As our readers know, 2011 is all about celebrating the arts here at Lilly Pulitzer. So it makes perfect sense that one of our choice philanthropic partners for 2011 would be Urban Arts Partnership. We’re very excited to have Philip Courtney, Executive Director, with us in the Guest House today. We’ve asked him to tell us a little bit about Urban Arts Partnership and give us a peek into some of the exciting programs they have planned this year.
1. What is 2011 all about for Urban Arts Partnership?
In 2011 Urban Arts is all about 2050. We are imagining what the world will look like in 39 years and thinking about what we should be doing today to prepare our students for it. We feel that the arts play a central role in preparing a young person for the world, and that this will be even more true in the future. So in 2011 we are working with our partners to redesign the school day as we know it, define and support great teaching, and, most importantly, provide our students with cutting edge programs that develop their creative, analytic and critical thinking skills to prepare them for future success.
2. What is your mission at Urban Arts Partnership?
Urban Arts Partnership accomplishes its mission through a variety of interdisciplinary arts programs that include in-school classroom integration, after-school programs, master classes, professional development, summer programs, arts festivals, and special projects. The organization provides student-centered arts instruction in film making, digital music production, photography, visual arts, theatre, design, dance, and language arts. Presented in schools, at festivals, during community events, online, and in televised features, our students’ final projects are consistently high quality and have garnered competitive, national awards while giving voice to countless stories from across the city.We are proud to serve as a founding cultural partner of new small schools, an award-winning provider of exemplary arts education, a community connector with leading NYC cultural institutions, a leader in creative learning for ELL & SWD populations, and as a developer of school professionals.
3. Tell us about some of your programs this year.
Special Urban Arts initiatives include: Life Stories, a program founded in conjunction with The New Group Theater Company, which provides advanced acting and playwriting training for high school students; StoryStudio, a model arts integration program specifically targeted to English Language Learners (recent immigrant students) that provides visual and theater arts instruction while developing acquisition of, and fluency in, the English language; Media Lab, a media activist project that connects students to vital social issues through professional level film production and promotion; and Fresh Prep, an innovative student-centered curriculum that uses Hip-hop music to review the key content and skills tested on the New York State Regents Exams.
4. Why are you excited to partner with Lilly Pulitzer?
The Lilly Pulitzer design and aesthetic is fun, smart and inspiring – three things that we aspire to at Urban Arts, and we are honored to be part of the Lilly Loves the Arts 2011 initiative. The team at Lilly has been so enthusiastic about our programming and our students – they have a true understanding of our mission and the impact of arts-integrated education. A group of Lilly designers recently led a fantastic Master Class for our students at New Design High School. It’s wonderful to see your organization take such an involved step in giving back to the community, and we hope to continue partnering in the future!
Be sure to connect with Urban Arts across the web. Learn more about them on their website, read about their wonderful programs on their blog, see community in action on Facebook and connect with them on Twitter.
Look out for some exciting partnership events and programs we’ll be doing in the very near future with Urban Arts. Hint: one of them includes animals!