Art, Rural Education, & Economic Growth in Wassaic, NY

A Workshop with the Wassaic Project

On December 2, join New America NYC and The Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY for an afternoon of interactive conversations about the role of arts education, higher education, and its impact on community and economic growth.

Arts education does far more than simply expose students to new art forms. Through early exposure to the arts, students strengthen and refine their aesthetic sensibilities, increase their connection to the world around them, and foster communities and economies that lead to innovation, cultural diversity, and civic engagement.

But according to the U.S. Department of Education, rural school districts host less than a third of America’s art enrichment programs. Additionally, education beyond high school is seen as one of the clearest pathways to economic security. However, according to data from New America, only one in four American's believe that colleges and universities are fine the way they are. As the cost of higher education increases, its value has become a difficult calculus for families.

Join us for a series of discussions with local community leaders and national education experts to explore the innovative ways this gap is being tackled in the Dutchess county region — and strategize new ways to support rural arts and education resources that promote greater equity for the students served by them.

    2:00 PM – 2:35 PM:
     The Lessons of Art Curriculums in Rural Education

    • Tara Foley, Education Director, The Wassaic Project
    • Sam Fitzgerald, Art Teacher, Webutuck Central School District
    • Jenny Hansel, Executive Director, North East Community Center
    • Michelle Petrucci, Program Manager, Spark Media Project
    • Linda Marston-Reid, Executive Director, Arts Mid-Hudson
    • Katherine Zoepf, journalist and fellow, New America NYC

    2:35 PM – 2:45 PM: Breakout session

    3:00 PM – 3:25 PM: An Interactive Survey on Higher Education

    3:25 PM – 3:45 PM: Follow-up Panel discussion

    • Rachel Fishman, Deputy Director for Research, Education Policy Program, New America
    • Deanna Koski, student representing North East Community Center

    4:00 PM – 4:45 PM: Regional Catalysts for Economic Growth

    • Jeff Barnett-Winsby, Co-Executive Director, The Wassaic Project
    • Peter Taylor, President, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
    • Didi Barrett, Assemblymember, State of New York
    • Holly A. McCabe, Assistant Professor of Visual Arts, Dutchess Community College
    • March Gallagher, President and CEO, Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley
    • Elana Broitman, Director, New America NYC

    5:00 PM: Reception at The Lantern Inn

    This event is produced in partnership with The Wassaic Project, an organization using art and arts education to foster positive social change.