Day at the Met Field Trip- 2015
By Alexandra Price

On Saturday, November 7th, 2015, 50 students plus chaperones from P.S. 163 and New Alternatives for Children were able to travel back in time…at the Metropolitan Museum of Art! Arts For All hosted its 12th annual Day at the Met field trip with the volunteer assistance and the generous sponsorship of Capgemini and Kohl’s.

The first part of the day consisted of professional tour guides from the Metropolitan Museum of Art leading the groups through new eras. Broken up into groups, the students were able to retell the stories and facts they learned to their peers. While one group learned about the warriors in Greek and Roman sculpture, another travelled through ancient Asia where they learned about the Buddha and meditation.












After lunch in the cafeteria, the students participated in tours with Arts For All volunteers, Alan Ostroff, Otto Cheng and Alexandra Price. While Alexandra taught her group about Cubism in the Modern and Contemporary galleries of the museum where they made their own Cubism inspired drawings, Otto took his students on an adventure through the armory exhibit. The trip through time allowed the students to visit with the armor of the knights from Europe, warriors from Japan, and the flags of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. They explored the artistry of armor-making, designs of different types of swords and the family crests on various shields.

Otto Met












Arts For All is extremely grateful to our sponsors, Capgemini and Kohl’s, for supporting this field trip and providing a team of enthusiastic and engaging volunteers. We’d also like to send thanks to the dedicated Arts For All volunteers who donated their Saturday to help pass on their passion for art to the children we serve!

Barnes & Noble Slider 2015

Barnes & Noble Slider 2015



Mark your calendars and please join us Thursday, December 3rd through Monday December 7th for our annual fundraising event at the Barnes and Noble in Tribeca.  We are thrilled to partner with Barnes and Noble again this year for this event.

Arts For All will receive a percentage of all purchases made at the store, over the phone or online during these dates when Arts For All is mentioned.  Please remember to mention Arts For All at the register (or over the phone or online) in order for us to receive a percentage.

The best way to support us is to come to the store and purchase books, music and other items or to place an order over the phone.
To purchase over the phone, please call the Barnes and Noble in Tribeca at (212) 587-5389.

If you’re unable to come into the store or order over the phone, you can also order books online and we’ll receive a smaller percentage.  To order online, visit and enter the voucher number: 11704046

We hope to see you at the Barnes and Noble in Tribeca at 97 Warren Street in NYC December 3rd-7th!

Written by AFA Intern, Alexandra Price

October 30, 2015

On Saturday, October 17th, Arts for All hosted their fourth annual Professional Development day! Teaching artists and volunteers were invited to participate in a four-hour workshop of beneficial presentations, creativity and teaching exercises as well as snacks and conversation.

The day commenced with words and reminders from Executive Director, Anna Roberts-Ostroff, who focused on changes to policy as well as the gratitude of Arts for All for all it’s dedicated, talented teachers and volunteers. Moving into the principal activities, AFA teaching artist Robin Cannon-Colwell shared a presentation on assessment. She focused on its importance as a tool for measuring normally non-quantitative challenges such as gaining confidence and being able to track those changes. With visual aids, she was able to document differences in engagement and positive adjustments in her students.

PD Day 1

TA, Robin Cannon Colwell presenting on Assessment and Evaluation

After a brief break, the event launched into an interactive and entertaining talk with guest speaker, Robin Bady. Award-winning storyteller Robin Bady has been called, “gutsy, big hearted, and street smart.” Whether performing for adults, children or families, Robin has a warmth and humor that brings her stories to joyful life, creating an electric and engaging rapport with her audience. As a teaching artist and staff developer, she has worked with the Brooklyn Academy of Art, CityLore, Henry Street Settlement, the Guggenheim Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, among others.

Robin lead the group through a series of exercises that expanded creativity, drew out confidence and initiated new thinking. Some of these activities included making human sculptures, additive storytelling, storytelling drawings and writing stories about the saddest and happiest moments in our lives. Her lesson for the day was that all disciplines of art have a storytelling element. Program Manager of Literacy Through the Arts and Program Committee Chair, Shawn Shafner, connected the storytelling component to a better understanding of students and realizing they too have their own stories that which effect their behavior and performance in programs.

Anna PD DayGuest Speaker, Robin Bady, Executive Director, Anna Roberts Ostroff, Marketing Committee member, Arienne Pelletier and LTA Program Manager, Shawn Shafner.

Professional Development Day this year was geared toward giving the teaching artists and volunteers the tools they need to assess their programs and instilling Arts for All’s core values (Self-Confidence, Self-Expression, Teamwork, Resilience and Creativity) in their students and themselves!



By Intern, Alexandra Price

On Friday, September 25th, Arts for All, the Townley Foundation for the Arts, Australian Group Travel and artist Erick Sanchez worked in collaboration to put on a fun and educational event for the children of Ms. Osorio’s fifth grade class from PS163!











Erick Sanchez, a New York City artist who supports Arts For All’s mission, invited the class to learn about and create their own landscape paintings. The students participated in a workshop carried out by Sanchez and Arts For All teaching artist, Maya Suess, where they learned the basic concepts of perspective, horizon lines and mixing color using acrylic paint.

Assisting Maya and Erick were the student mentors from Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart in Sydney, Australia.  Arts for All is grateful for the hard work of the student volunteers, as well as their eagerness to share their own talents and artistic techniques with the students from PS163. We are so grateful to Erick Sanchez, the Townley Arts Foundation, Australian Group Travel and the students from the Kincoppal-Rose Bay School for making this field trip possible!



“Our mission is to make the world a better place and to convince others of the power that lies within them to do the same. How do we do this? By introducing our travellers to concepts, organizations and people who we think are shining examples of how we can all be the change we want to see in the world.”

—Australian Travel Group


An additional contributor and generous benefactor to the program was Shane Townley, from the Townley Arts Foundation. Townley donated the funds for art supplies for the 26 children participating in the workshop as well as sponsored a check for $200.00 to Blick Art Supplies to purchase new materials for PS163’s students.











After receiving a tour of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center where Erick Sanchez’s artist studio is located, the students and volunteers had lunch together before commencing their “gallery walk.” The painting of each student was framed courtesy of Frames and Stretchers, a framing business co-operated by Erick Sanchez and Miguel Trelles, which our Australian friends proceeded to hang along the walls of the event venue. The young artists from the Bronx were able to stand among their classmates to talk about their paintings, where their artistic decisions came from and what they learned before taking their framed masterpieces home with them to share with their friends and family.

IMG_0194 IMG_0200



















Arts for All would like to thank all of its generous volunteers and benefactors for helping bring this outstanding opportunity to the participating 5th graders from PS163!


August 26, 2015

Meet the new Arts for All Intern, Alexandra!

How did you find out about Arts for All and why did you want to join the cause?

I was researching non-profit organizations in the New York City area that worked in the arts and found many including AFA. Through my research, I reviewed the websites of each organization including blogs and press releases to distinguish which groups were the most active. In looking for an internship, I hoped to find a place where I can undergo a well-rounded experience that would allow me to not only have chances to interact with those being served but also give me other skills needed to run a non-profit organization such as administrative work, fundraising and management skills. However, what truly drew me into applying to Arts for All was their work with children. I strongly relate and agree with their mission statement that art builds self-confidence, self-expression, teamwork, resilience, creativity, and other skills in children. With a background in art and childcare, the goals of AFA were in line with my personal beliefs.

What do you do when you are not working at Arts For All?

While I am not at AFA, I am most likely at class or in my studio. I am a second year graduate student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with plans to obtain a MFA (Masters of Fine Art) in Painting and Drawing. I live in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and have a semi-private studio space through the program where I spend a lot of my free time creating, writing and simply thinking. I enjoy being involved within the MFA program such as volunteering for the Pratt Artist League for events such as New Student Orientation and being an active member of the Pratt Painting Club. Although I choose to not work regular employment hours while in school at this time, I also operate my own freelance party services business offering services such as face painting, glitter tattoos, balloon animals and crafts for special events.

Describe yourself in three words.

Enthusiastic. Altruistic. Resourceful.

What would you like to do after AFA and graduate school?

On my first day at AFA, Alan Ostroff, Director and Secretary of Arts for All asked me this question and it was pretty liberating and disconcerting that the best answer I could come up with was “I don’t know right now.” After reflecting on it, my dream has always been to one day open my own business, a studio and gallery. The front end would be a gallery space where the artwork of students and local artists may be viewed and sold while on the back end there would be an operating studio offering classes, residencies, and community programs. My short term goals are not as lucid at this point however I look forward to learning more about the world of non-profit organizations and immersing myself in the art world as a working and showing artist.

What is your favorite piece of artwork whether visual, performance or other?

My favorite piece of artwork is The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck from 1434. The painting is oil on oak board and is slightly larger than 32 inches by 23 inches. Housed at the National Gallery in London, the portrait is of Giovanni Arnolfini and his bride. The painting is full of rich color, luxurious textures, and loaded with symbolism. Although I am an abstract painter myself, the thought put into this piece interests me and its intricacies keep my eyes on it.

jan_van_eyck_9_arnolfini_portraitThe Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck

Arts For All is thrilled to present “Voice Power!” written & performed by Darian Dauchan, as our 2015 Audience Project Tour. We will bring this exciting production, free of charge, to approximately 2,500 under-served NYC children this fall, many of whom have never seen professional theater. Poet/musician Darian Dauchan guides young audiences on a vocal odyssey through rhymes, beat-boxing, & acapella melodies in search of one of civilization’s most valued treasures – the power of the voice!

Though New York City is home to Broadway and numerous museums, cultural centers, music venues, and other arts spaces, many children do not have access to these artistic institutions in or out of school due to the cost. In addition to the fiscal cost, the time necessary to engage deeply with art is often prohibitive. The Audience Project Tour provides 2,500 students the opportunity to experience professional theater. For many of our students, this will be their first time seeing a professional production.

Click here to make a donation to support the Audience Project Tour!

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DARIAN DAUCHAN is an award winning solo performer, actor, and poet who has appeared on both Broadway (Twentieth Century) and Off-Broadway Theatre (Jean Cocteau Rep., Classical Theatre of Harlem). TV and Film credits include Law and Order, Nickelodeon’s Bet the House as Darian the “SoundFX” Guy, and the Lionsgate feature film Things Never Said. He was a member of the 2006 National Poetry Slam Team for the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe, was crowned the 2007 Urbana Grand Slam Champion for the Bowery Poetry Club, was a 2008 Nuyorican Grand Slam Finalist, and was the 2009 New Word Artist for Urban Word NYC in conjunction with the Dance Theatre Workshop now known as New York Live Arts.  He’s also the 2012 winner of The Jerome Foundation’s Stakeholder’s Choice Award and one of his most recent shows Death Boogie, A Hip Hop Poetry Musical, was the 2012 winner of two Edinburgh Fringe Festival Musical Theatre Matters Awards for BEST New Music and BEST Innovation of a Musical.  Black Sheep his fifth solo was show commissioned by the Kitchen Theatre Company with the generous support of the New York State Council on the Arts, and placed 3rd for Best Play at the 2015 Downtown Urban Theater Festival.    His band The Mighty Third Rail are 2015 American Music Abroad Finalists for the U.S. State Department, and in 2014 performed at SPKRBOX, the first Hip Hop Theater Festival in Norway.  Death Boogie, the album, along with their debut album Classic  is now available on iTunes.











Darian teaching the Haiku and Music Program at Arts For All.













Darian with his loop machine and microphone.