Lincoln Center Institute


The Lincoln Center Institute believes that learning to ask “What if…?” creates the future.
- Artists, scientists, mathematicians, and entrepreneurs all start with closely noticing their world and asking questions.
- Imagination is the cognitive capacity to visualize new possibilities for human thought and action.
- Neither creativity nor innovation can flourish without a well-developed imagination.
- Imaginative thinking and learning are vital in today’s global society.
- The arts and imagination are the new paradigm for education in the 21st-century.
[- from the LCI web site]

The Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts Program at 499
PS/IS499 has a longstanding relationship with the Lincoln Center Institute (LCI) program and is 1 of 10 specially-designated “focus schools” in New York City. The LCI program is one of the unique features of PS/IS499 and is the primary enrichment opportunity for 499 children. Each semester, working in partnership with our teachers from Pre-K through Grade 8, LCI artists develop a program focusing on a single piece of art — whether visual, theatrical, musical — that will cultivate our children’s imaginations through aesthetic education practices including art-making explorations, inquiry, and the use of multimedia contextual resources. In general, this approach to fostering imaginative learning can be applied across the curriculum, and the LCI experience at 499 is truly cross-curricular in its influence and benefits.

How does it work?
499 teachers choose works relevant to their classroom’s curriculum, and teaching artists (TA’s) and our teachers brainstorm ways to explore the artwork, developing a framing question called the “line of inquiry” (LOI). Before — and often after — experiencing the artwork, TA’s facilitate our teachers in related hands-on art making. This investigation flows between doing and examining, using a variety of learning modalities. The inquiry seeks to establish a deeper observation and analysis of the artwork by the students, both as a group and individually. Multiple perspectives are embraced, even as the group develops a common vocabulary and understanding, and repeated encounters with the work of art allow for refinement. Connections to the classroom may lead to new questions to pursue in this cycle of asking, looking, and learning. Classroom enrichment is reinforced by LCI-funded performances by the LCI artists offered once a semester, both during the school day and in the evening for family participation.

Visit these links more information on the LCI program and what it means to be a focus school.

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