All public school students should have access to high-quality arts education. Arts education refers to dance, moving image, music, theater, and visual arts. An arts education teaches creativity, cooperation, discipline, analysis, and other important life skills. Students also develop positive outlets for self-expression.

In 2014 Mayor Bill de Blasio dedicated an additional $23 million in annual funds to NYC schools for arts education. This money means schools have the following:

  • grants
  • supports for teachers
  • supplies
  • student art celebrations

For more information on arts spending, visit the Annual Arts in School Reports page on the InfoHub.

To learn more about the specific arts opportunities in your child's school, please contact your child's principal or arts teacher.

Arts Program Opportunities for Students

The following are Arts programs available to NYC public school students.

Middle School Arts Audition Boot Camp

Middle School Arts Audition Boot Camp is a free two-week arts program for New York City public school students entering eighth grade. The program helps students prepare for the audition and screening process required by New York City's screened high school arts schools and programs. The program accepts up to 350 students. Applicants must apply online and audition in person. Students may apply and audition for only one studio.

The 2019 program will run from August 5–16, 2019 at Lincoln Center Education in Manhattan. Auditions will be held May 4–5, 2019, however, the application period is now closed. 

If you have questions, contact Ellen Mauser, Arts Program Manager, at or 917-521-3762.

The Dedalus Foundation Art Scholarship

Graduating high school seniors are invited to apply for the Dedalus Foundation Scholarship in Fine Arts. Seven scholarships, $2,000 each, are available. Download the Dedalus Memo for submission forms, submission guidelines, and general information.

The deadline for submissions was April 9, 2019. The application period is now closed.

If you have questions contact Karen Rosner, Director of Visual Arts, at or call 917-521-3716.

School Art League Scholarship

The DOE has joined with the School Art League to provide visual arts scholarships to graduating seniors who plan to study art at a professional art or liberal arts college. Two $10,000 scholarships and five $1,000 awards will be given to students who have demonstrated high achievement in visual arts and academic studies. The application period is now closed.

To review scholarship eligibility and requirements, please read the School Art League Scholarship Memo.

If you have questions, contact Karen Rosner, Visual Arts Coordinator, at, or call 917-521-3716.

The Summer Arts Institute

The Summer Arts Institute (SAI) is a free, four-week intensive arts program for public school students entering grades 8–12. Students audition to study dance, theater, vocal music, instrumental music, visual art, or film in a supportive and professional environment. SAI students study with DOE arts teachers, arts organizations, and master guest artists to build portfolios and develop professional-level audition skills. They also help students plan for their next level of study, be it an arts-focused high school, college, or conservatory. Watch a video about SAI.

The application period for 2019 Summer Arts Institute is now closed. For 2020 program information, complete an application request. Doing this will add you to a mailing list that will notify you in December 2019 when the 2020 application is available. Email with any questions.

The All-City High School Music Program

The All-City High School Music Program is open to all NYC public high school students. Students audition for chorus, concert band, jazz ensemble, marching band, and orchestra. If you are interested in this program, email Will Hakim, All-City Program Manager, at

The Salute to Music Program

The Salute to Music Program is open by audition to all New York City public school students in grades 4–8. Students audition for the chorus or instrumental programs in their borough. If you are interested in this program, email Robert Rams, Salute to Music Program Manager, at

NYC High School Admissions Audition Guides

Learn more about the audition process for high schools offering these programs by reading through the Audition Guides below.

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Other Resources for Students Interested in Arts Education

Educator Resources

Teachers and other educators can find curriculum and instructional materials on We Teach NYC.

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