Lincoln Center has announced a three-year initiative to educate, certify, and fast-track the placement of high-quality performing and visual arts teachers in up to a hundred and twenty New York City public schools.
Through the Lincoln Center Scholars Alternative Certification Program — a partnership between the performing arts center, the City University of New York, the New York City Department of Education, and the United Federation of Teachers — qualified participants will work toward a master’s of education degree from the Hunter College School of Education. In addition, participants in the two-year program will be eligible for full-time teaching positions in an elementary, middle, or high school and will have access to training through the Lincoln Center Education program, including guest lectures, peer-support events, and coaching from LCE staff and teaching artists. Upon graduation, participants will be qualified as state-certified teachers and considered for placement in schools in underserved areas. In addition, LCE will create a new dean of higher education position to oversee the initiative.
In the 2014-15 school year, up to twenty qualified music and dance professionals will be accepted to the program, with as many as forty candidates added during the second year, including those in theater and visual arts. By the third year (2016-17 school year), the program is expected to add up to sixty new candidates.
Funded in part by a $1.5 million grant from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the program includes support for tuition and program-related expenses, including $7,500 per participant for school supplies. In addition, the DoE will provide a salary subsidy for schools that hire a Lincoln Center Scholar.
"Arts education is at the heart of Lincoln Center's core mission, and while we have developed programs for schools for nearly forty years, this new initiative represents a bold step toward strengthening arts education in New York City, the world's cultural capital," said Lincoln Center president Jed Bernstein. "The Lincoln Center Scholars Alternative Certification Program...not only creates and sustains new high-quality arts teaching positions, it enriches and inspires a new generation through arts awareness and appreciation."