ETA Tip Sheet: NYC DOE Office of Arts & Special Projects

ETA Tip Sheet: NYC DOE Office of Arts & Special Projects 

The mission of the Office of Arts and Special Projects is to provide New York City public school communities – students, teachers, school leaders and parents – with information and resources that will enable every student to achieve a full education in the arts, based on New York State requirements and standards for arts learning, and guided by New York City's Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts, PreK-12. 

Staff Structure

OASP is based in Manhattan but has borough-based offices and arts teams as well.


S. Joy Pace, Borough Arts
David DiLillo, Borough Arts


Joanna Berenson, Borough Arts Director
Vanezza Cruz, Borough Arts


Rachel Shapiro, Borough Arts
Mema Vaklinova, Borough Arts Coord.


Janet Velasquez Cela, Borough Arts
Sarah Frazier, Borough Arts Coordinator

Staten Island

Jessica Englehart, Borough Arts
Erica Badalamenti, Borough Arts Coord.

Arts Directors (as of Fall 2015) :


Peter Avery,


Ana Nery Fragoso,


Barbara Murray,

Visual Arts

Karen Rosner,

In addition to the Arts Directors, the Manhattan office has personnel that support schools’ efforts around professional learning, partnerships, staffing, and more.

School leadership teams and arts teachers are welcome to contact OASP personnel directly at any time during the year. The arts discipline- and borough-specific OASP offices are important resources for your work!


Selected Resources from the OASP website: STUDENTS & FAMILIES

Summer Arts Institute (listed under Initiatives):

-       This is a free, intensive arts summer program for public school students entering grades 8-12, held at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria.

-       Students major in dance, theatre, band, vocal, strings, film or fine art.

-       The program is aimed at intermediate and advanced students. All applicants must submit an online application AND audition in person.


Parent Resources (listed under Resources):

-       One-sheet guides for students’ self-reflections and engagement at museums and live performances. [The museum guide is available in 8 languages!]

-       A list of NYC cultural institutions that have free or suggested admission.


Selected Resources from the OASP website: TEACHERS

Materials for the Arts (listed under Resources):

-       Supplies free arts supplies and equipment to DOE schools

-       Headquartered in Long Island City; requires registration and a thank you card, see website for details:


Professional Development:

-       OASP offers PD organized by arts content area and borough. Some PD series are monthly while others are sporadic across the year; all require principal’s approval and advanced registration.

-       Please contact your OASP borough office for further information.


Blueprints for Teaching & Learning in the Arts:

-       Revised in 2015 to include new information for working with special student populations; updated bibliographies; and alignment with the Common Core.

-       OASP’s website includes full PDFs for each art form: dance, music, theatre, visual art, and the moving image under Curriculum Blueprints.


Selected Resources from the OASP website: SCHOOL LEADERSHIP


-       The umbrella OASP uses for planning, accountability and assessment of schools’ arts programs.

-       Under ArtsCount, OASP issues an annual survey to track compliance; a guide of best practices for principals; and workshops for administrative teams on topics like fundraising, scheduling/programming, and the Blueprint.


Arts & Cultural Education Services Guide (listed under Resources):

OASP maintains an updated roster of approved DOE vendors and the details of their education programs (grades served, fees, languages available, etc.)