Key Coverage

The Uncertain Future of Art at One Staten Island Elementary School

This is the last in a series of articles, photos and videos following the progress of the students at PS 57, who learned to write plays and play musical instruments over the course of eight weeks with Illuminart and Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble.

PART I: Artists take up residency in an unexpected place: A public school

PART II: Musician’s PS 57 residency teaches rare lesson in grit

At the start of the program, teachers were prepared to see the changes research suggested the arts would have on their students: In a study by the National Endowment for the Arts, when exposed to more arts education, at-risk students saw better outcomes on test scores, higher rates of high school graduation and college enrollment and were more engaged in schools. By performance day, many of the changes other experts predicted were obvious on the faces of the students, who beamed with confidence as they delivered their lines, waving to their parents in the audience.