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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > Brooklyn Arts Council Develops Arts Integration Model

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Brooklyn Arts Council Develops Arts Integration Model

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May 01, 2013
Brooklyn, New York

The Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) has developed a scalable model for integrating arts study with third grade "world cultures" social studies curriculum that can be replicated at other schools in New York City, and throughout the United States. Through BAC's program, traditional folk artists have helped to guide BAC teaching artists and classroom teachers in developing authentic, culturally specific arts curricula that more deeply engages students in their social studies classes while arming classroom teachers with expanded approaches to the material.

BAC has already brought their program to 21 classes of third graders from five schools in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Students are learning traditional dances and stories, crafting authentic djembe drums, examing the local currency, and sampling Indian, Chinese, and West African traditional foods. Reaching beyond the walls of the classroom, folk artists skype with families in their countries of origin during class, share video footage of recent trips home, and bring visiting guests into the schools.

About Brooklyn Arts Council
Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), an arts service and presenting organization founded in 1966, is dedicated to fostering a healthy environment for the arts across Brooklyn and supporting the careers of its artists and arts groups in all disciplines. For over twenty-five years, BAC has offered Arts in Education programs for people of all ages—in particular at-risk youth—at schools, afterschool programs, and senior and community centers around New York City. Originally conceived as a way to create jobs for artists, BAC’s Arts in Education programs now play a critical role in keeping the arts alive in New York City schools, at the same time promoting the development of essential academic, communication and critical thinking skills in some of the area’s most underserved students. Our 200+ teaching artists lead programs in the visual, literary, performing, and media arts in several formats: in-school and afterschool student workshops, in-school performance/assembly programs, professional development workshops for teachers, and parent involvement sessions. Last year alone, we reached over 27,000 students, teachers, parents, and seniors at close to 100 program sites.

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Pictured Above: BAC students delight in playing their djembes during their “World Cultures: Ivory Coast” residency led by teaching artist Vado Diomande. Photo: Misun Jin.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.