specifically work with teens and the engagement ranges. Some teens are thriving in this digital space. It’s allowing them to show more confidence and express themselves, while others have their cameras off and it’s hard to tell if they are engaged. As educators and facilitators, it’s pushed us to get creative with how we can engage the teens and open our perspective on what counts as engagement. Even if a teen has their camera off, they can still participate by typing in the chatbox for Zoom or sending us reactions. There are reasons besides just not wanting to show their faces on camera and we have to be mindful of that. With art, it is a struggle to create something creative and interactive over online learning but the organization tries its best to create interactive and creative projects.”.
If you are someone who values diversity, ArtsConnection Is a perfect place because they value diversity as well. They include culture and arts from all around the world since they are New York-based, surrounded by culture, and working with children from all different backgrounds. It’s important that their Teaching Artist Roster and their programs celebrate a variety of cultures through art forms such as puppetry, theater, music, visual arts, digital animation and more.
Through the process, they hope that kids will create their own works of art.
ArtsConnection believes its community of artists, staff, and board play a unique role in modeling the humanity in all of us. Because ArtsConnection values the arts as a universal language, they strive to create socially just learning environments that are reflective of the city’s demographics and that affirm and practice values of equity, diversity, and inclusion through the various roles and responsibilities they have in all their work. Lastly, Ms. Gonzalez emphasized that the arts are an important form of Action for their organization, and it is the art of everything they do. It has a powerful way of sending messages to people. ArtsConnection engages their organization by creating programs like Hues of Healing, Hues of Healing combines creative expression practices with facilitated mental health sessions to create a safe, exploratory environment centered on the well-being of NYC’s youth disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.