Volume 03 | November 2018
Welcome to our monthly newsletter where you will find updates on everything Arts related in the KLSD!
Steven Morse and Kathryn Haydon
On Wednesday, October 10, KLSD ArtsALIVE held the first of its Smart Art series of lectures, along with community sponsors Caramoor and the Katonah Museum of Art. Kathryn Haydon, an internationally-known author, speaker, and Katonah resident, gave an engaging and interactive presentation to an audience of parents, school faculty, administrators, and community members in the John Jay Middle School theater. As an educator and expert on creativity and change leadership, she discussed her wealth of experience helping individuals and groups reach their potential in school and the workplace.

Hadyon began by sharing her own story of frustration with elementary school until a teacher introduced her to free-verse poetry. Her message was clear: helping children access their creative potential, especially children whose learning styles and behaviors may differ from the norm, is crucial to building their long-term confidence, self-image, and engagement. Audience members participated in several reflective exercises, including selecting positive descriptive words/phrases for themselves and their children as creative individuals, creating surprising solutions to a dinner-making quandary, and listing concrete ways they might support creative growth in their children.

The presentation concluded with a spirited Q&A session, awarding raffle prizes courtesy of Caramoor and the Katonah Museum of Art, and an informal gathering and book-signing. All proceeds from the raffle and Haydon's book sales benefited KLSD ArtsALIVE.
JJHS Winter Art Show Announcement by Diane Nerwin
Art students from the drawing, painting, photography, ceramics & sculpture, and filmmaking classes will exhibit new work in the JJHS Art Gallery beginning on November 8th. The art gallery is located the John Jay High School and can be viewed on school days. All members of the community are invited to view the students’ work, which will be on display starting Thursday, November 8th.
Wish List Items for
the Arts at Increase Miller Elementary
On Thursday, November 1, KLSD ArtsALIVE held its inaugural elementary school fundraiser at Increase Miller Elementary School (IMES).
The fundraiser occurred during parent/teacher conferences to support the school’s art and music departments. IMES School representative Topaz le Tourneau and John Jay Middle School representative Sorin Klares provided IMES parents with an introduction to KLSD ArtsALIVE. They explained the organization’s mission and immediate goal to secure 50 new art books for Mr. Eldrige’s art classes and new theater equipment for April Higgins’ music classes. Parents generously and enthusiastically supported the request, demonstrating a broad support for the arts and their continued success at the elementary school level.
KLSD ArtsALIVE will continue to raise funds until we have reached the teachers’ wishlist goals. To contribute to the fundraiser, please click below.
Director's Note on
“Twilight Zone”  
by The Production Team
Join us for John Jay Middle School’s production of the "Twilight Zone: Three Classic Episodes From The Iconic TV Series.” Students will perform In the Nick of Time, The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street and To Serve Man . JJMS students are looking forward to demonstrating their theatrical talents and dedication to the magic of stage theatre. Over a nine-week period, students have learned acting techniques, script analysis, and the production aspects of putting on a great show. Because of the educational setting, the rehearsals are as enriching and valuable as the performances themselves. Our actors are eager to display what they have learned! Performances will be held on November 15th-17th. We invite the entire community to come and enjoy this marvelous production!
Thursday, November 15 - Saturday, November 17th 7:00 PM
Saturday Matinee @ 1:00
Tickets at the door prior to show time
Tickets are $10.00 each
Superintendent Andrew Selesnick Discusses
The Future of The Arts in KLSD
By Student Board Member - Lily Oyen
“The arts can mean lots of things,” says Andrew Selesnick, superintendent of the Katonah-Lewisboro school district. “From performances onstage to the books we read, the paintings we see on walls, or anything creative in the world around us. It’s a broad interpretation, having to do with creativity, empathy, and understanding other people.”
As superintendent, a large part of Selesnick’s job is to determine the value of specific courses and opportunities provided by the school district. However, in a time where the arts are often placed on the school budget’s chopping block, it is pivotal to take into account the value of the arts on each student as an individual, whether or not they are personally involved in the arts.
I hope that we are introducing all students to the world of art,” says Selesnick.
An artist himself, Selesnick understands the benefits of students receiving arts education. Although he was a high school athlete, Selesnick began acting and studying creative writing in college.
“I was an English major in college, so I consider literature an art form,” he explains. “Acting had a big impact on my life, and the impact still remains.”
The appreciation and involvement of the superintendent in the arts is crucial to the existence and quality of arts education in the school district. While Selesnick recognizes the district’s numerous accomplishments in the arts, he also believes there are programming flaws that he wants to fix.
“One thing I think about is the extent to which students choose to continue [their art education], and whether that choice is a reflection of the opportunities that we provide or not,” he explains. “We do see that the choices students make seem to lead to fewer students pursuing art courses further into high school. I think we should think about why that is.”
This dilemma, unfortunately, does not just impact the Katonah-Lewisboro district. According to Child Trends, a non-profit research organization, “participation among older students [in the arts] has declined over the past few years, with the percentage of twelfth graders participating falling from 41 percent in 2010 to 37 percent in 2016.” To Selesnick, this is a big issue for the district and the students themselves.
“The ideal would be a well-rounded graduate,” he states. “A student who has experience in all those different things and wants to be better at all of those different things. The nature of our busy lives is such that it’s hard to do everything, but the ideal would be a little bit of everything.”
Though Selesnick would prefer that all students involve themselves in the arts, he recognizes that teens are often concerned about their image, which may play a role in their extracurricular participation.
“Unfortunately, there are larger societal stigmas around these things that sometimes interfere with what we’re trying to do here, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try,” he says encouragingly.
Although the athletic booster club and KLSD ArtsALIVE often collaborate to create more unity between the sports and the arts, it is clear that more work needs to be done. Selsenick says he often ponders why more people don't attend the school performances. He is awed by the level of talent and would like to see more people in the seats at each performance. In fact, he strongly believes that “...fine arts can be on the wall more than it currently is.” Overall, Selesnick understands the vital role that art plays in a community.
“I think we’re recognizing more and more the role of arts in building empathy in people,” Selsenick muses. “It’s one of the few places where you really put yourself into someone else’s story and try to understand their story from their own perspective. That’s one of the great things that arts can do for us. So it’s not just the skill building, but arts also help us become more empathetic people in the world.”
Support the Arts and Become A Member Today

Keeping and expanding arts in our schools requires your support. With past donations and membership dues, we’ve funded everything from arts-related field trips and educational programs to the installation of an art gallery and a recording sound booth at John Jay High School. We’ve even awarded college scholarships for students pursuing art-related careers.

Become a member of KLSD ArtsALIVE to support the arts in our school district and throughout our community. We offer several membership levels, ranging from $50 up to $400. All donations are tax-deductible and go towards supporting the fine and performing arts programs in the Katonah-Lewisboro school district. Visit our website to learn more and become a member.
Our Mission:
KLSD ArtsALIVE promotes and enhances the arts and offers our Katonah Lewisboro school community ongoing opportunities to integrate arts into the student experience.

Who are we?
KLSD ArtsALIVE is a group of parents, staff, students, community members, and small business partners who are dedicated to the cultural enrichment of our school district and community. Through our work, we enhance our schools’ art curriculums and share the students’ talents with the community. Our art-related events and programs help to unify and celebrate all members of our community.

What do we do?
KLSD ArtsALIVE provides support in many ways, including:
  • Regular communication with fine and performing arts teachers and staff to determine their needs and how we can best help meet those needs.
  • Reinforce priorities of the fine and performing arts to school administrators and the Board of Education.
  • Organize volunteers, as needed, to support art-related activities.

How do we do it?
As a 501C(3), we solicit, receive, manage and disburse funds to support the fine and performing arts programs. Recently we’ve:
  • Funded teacher grant requests for arts-related field trips and educational programs, reducing the cost for families.
  • Provided funds for new acoustic band shells.
  • Purchased and installed an art gallery, featuring a 3D print art display case and a hanging frame display system at JJHS.
  • Installed a recording sound booth at JJHS.
  • Awarded college scholarships for students pursuing art-related careers.

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