Designed for New York City public schools underserved in the arts, "Schools with the Performing Arts Reach Kids," or New Victory SPARK, is the first program of its kind to measure and analyze the effect of live performance and associated arts education on young people.
Thanks to the enlightened generosity of The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, The New Victory Theater has created New Victory SPARK, an innovative and robust arts program specifically designed for schools with little to no arts programming whatsoever.
Existing research on arts education often focuses on outcomes distant from the arts, such as attendance and grades, which may be the result of many, different influences. With the esteemed research firm WolfBrown, The New Victory Theater attempts to define and measure how kids are transformed by live performances—the intrinsic impact of the arts.
Structured as a multi-year program, New Victory SPARK builds on New Victory School Engagement programs—including live performances by international arts companies, a highly trained ensemble of Teaching Artists and smartly-designed classroom curricula—to address specific issues and opportunities facing each school community. This program illuminates the impact of arts engagement and integration on a community's students, parents, teachers and administrators, and the research will allow The New Victory to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between live performance and young audiences. The New Victory anticipates that the research tools and outcomes will have a profound and lasting resonance in the performing arts education field at large.
► How is the program structured?
Over a 3 year period, students in a New Victory SPARK school will see 9 live performances, engage in 45 performing arts workshops and increase their creative skills in circus, puppetry, theater, dance and more. New Victory staff and Teaching Artists specially selected to serve as instructors for New Victory SPARK work hard to tailor the arts engagement specifically for each school community and deepen relationships with students and teachers; generally, participation is outlined as follows:
- Students see 3 shows in the season and participate in a 15-session Residency annually
- Teachers work with Teaching Artists through ongoing professional development
- Families see shows with their kids through the New Victory Bring Your Family program
- Researchers from The New Victory and WolfBrown interview, survey and observe the students to scientifically measure the intrinsic impact of students seeing live performances and learning creative arts skills with teaching artists.
► Which schools are you serving?
So far, New Victory Spark has been in eight schools. Currently we are in:
Inaugural New Victory SPARK schools who completed the three-year program and are now traditional New Victory Education Partners:
- PS 307x Luisa Pineiro Fuentes School
- PS 30 Wilton Mott
Grades 3 and 4
- PS/MS 50 Vito Marcantonio
East Harlem, Manhattan
- PS/MS 138
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Grades 6 and 7
- MS 301 Satellite East Middle School
- PS 305 Dr. Peter Ray School
Grades 4 and 5
- PS 273 Wortman School
East New York, Brooklyn
- IS 311 The Essence School
East New York, Brooklyn
► What is total reach of New Victory SPARK?
Over the full five years of the Matisse Foundation's Arts Education Impact grant, an anticipated 1,200 New York City students and 60 teachers from previously underserved schools will engage with the cultural learning and critical thinking opportunities that kids in other New York City schools receive as a matter of course.
► How are you measuring impact?
In collaboration with WolfBrown research experts, The New Victory has developed new measurement tools to specifically evaluate the influence of the arts on young people.
► Where can I find out more?
The New Victory is still collecting data to understand the intrinsic impact of this deep level of arts engagement on the program participants. We're starting to see initial results from this comprehensive research project and are beginning to share some of that information with the fields of theater for young audiences and performing arts education.
Read "On Our Minds" for more from New Victory staff and WolfBrown researchers.
Recent and Upcoming speaking engagements:
- New Victory Education at 2015 AATE National Conference in Milwaukee, WI
- New Victory Education at 2016 Face to Face Conference
- WolfBrown at 2016 American Evaluation Association Conference
- WolfBrown at 2017 The Society for Research and Child Development Conference
- WolfBrown to present at 2017 One Theatre World Conference
- WolfBrown to present at 2017 National Creative Youth Development's 4-session Webinar
► When will you know New Victory SPARK outcomes?
New Victory SPARK is made possible by a five-year Arts Education Impact grant from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, which was awarded for the period 2013-2018. With WolfBrown, The New Victory will continue to collect data and work to solidify research findings over the next couple of years. In the meantime, check here for early findings.
New Victory SPARK is made possible by a generous five-year Arts Education Impact grant from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation.