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CROWDRISE : Mar 26, 2014
Tax ID: 22-1849047
BASED: Newark, NJ, United States


Access to Arts Education

Newark School of the Arts (NSA) changes the lives of youth through access to quality education in the performing and visual arts.


Newark School of the Arts (NSA) changes the lives of youth through access to quality education in the performing and visual arts.   It accomplishes this by providing excellence in sequential education and training, offering an emerging state of the art learning environment, accepting students of all ages and abilities, and partnering with other successful arts educators while maintaining affordability and accessibility.


Following the 1968 Newark riots, the school was established to meet the need for access to high-quality arts education.  It was the vision of two Newark Public School teachers whose goals it was to instill a love of the arts and develop self-confidence in each and every child.  Since that time, over 45,000 individuals have benefited through instruction and thousands more through performances.   The School serves 800 students, mostly children, registered in over 1,500 weekly classes and workshops each year.

Hgh quality programming in the arts and/or the humanities

Sequential education and professional development are the focus of the school.  It is unique in the Newark area for providing multidisciplinary arts training on a long-term basis.  Though many public schools provide short-term and exposure program, most do not have long-term training.  In order to help individuals achieve success, it is imperative to facilitate their access to the educational opportunities offered.  This is achieved through financial aid, scholarships, introductory discounts and subsidy as described below.

Although the School is open to all interested persons without any audition requirement, the School maintains very high standards in specialized programs. With a high priority towards developing outstanding talent in children and adults, the School provides scholarship students with additional lesson time and performance opportunities with professional artists. 

Significant numbers of NSA alumni have gone on to careers in the arts.  They include world-renowned tap dancer Savion Glover; Latin singing sensation Frankie Negron, vocalist and actress Naturi Naughton just to name a few.   While not a primary goal, several students each year go on to arts conservatories including Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard, Mannes and others.  Other students have been accepted to Ivy League universities, including Princeton University and Wharton Business School.  Virtually all of the School’s high school seniors go on to college or higher learning.  

To keep classes affordable, all students benefit through subsidized tuition (the difference between tuition and operating costs); tuition only covers 30 percent of operation costs.  The difference comes from government agencies, foundations, corporations and individuals.   Over forty-five percent (45percent of students require additional help.  For those students, financial aid is available upon verification of need.  Except for students with certified disabilities who receive 100 percent financing, every student is required to pay something.  Students with disabilities are mainstreamed into the School’s programs.  Because student-teacher ratio is low, individual teachers can customize their instruction for students.  When needed or upon advance notice, students and patrons with special needs are provided with additional services per the ADA plan. 

Awards and Recognition- Newark School of the Arts is widely recognized.  The School received “Citations of Excellence” from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts from 2013 to 2016 and was designated as a “Major Arts Service and Presenting Organization” from 2004 to 2016.  It has been the recipient of numerous other awards from corporations, foundations, government agencies and other organizations.   Major support is received from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, City of Newark, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Prudential Financial an The Prudential Foundation, Victoria Foundation, Turrell Fund, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation and others.


Music Program - The purpose of the music program is to develop well-rounded artists, to broaden the perspective of participants and develop skills and comprehension of the arts. One half hour to one-hour weekly private lessons in voice, bass, cello, clarinet, drums, flute, French horn, guitar, organ, piano, recorder, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, viola, violin, voice and violoncello are offered.  Other instruments may be available by special arrangement.  Music students also receive music theory classes, Solfege (sight-singing) for voice students; and ensemble, if available

Dance Program - The purpose of the dance program is to answer the need for complete dance training in Northern New Jersey, to train individuals for their own enjoyment and for professional pursuits.  Classes are offered that include ballet, tap, jazz, tap, modern, hip-hip, zumba, salsa, African and cultural dance for ages 3 and up, all levels

Drama Program - The Drama Department at NSA offers professional, comprehensive, and innovative training in the Art of Acting. Actors at all levels and non-actors alike, benefit in the development poise and self-confidence. Speak the Speech, is a dynamic approach to the Art of Acting. Emphasis is placed upon development of the speaking voice. The course of study focuses on 4 areas: Public Speaking, Readers Theatre, Storytelling and Drama. These focus points are taught in conjunction with traditional drama courses.  

Visual Arts Program – NSA Visual Arts Department offers a wide range of visual arts classes designed to provide creative rigor through the sequential approaches to art, experimentation, and group practice leading to in-house exhibitions and presentations.  NSA is committed to the study of the arts which aid the adult and child learner in the incorporation of ideas, concepts, processes and perceptions of their world.  Professional visual arts instructors will prepare each student to actively participate and contribute to their own personal, professional and creative growth.  Courses offered are Drawing and Painting 1, 2 and 3, Portfolio Development, Drawing fundamentals/Cartooning, Digital Photography, Digital Photography and Acrylic Painting. Digital Media Classes include graphic design 

NSA Music Conservatory, the Professional Division of NSA - Music students who demonstrate superior talent, or who have a strong interest and motivation to develop skills, may audition for the Professional Division.  A jury of NSA faculty evaluates student performance.   The Program provides expanded educational and performance activities.  Students in the program receive additional training each week in their area of study, usually over two days a week.  This may be in the form of additional lessons, extended lessons, and ensembles.  Students in the program include Jeffrey Carollo Scholarship recipients, a collaborative program with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. 

NSA Alumni pianist/composer Patricio Molina was recently hired as Associate Director of the Music Conservatory.  Patricio began studies at the school at age 14 and stayed up until he started college at Manhattan School of Music.  He received his BA and MM at Manhattan School of Music and is now completing a double doctorate in Music (composition and piano) at Rutgers Mason Gross.  He is the first and only student to simultaneously pursue a double doctorate at Mason Gross.  He is working to increase the number of students in the NSA Conservatory Music program.

Performance/Visual Arts Exhibits, Master Classes and other Events

NSA celebrates the diversity of the students and faculty by presenting or hosing approximately 40 student, faculty or guest artist performances and exhibitions annually.  Most are free or low cost and open to the public.  They include United Nations Day Concert; Black History Month Celebration, Martin Luther King Day Performances; Women’s Month Celebration, Hispanic Celebration and holiday programs.  

Every student performs during the year in music hours, recitals and larger productions on and off-site, performing a variety of classical, jazz, and contemporary work.  Performance, visual arts exhibits and other events have been successful in helping to raise the level of student achievement and enhance faculty enthusiasm for the school by permitting them to participate as artists as well as teachers.  Students are benefiting by exposure to the high-level performances of their teachers, guest artists, professional exhibits, master classes and by working alongside professional artists.   Performances and events reflect cultures from all over the world and emphasize that of our students and our audiences. 

Off-site student performances included Newark Public Library, Mary Burch Theater  at Essex Community College, Newark Conservancy, NJ Historical Society, NJPAC Black Box Theatre, Newark Symphony Hall.  This past year students performed at the Korean Thanksgiving Festival in Overpeck Park in Bergen County, at the United Nations in New York City and in Washington D.C. as well as Branch Brook Park, Military Park and other outdoor spaces in Newark, NJ.

Recent Guest Artists in Concerts and Visual Arts Exhibitions:

  • New York Trio (Patricio Molina, piano; Mia Laity, violin; Julian Langford, cello) performing the works of Beethoven and Robert Aldridge and Molina/Meet the Artist
  • The Harlem Chamber Players (Ashley Horne, violin; David Perry, Piano; Patrice Jackson, cello) performing Louisiana Blue Strut, Motherless Child and Piano Trio No. 2 by Mendelssohn.
  • Kevin Dea, bass-baritone and Joseph Horowitz, piano – performing the work of Harry T. Burleigh (African-American assistant of the famous composer Antonin Dvorak)
  • Pianist Jeffrey Swann
  • Pianist/composer Jimmy Roberts -composer of  I Love you, You’re Perfect, Now Change” and internationally acclaimed baritone Lawrence Craig
  • Maxwell Sankofa African Dance & Drum performance
  • The Julius Quartet from Montclair State University

        Visual Arts Exhibitions

  • “Lifting As We Climb”- Women Artists: JoEun Huh, Tara Hango, Betty Kern, Etre Jiyoung Kim, Claudette Lanneaux, Bertha Miller, Nieves Saah, Chri Tredinari, Alisa Traskunov, Carline Vales, Barbara Wallace
  • From Newark to Brooklyn A Bridge to the Arts-  Artists: Carl E. Hazlewood, Ray Horner, Jr., Claudette Akiko Lanneaux, Mansa K. Mussa, Lester Rapaport; Nieves Saah, Charles W. Smith,   Ricardo Tarrega, Armando Terrazas, Barbara Wallace
  • Exhibition of Photos from Around the World: People & Places (professional visual artists)
  • Newark resident Yasir J is a 14-year-old dancer and actor.  He has been dancing since 2011 at Newark School of the Arts under the direction of Clarissa Newby Phillips. His dance week is full. He takes ballet, tap, modern, African and workshop dance classes. Yasir inspires to be a professional dancer, actor, and model. His motto is, "Why be average, when you can leap for the Stars".  Yasir recently appeared on SHOWTIME, television show Billions and Royal Pains and NBC, Law and Order and Person of Interest. He is on the fast track to a successful career. He was recently accepted to the Alvin Ailey Summer Dance Camp.
  • Alum Angela L of Ringwood, New Jersey is a classical pianist with a wide repertoire.  She was a Carollo scholar and studied with Marilia Caputo.   She has performed as a Steinway Prelude student at NJPAC several times and composes her own music. She is currently attending Rutgers University and in 2015-16 worked part-time at NSA assisting the Development Director.
  • Newark resident alum A-la Renee D, soprano began training at the school at age 8 under the tutelage of Music Chair and voice teacher Nadine Herman.  She later auditioned and received a Carollo Scholarship, was accepted to Arts High School and received a Governor’s Award for Excellence in Voice.  She received a B.A. from New England Conservatory of Music and performed as the featured artist for Newark Council on the Arts’ annual gala where she received a standing ovation.   Most recently she performed at the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of Kathleen Battle’s “Underground Railroad”

The School’s goal is to develop the full potential of each student by teaching artistic skills and instilling a  love and understanding of the arts.  Children gain self-confidence through positive enforcement and encouragement from the  faculty, staff and our audience who always give an enthusiastic applause and positive input to each child.  Often students and adults, including their teacher, perform together building positive relatioships with peers and adults. 

The school serves childen and adults from diverse ethnicities and backrounds with about half from Newark, NJ andothers from up to 74 New Jersey municipalities in 11 counties including some from New York City.   The majority are from low to moderate income  households.  individuals with many kinds of disabilities including autism, visual and hearing impairments, learning and physical disabilities, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis are welcome.   All students receive the same high-quality training and individual attention. 

Despite financial, social and other challenges, students tend to do well.   Virtually all of our high school seniors go on to college, universities or higher learning.  Over the past few years, students have been accepted to arts conservatories with significant scholarsips.  Included are Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, Berkelee, as well as Ivy League Universities including Pennylvania University-Wharton Business School, Princeton and MIT.

Faculty members mentor students, often helping them complete college applications, coach and help them with audition CD’s for arts conservatories and competitions.  The School has several faculty and staff members that have been at the school for up to 40 years including the Music Director.   Over the years, students have been referred for classes, work and volunteerism by various social agencies including DYFS, Early Intervention, Integrity House, Easter Seals and others.

Students who studied here 30, 40 and almost 50 years come back to perform, enroll their children and grandchildren and continue to support the school.   Several students have come back to teach.

Faculty/artists are hired with a view toward their own artistic excellence and their ability to teach and mentor diverse populations including students of all ages and abilities.  Faculty members have degrees and advanced degrees from some of the finest arts conservatories in their area of expertise.  NSA hires specialists who are proficient in specific areas of the arts.  

The School has partnered and collaborated with many organizations over the last 49 years. Currently it collaborates or partners with the following organizations and schools:


The School relies on donations to support its mission and is deeply grateful for all contributions no matter the size.  

Tax ID: 22-1849047 •


Making Dreams Come True

Making Dreams Come True

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0% Raised of $1,735 Goal

Newark School of the Arts

Newark School of the Arts

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Look Who's Cooking

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0% Raised of $10,000 Goal