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Program Spotlight: NYSA

Igniting the Arts with the International Rescue Committee

Two students dance with joy as they sit on box seats to see The Music Man on Broadway.
NYSA students excited to see The Music Man on Broadway!

Since 2010, Arts Ignite has partnered with the International Rescue Committee’s Newcomer Youth Academy to offer creative arts classes. This summer, the beloved program embarked on a jam-packed five-week adventure as 5 Arts Ignite Teaching Artists and staff guided 105 students from ages 4-21 years old, coming from 24 countries, and speaking 23 languages.

NYSA focused on personal growth, cultural adjustment, and education. With many students having little classroom experience or gaps in their education, trauma-informed care, cultural competence, and linguistic support were critical factors for this program’s curriculum. Students enjoyed classes in visual arts and dance while integrating English language learning to help them transition into the NYC school system. As a Lower School student nominated class speaker Jorge said at graduation, “Look and see how much we’ve grown.”

Outside the classroom, students participated in special activities including a trip to see The Music Man on Broadway and a Food and Fashion Show where they could strut down the runway while wearing food from their home countries. The fun continued with an Arts Games Fair on Governor’s Island where students partook in bracelet making, face painting, line dancing, circus arts, and more. NYSA also welcomed Concerts for Compassion, our 2022 Jennifer Saltzstein Kaffenberger Fellowship recipients. ARKAI, a musical duo within CFC, performed a live cross-genre concert for students. 

The program culminated with a graduation ceremony that included dance performances, visual art presentations, a message from class speakers, and a reward of diplomas. The commencement concluded with their C.A.R.E. Chant: 

The photo shows the C.A.R.E. theme song's lyrics.

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