GreenArts Afterschool Program
In 2015, the GreenArts Afterschool Program was offered at two different schools: P.S. 55 and P.S. 274.
1) P.S. 55 GreenArts’s children conducted their own health-awareness campaign that included letter-writing to local grocery stores and elected officials for healthier foods in their community and an end-of-year parade to distribute healthy foods to the community.
The children’s slogan this past year was “Be Healthy, Live Healthy, Stay Healthy.” Children in this program created a gigantic art installation as part of the Bronx Arts Alliance annual art show, this year shown at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. This program, attended by 25 2nd grade students at P.S. 55, was offered twice a week for one-hour sessions from January to June 2015.
As part of the experience, students traveled to the Museum of Modern Art to learn about Matisse and his methods in a special exhibition. This knowledge was then transferred to the students’ own collaborative art installation called Paper Paradise with Museum Teaching Artist Natalie Wood. The piece was installed at the Bronx Museum of the Arts as part of the Bronx Arts Alliance’s annual Armory Show and was on view to the public for one week.
After their public installation, students researched healthy foods to create posters for a health campaign entitled “Lettuce Grow.” Students also wrote letters to elected officials and store owners asking for healthier foods in their local community. Their artwork and health campaign were shared with the public at the Bronx Day Parade as students handed out healthy foods to the community and encouraged them to eat more fruits and vegetables. The program culminated with an end-of-program art exhibition for parents and caregivers with a parade of animal sculptures and a poetry reading.
Dear Food Bazaar,
I would like to eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. I like to eat fruits and vegetables. I want the stores and supermarkets to have good food. Some healthy foods I want to see like carrots, bananas, broccoli, oranges, cucumbers and apples because they are good for your teeth and make you strong. I do not want to see chips, candy, soda and juice all the time. You can eat them sometimes on the weekend.
Sicou Tounkara, 2nd grade
Dear Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson,
When I go to stores in my neighborhood all I see is candy, chips, cake and soda; and that is not good to eat and drink. I want to see bananas, juice, milk and water. I want to be healthy and my family too! By eating eggplant, tomatoes, corn and lettuce is how you get healthy.
Jenniana Paulino, 2nd grade
2) The GreenArts: Harlem River Mural Program kicked off at P.S. 274 on Thursday, October 14th, 2015, with a visit from the Museum’s mobile exhibit, "Rivers On the Go!" Through exposure to the exhibit, nature walks, and classroom presentations, students used their own neighborhood as inspiration for 10’ x 20’ murals they created using canvas and acrylic paint over a period of six weeks (two, one-hour sessions per week) in Fall 2015. Harlem River animals such as the red-winged blackbird, monarch butterfly, and red-tailed hawks are featured in the two murals.
Phase Two of the project will take place from February-May 2016 and will involve close collaboration between Museum artists and an additional forty students from P.S. 274 over a longer period of time (eighteen weeks). The end result will be four additional murals which will be displayed alongside the first two murals on fences outside the park before moving to their permanent home inside the Roberto Clemente Recreation Center in 2017.
Bronx Children’s Museum Executive Director Carla Precht explained, “We are honored to support the children of the Morris Heights neighborhood in learning about the phenomenal natural and recreational resources in their own neighborhood and can’t wait to see the wonderful changes at Roberto Clemente State Park. Students will work side-by-side with three creative Museum artists from the Bronx in a dynamic, fun, and educational environment. This is an ambitious project for any artist- the very young and the experienced professional. By the time we are done, we will have created 120 feet of murals.”
“We are grateful to our funders and the Bronx Children’s Museum for further connecting P.S. 274 to this wonderful park, and we are proud to strengthen the connection between the natural environment and children by providing this wonderful program,” says Leslie Wright, NYC Regional Director of NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “Growing up in the city, so many children don’t realize the amazing natural resources that are located in their own backyards. The Museum’s GreenArts: Harlem River Mural program will bring that awareness to the forefront, and inspire these children to become stewards and caretakers of this beautiful space.”
ROBERTO CLEMENTE STATE PARK
Roberto Clemente State Park is a 25-acre waterfront park located along the Harlem River in the Bronx. The park offers a variety of recreational and cultural activities year-round for youth, adults and senior citizens alike. The facilities include a multi-purpose recreation building, an Olympic-size pool complex, ball fields, basketball courts, picnic areas, playground and a waterfront promenade along the Harlem River. As the first New York State Park in New York City, the park opened in 1973 as the “Harlem River Park” and was later renamed after Clemente, the first Latino-American inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Under the leadership of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the park is currently undergoing a $35 million renovation to create a greener, more storm-resilient waterfront along the Harlem River to protect the park and neighborhood from flooding, as well as a complete renovation of the park’s upper plaza to create a more welcoming gateway for park visitors. Learn more here.