Out of School Time

Kickflip Program

Kickflip is an interest‐driven, connected learning program designed to impact teen skateboarders for whom school is often not a safe or constructive learning environment. The program was developed through a partnership between City Lore and the Harold Hunter Foundation and funded by the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund of the New York Community Trust. Additional partners have included Reelworks Teen Filmmaking and Parsons School of Design.

You can read our guiding principles for engaging hard to reach youth in digital media training programs here. Please view the playlist of digital materials from the Kickflip program below, or click here

Digital Comics

Digital Comics is a model replicable unit plan that engages youth in designing, scripting, drawing, coloring, and laying out augmented reality comics that explore a social issue that is important to students. The engaging curriculum was written and drawn by one of the students in the class, Jade Weaver. View Comics Books for Social Change curriculum.

In 2015-2016, City Lore staff and artists worked with fifteen high school students and their faculty advisor who attend the Art and Design High School in Manhattan one afternoon a week for five weeks to design and create augmented reality interactive and GIF-based comic books that address social issues. Students worked with teaching artist George Zavala to identify and explore social issues that are important to them, then they worked with an experienced comic book artist and educator, Ivan Velez, who mentored them to script, design, and layout a comic book page that conveys their ideas about the social issue they chose. Filmmaker Ram Devineni was present for four of the sessions to examine and discuss examples of digital comics and to suggest ways to design comics to take advantage of their augmented reality potential. In the last two sessions of the project, students worked with filmmaker Devineni, whose digital comic Priya’s Shakti inspired the project, to turn their comic page into animated GIFs using Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker and augmented reality pages using Blippar’s free AR software and APP.


Our objectives were to:

  1. Create a model program that engages youth in designing, scripting, drawing, coloring, and layout of augmented reality comics that explore a social issue that is important to them.
  2. Create an environment where youth participants feel safe and free to share and creatively express their ideas and concerns about particular social issues with their peers and adult mentors.
  3. Test the model with adult mentors/teaching artists and youth and get feedback from all participants and instructors to refine the program model and document the process and products that students create in order to share the program design and tools with other groups and instructors who work with teens throughout New York City.

Our long-range goal is also to create a program model and tools can be easily replicated and implemented in schools, community centers, and venues anywhere in New York City, and around the world. The model is not dependent on students’ drawing skills. Students should feel comfortable scripting personal stories and drawing comic books that address social issues that affect them and others.

Cultural After School Adventures programs (CASA)

Cultural After School Adventures programs (CASA) provide in depth arts and cultural experiences through artist residencies taught by City Lore’s experienced artist educators. Residency programs are designed to support the New York City Blueprints for the Arts, New York State Standards for the Arts, and grade level academic objectives. City Lore’s CASA programs offer instruction in visual arts, dance, music, and theater. Previous workshops have included instruction in Storytelling through West African Drumming and Dance and Storytelling through Mexican Dance. CASA programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

2016 CASA Program with P.S. 274 in Bushwick, Brooklyn

City Lore Teaching Artists Harold Akyeampong and Yahaya Kamate

Storytelling Arts of West Africa introduces students to traditional arts of West Africa: oral storytelling, drumming and percussion, dance, and song. Taught by dance artist born in Cote d’Ivoire, Yahaya Kamate, and a drummer and storyteller born in Ghana, Harold Akyeampong, students learn traditional Anansi folktales from West African cultures and retell those stories through different art forms. They also learn about the cultural and community contexts in which traditional stories and arts are created and performed. The program culminates in a program where students to perform what they have learned for an audience.
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Storytelling Arts of West Africa: Unit Plans

“Song, Drumming, and Percussion” [PDF]

“Dance and Creative Movement” [PDF]

Bring to Light

In 2011, a group of Youth Poets from Urban Word participated in a series of workshops in which they developed poems about place and learned how to use the image remixing program Modul8. The culminating multimedia exhibit transformed their written words into an artistic display of light projections to accompany their spoken word performance and occurred at the Bring to Light Festival on October 1, 2011 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  Bring to Light is an annual free nighttime event that brings together artists from around the globe to build site-specific, mainly light-based art installations.

Bring to Light is a collaboration between City Lore and Urban Word funded through the Hive Learning Project.

Watch a clip from the first performance below:

Contact us!

Interested in collaborating with City Lore on out of school arts programming?  We work with partners to design high-quality community-based learning experiences for youth. Please contact Education Director Amanda Dargan, for more information: adargan@citylore.org or 212.529.1955 x14.

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