The Lincoln Center Scholars Program is a partnership among Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Hunter College School of Education, the New York City Department of Education, and the United Federation of Teachers. The three-year initiative was developed in response to the critical need for qualified, certified arts teachers in New York City Schools, highlighted in an April 2014 report by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. The program educates, certifies, and places high-quality music, dance, theater, and visual art teachers in up to 120 New York City public schools. Students who complete the fully-subsidized two-year program will receive a Master’s of Education degree from Hunter. While enrolled, they have access to intensive training at Lincoln Center Education and upon graduation are qualified as state-certified teachers, and considered for placement in schools in underserved areas of the city.
With this new initiative, Lincoln Center, the world’s largest performing arts center, became the first performing arts organization in the U.S. to partner with a higher education institution to create an alternative certification path for future arts educators.
The Illumination Fund provided the program’s first philanthropic grant, providing a $1.5 million grant for tuition and program-related expenses, including a $7,500 stipend per scholar for the purchase of school supplies essential for effective instruction.