August 13, 2010

Hirschfeld Goes to School

The New York City Department of Education and The Al Hirschfeld Foundation debuted an arts curriculum based solely on Hirschfeld artwork for grades Kindergarten through 12th grade in New York City schools in 2008 and the Al Hirschfeld Project, as it is called, continues to grow strong.

The Al Hirschfeld Project was created to allow a new generation of New Yorkers access to Hirschfeld's work and discover how the use of line conveys the spirit of the arts. Through Hirschfeld's drawings, teachers of dance, music, theater and visual arts educate students about the performing arts over the last century. A new generation can now "count the Ninas" as teachers weave the Blueprint-based resource into their classroom work.

The Hirschfeld curriculum was developed specifically to complement the Department of Education's Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts, a set of clear standards outlining what students should know and be able to achieve in the four arts forms from pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade. The program is an ongoing course of study leading students to develop skills and knowledge in the arts.

"I would like to thank the Al Hirschfeld Foundation for sharing his legacy with our students," said Schools Chancellor Joel Klein at the time of its release. "I look forward to seeing the many creative ways that our teachers use this new resource as a tool to engage students and enrich their understanding of the history of the performing arts in New York City."

"We are so pleased the NYC Department of Education has embraced the curriculum for daily use this year," said Louise Kerz Hirschfeld, President of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation. "The curriculum is like a botanical garden where the arts will grow and nourish the children of New York City.

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