Mask Making

Teacher: Janet Borrus, theatre

School: East Los Angeles Performing Arts Magnet

Project Goal(s): To provide theatre students with an opportunity to learn physical theatre techniques in masks and to to make their own masks.


Students begin on their feet, learning techniques for acting in neutral, full-face larval and character masks. Inspired by physical improvisations set to music, and images from photographs and magazines, students develop original characters, each with their own idiosyncratic gestures and movement. Next, they work collaboratively in small groups to devise short narratives featuring their characters, a particular setting and theme (such as loss, generosity, competition, first love, immigration).  For a month they are immersed in the rigorous process of building masks from scratch, learning how to highlight and exaggerate character traits using plaster, papier mache, clay, and acrylics. The culmination of the program is a performance of eight original works of Mask Theatre set to music.

ETA funds were used for the teaching artist fees and art supplies.


Estela Garcia

Millinery Design and Construction

Teacher: Gary Osborne, fashion design

School: High School of Art & Design

Project Goal(s): The 11th grade fashion students will understand the history of hat making and how to construct their original hat design.



Students analyze different fibers, understand the process of hat blocking by creating a block from insulating foam, use tools such as a head size plate, pattern, create a concept, then execute the design in 3-dimensions.

The junior fashion class partners with Lisa Shaub Fine Millinery where students work on this project for 6 weeks for 10, 2-hour Artist in Residence sessions. This block will allow the students to create the millinery tools from scratch, understand the historical context of hat making and create an original piece.

All tools and materials are provided by the design studio and are the tools and techniques necessary and used in the fashion design industry today. Lisa coordinates 2 guest speakers from the Milliners Guild of NYC to come speak about the relevance of millinery and hat design in the fashion industry. The students have the opportunity to visit the studio and shop of Lisa Shaub in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.


The students have the opportunity to showcase their hat in the High School fashion show with a written artist essay that illustrates their inspiration from a historical period and the process from concept, design to final piece. Each of the students' work and process will be on display at the Spring Arts Festival.

ETA funds were used for the residency fee.

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Lisa Shaub Fine Millinery

Instrumental Teaching Artist in Residence

Teacher: Penny Smetters-Jacono, music

School: Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music

Project Goal(s): To provide all ninth grade clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone players with access to an Artist in Residence who will do the following help improve technical skills and approach to the instrument.


Artist in residence will provide private Lessons, small group instruction for bassoon, clarinet and saxophone players in Concert Band in order to:

·      Meet with students in the ninth grade who play clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon in rotation once a week for 16 weeks during their ensemble time.

·      Meet with students individually and in small groups to refine individual technique.

·      Help improve technical skills and approach to the instrument.

·      Integrate musical skills to help develop discipline and healthy playing habits.

·      Work with students to develop effective practice techniques and strategies that will serve them throughout their playing career.

·      Demonstrate how the skills they are learning are the same skills and attitudes that professional artists utilize.

ETA funds were used for the teaching artist fees.


Ernie Schefflein

American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI) Rep Etudes Program

Teacher: Michelle Smith, dance

School: Brooklyn High School of the Arts

Project Goal(s): Through American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI) and their Repertory Etudes project, dancers are introduced to master American modern dance choreographer’s styles of dance, their process for creating works and are provided insight into the rich history of modern dance in this country.

Description of Activities

The teaching artist teaches 9 workshops during the first two weeks of January 2017. ADLI sends teaching materials in late November and teacher introduces both of the RepEtudes to the students in December prior to teaching artist's arrival. Teacher teaches the selected material from the RepEtudes based on the teaching materials. In January, teaching artist arrives and teaches the etudes in their entirety. She stages the works and delves deeply into the history and goals of the ADLI.

The intention is for students to grasp an understanding of the importance of preserving dance history through participating in this program. They invest energy in learning the work and performing it on stage at school and at the annual senior dance concert in the spring.

ETA funds were used for the residency fees and materials.

Arts Partner(s)

American Dance Legacy Initiative

Caribbean Dance and Musical Theatre

Teacher: Jill Coon, theatre

School: Brooklyn High School of the Arts

Project Goal(s): Dance Caribbean Collective provides master classes to BHSA’s musical theater students as they prepare for their musical Once on this Island. The artists at DCC are also from the Caribbean so they bring cultural insights to our young people. 

Description of Activities


BHSA works with DCC for 20 sessions:  2 of the sessions are for workshops to introduce students to Caribbean dance and access what they already know about it in order to add on to it in the following 18 sessions where DCC dancers and choreographers provide in class instruction and guidance for the choreography they create for Once on This Island.  The DCC dancers help theater teachers identify student dance captains who run dance rehearsals in class when DCC is not in class.  These students become class leaders while deepening their understanding of dance, ensemble and storytelling.  In addition, the DCC residency provides professional development for the teacher as a musical theater choreographer.  When DCC dancers are not in class, the teacher can choreograph pieces that are authentic and help to tell the story. 

ETA funds were used for teaching artist fees.

Arts Partner(s)

Dance Caribbean Collective



"Our residency with Dance Caribbean Collective built the capacity of our 40 musical theater students in our musical theater class and company for "Once on this Island" to successfully tell a story through dance. They learned many key moves from Caribbean dance and were able to turnkey that learning into building their own choreography. "Once on this Island" had around 350 audience members over the run of the show. Many audience comments were about the amazing choreography. The students' prided themselves on being able to fully embrace their characters and their story telling through movement and dance."

"Dance Caribbean Collective and the way they easily worked with our school was a complete joy. I would work with them again. Azriel was a strict and nurturing teacher. Her ability to meet students where they are and then take them to the next level was inspiring. She also pushed them to new heights...they did things they never thought they could do as an ensemble."

Shakespeare Teaches Teachers

Teacher: Alexandra Hyman, English

School: Urban Assembly School for Law & Justice

Project Goal(s): Four teachers will attend BAM’s Shakespeare Teaches Teachers professional development sessions relating to performance in the classroom, and then we will bring 136 students to see a live screening of Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


The teaching artists will provide professional development and instruction regarding Shakespeare performance techniques in the classroom. Teachers will be equipped to turnkey those activities to the students, and will then participate in a performance themselves in the culminating event on 4/1/17. The teaching artists’ PD sessions will also provide guided curricula for Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

ETA funds were used for the program fees.


Brooklyn Academy of Music

Create an Art and Literary Journal

Teacher: Adriana Yugovich, English

School: Humanitas Academy of Art & Technology

Project Goal(s): Students will launch a 32-page school art & literary journal and learn the process of publishing from concept and editing to design, layout and promotion. 

Description of Activities 


The Art and English departments joined forces to create a new class called Media Flex, focusing on exploring the process of creating, editing and publishing creative content to be shared beyond the classroom. Students took on editorial roles, engaged in art and writing critiques, and utilized Adobe Photoshop and InDesign to bring their new publication to life, then organized a book release/open mic event at a local cafe where students read their work and facilitated dialogue about arts advocacy with the community. 

ETA funds were used for the cost of printing the journals.

Global History and the Graphic Novel

Teacher: Steven Seltz, global history

School: Urban Assembly School of Law & Justice

Project Goal(s): To engage students in historical thinking on the cultural and political history of Iran through critical reading of Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi) and creating their own original graphic novels

Description of Activities

Class spent seven sessions doing a close reading of Persepolis and learning comic/graphic novel techniques. Students selected a particular historical event in Iranian history to focus on and conducted research to understand the causes and effects of the event. Students then developed their own characters and storyline that would illustrate how the historical events were processed and contextualized, and they created original graphic novels. The project culminated with a classwide presentation of final projects.

ETA funds were used for art supplies and teaching artist fees.

Arts Partner(s)

Chris Fillhart (a freelance artist who has since moved to Pittsburgh)

Literature and Fine Art

Teacher: Lindsey Elenson, ELA

School: Urban Assembly School for Law & Justice

Project Goal(s): Students will investigate the power, freedom, and limitations of speech and self-expression and how visual art is used to express ideas.

Description of Activities

The project connected to a unit on the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson in which a teenager stops speaking after being sexually assaulted and instead turns to artmaking as a way to express herself. Students were led by a teaching artist through critical dialogues on artworks by Picasso, Frida Kahlo and others to investigate how cubism, symbolism and self portraiture have been employed by artists to freely express themselves. Students created original pieces echoing these styles to visually communicate their own ideas of themselves.

ETA funds were used for art supplies, teaching artist fees and Guggenheim museum admission.

Arts Partner(s)

Monique Schubert - freelance artist

Chemistry and Film

Teacher: Josh Wickline, chemistry

School: Talent Unlimited High School

Project Goal(s): Utilize video-making to provide students with multiple entry points for understanding and explaining physical science concepts.

Description of Activities

Students worked in small groups to brainstorm ideas for short videos that would creatively explain key concepts from the chemistry curriculum. (i.e. illustrate ionic bonds through the story of a high school love triangle). Videos had to be narrative but include a clear explanation of the relevant science. Groups created a shot list and production schedule, shot and edited short videos that were then collected on a private Vimeo channel for Regents review.

ETA funds were used for an iMac and Apple TV.


"The best thing that happened during my project was that students were able to connect to chemistry through media that they valued, understood, and wanted to excel in. Because I held all groups to the task of staying true to the science, the students had to interpret the concepts through an artistic medium, and learned more as a result."

At the link below, you'll be able to view all of the video files the students created:

Additional Documents:


Evaluation Rubric

US History and Printmaking: Propaganda Posters

Teacher: Kristin Ferrales (2014-15), Tom Houston (2015-16); US history

School: Urban Assembly School for Law & Justice

Project Goal(s): Students will understand the motives and methods of governments and organizations that use visual propaganda to promote a cause or movement. Students will employ similar techniques to promote a contemporary cause of their choosing.

Description of Activities

One session in each initial unit of Spring semester was devoted to an examination of the use of propaganda (US imperialism, the Great Depression). Students then chose their own contemporary issue (Black Lives Matters, the Fight for $15), conducted research, and looked at examples of contemporary political art. Students then worked under the guidance of a guest artist to create an original linocut and make prints.

Arts Partner(s)

Abrons Arts Center


"Students were highly engaged in the process of creating their block prints. Students thought thematically about different topics/problems/events in the US History course. Students enjoyed having choice--they were able to pick any topic they were interested in. Many students incorporated specific art techniques that our teaching artist modeled for them in designing their final prints. Students took pride in their work at our final art show, and students in other courses visited the show and expressed interest in doing this type of work. Almost every single student said that they thought this unit should be incorporated into US History next year (and many wanted to have multiple projects like this one)."

"I wish I had planned for more time in the unit--ideally, if done again, this would be a 2 week unit instead of one."

"This was great--I truly enjoyed the planning and execution of this project! To do this again, I would need to budget for additional purchase of blocks and tools--we purchased some, but Abrons provided enough tools for all students to be able to create at the same time--with the purchased materials that is not currently possible.

Literature and Theatre: Shakespeare

Teacher: Chad Frade, ELA

School: Urban Assembly School of Design & Construction

Project Goal(s): Students reinterpret, update (if necessary), and transform the ideas of a Shakespeare play into an interactive and immersive dramatic production in the school hallways.

Description of Activities

Students will read, act out, interpret and discuss the year's Shakespeare play, thinking throughout the unit about what will be significant to represent in a shortened, adapted version performed for their peers. As they finish the reading, students will identify the big ideas and make decisions about how to stage the key scenes in different areas of the school. They will use the last three weeks to do production design, costuming and lighting (using existing materials at the school) before staging interactive performances.

ETA funds were used for cardboard, costumes and props.


"Students were engaged and excited about Shakespeare because of the resources that ETA poured into our project. It made the learning of this Old English play more accessible and understandable to students who have struggled with this material. Additionally, the community got to see the hard work and artistry of my junior class and it made them excited for future projects that may occur when they become my students."

Additional Documents:

Titus: Scenes, Lines and Set Up

Titus: Prompt


Textile Design & Weaving for Fashion

Teacher: Gary Osborne, fashion design

School: High School of Art & Design

Project Goal(s): Senior fashion students will weave a textile in order to construct a simple garment for the Spring Fashion Show and to understand the evolution of weaving textiles for garments in history.

Description of Activities

Through a 6 week residency with Textile Arts Center, the students analyzed different fibers, studied the process of how a textile is produced, created a concept and design, and finally produced a textile through tapestry weaving and on a backstrap loom in the classroom. They also had the opportunity to visit the 3200 sq ft Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn with state of the art equipment and resource library. Two visiting professionals, a print textile artist and a weaving artist for NYC, came to speak to the students.

ETA funds were used for teaching artist fees.

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Pratt_fashion_show_Elena_H (166 of 225).jpg

Arts Partner(s)

Joey Casey, Youth Programs Instructor at Textile Arts Center


"Students worked with the Textile Arts Center to create and design an original woven textile and resistant dyed knit. The students constructed a loom, created designs from concept to final garment and then showcased these garments on the runway with a live model. This process took perseverance, innovation and commitment. The outcome for the design students was that the showcase built confidence and provided them with a professional skill set that they will take to college or career."

The Role of the Costume Designer

Teacher: Gary Osborne, fashion design

School: High School of Art & Design

Project Goal(s): Students will understand the process of a Theatrical Costume Designer from concept, construction, design & opening night of show.

Description of Activities

The class had 10 two hour mentoring sessions with a costume design teaching artist from the education department at Roundabout Theatre Company, one pre-show workshop and tickets to see Into the Woods at Roundabout. During the mentoring sessions the students analyzed the script and realized the design of Into the Woods through concept boards and creative collaboration. The final product was the original costume designs for the characters of the play with fabric swatches.

ETA funds were used for artist in residence fees and planning time as well as show tickets.

Arts Partner(s)

Roundabout Theatre Company


"The students were able to understand the role of a costume designer working on Broadway and Off-Broadway. The students designed a musical and were able to go through the process that a professional costume designer goes through. Swatching at fabric stores, Meetings with Design / Director team, Script analysis, visit to costume shop (Eric Winterling Studio). This all culminated with actually seeing the show that the students designed with a Q&A from the actual costume designer.

"The students were able to experience the variety of careers in the apparel industry outside of fashion."