After allocating $40,000 in funding, City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) visited PS 165 in Flushing and PS 154 in Fresh Meadows last week to celebrate the success of the Cultural After School Adventures program.
CASA provided New York City public school students with unique after-school arts programming last year, allowing students at both schools to learn about the arts from Queens College faculty and professional instructors.
Lancman attended each school’s CASA showcases, an end-of-year event where students show off what they learned from their respective CASA programs.
Students at PS 165 took part in the “Bringing the Beat” program, where they explored a wide range of percussion instruments and musical styles. At PS 154, students participated in the “Portrait Party” program, where they learned the ins and outs of visual arts and different two-dimensional and three-dimensional techniques.
Lancman said it was a thrill to see firsthand the new skills the students learned during their CASA program.
“What makes the CASA program so special is that it opens our students’ eyes to different forms of art and different cultures,” he said. “I look forward to working with the Kupferberg Center and our local schools to bring the magic of the CASA program to our students next year.”
Lancman partnered with the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College to allocate the CASA grants. The grants provide specific programming to students. Local schools participating in the CASA program select from seven unique arts programs offered by the Kupferberg Center. According to Lancman, each program provided students with more than 50 instructional hours of learning and an interactive learning experience.
Tiffany Davis-Nealy, principal at PS 165, said the partnership with CASA has enriched the lives of her students.
“Not only did they learn about music,” she said, “they learned very valuable life skills such as active listening, teamwork, and focus. The PS 165 community is looking forward to working corroboratively with the CASA program for many years to come.”
Pamela Gathers, principal at PS 154, said the CASA program opened up the students’ eyes to new artists.
“Its infusion of cultural background study and different artists from around the world has exposed our students to understanding how to grow as dynamic artists,” she said. “We are proud of this partnership, which serves complimentary to the arts programs we offer our students in our curricula. We are grateful to Councilman Rory Lancman for bringing this enriching opportunity to our children.”
Jeff Rosenstock, executive director at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, thanked Lancman for fulfilling the project’s mission of providing quality and accessible arts programming to the community.
“The Council member values the role the arts can play in the education of our students as well as serving as a shared language among students from many different cultural backgrounds,” Rosenstock said.
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