Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Program: Access to Arts
Area of Work: Arts
Grant Purpose: Lincoln Center Scholars Program
In addition to presenting a range of artistic programming from around the globe and managing the Lincoln Center campus, which includes 11 major organizations and multiple venues, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a national leader in arts education programs. Lincoln Center provides arts and education programs to New York area public schools, and works with students and educators nationally and internationally, helping to stimulate imagination, encourage critical thinking, and demonstrate the many ways the arts support learning in other subjects. Lincoln Center’s educational programs and initiatives reach hundreds of thousands of students, educators, teens, and seniors each year.
Purpose: To support the creation of the Lincoln Center Scholars program to fast-track teacher certification for artist-educators to become full-time arts teachers in under-resourced schools.
In 2014, a study by the New York City Comptroller found that more than 400 New York City public schools lacked a full-time, certified arts teacher, and that students – particularly those in low-income neighborhoods – were being shortchanged. Spurred by this data, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts created Lincoln Center Scholars, in partnership with the Hunter College School of Education, the New York City Department of Education, and the United Federation of Teachers. LC Scholars was designed to address the limited availability of high-quality arts education for New York City public school students by fast-tracking new arts teachers’ eligibility for hiring by under-resourced schools seeking to expand their arts programming. Through the Scholars program, qualified artists working toward their teaching certification were able to enter the classroom immediately, rather than waiting the two years it took to complete their course work. They were trained dually at Lincoln Center and Hunter College and received mentoring support and professional development stipends to attend conferences and take master classes and private lessons in their art forms.
LC Scholars has trained more than 60 new arts teachers, including dance, music and theater specialists – all of whom have been professional artists. This represents nearly one quarter of the total new arts teachers hired by the NYC DOE between 2014 and 2018. The talented artist-educators that the program has trained have already had a tremendous positive impact on tens of thousands of NYC students, and will be enriching students’ lives through arts education for years to come. Lincoln Center engaged an external evaluator to assess outcomes in three key areas: access to arts instruction, teacher certification and retention, and impact on the school ecosystem. The report found that:
- Scholars have been successful in increasing their students’ engagement with the arts both during the school day and beyond the classroom.
- Scholars have remained in the teaching field at higher rates than their peers in comparable programs.
- When they are working in school settings with supportive administrations, Scholars are able to have a significant positive impact on the way arts are valued overall in their schools.
The impact of the new teacher-educations will grow as they continue their careers.