Research and Partnerships

Slim Goodbody presents arts in education program on healthy bodies for Leap and Learn's Healthy Choices program at Bennett Park Montessori
Photo:Lori Joyce

MUSE enjoys long term residency relationships with over 20 schools and community organizations. MUSE also works closely with a long list of funders and other arts organizations to bring the highest quality art to the children of Western NY.

The National Endowment for the Arts , the New York State Council on the Arts, the State University of New York at Buffalo, BlueCross/BlueShield of WNY, Rite-Aid and the Buffalo Public Schools are currently involved in a three-year study to determine the impact of our Leap and Learn program on children’s behavior and learning.

Looking at the key indicators of nutrition and sedentary behavior, this project attempts to change attitudes about food choices and exercise as set forth by the Health Standards of the NYS Department of Education. Children in seven demographically paired for poverty, transience and first language dominance, are placed in control and intervention groupings. All students are weighed and measured each year. Their school cafeteria food consumption is analyzed three times; before, during and after each artist’s residency, over a period of ten weeks. This preliminary study will be analyzed and submitted for refinement to the National Institutes for Health in the Fall of 2005.

In addition, our work is being analyzed in a separate study with partners, JustBuffalo Literary Center and Young Audiences of Western New York, and in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, The State University of New York at Buffalo and SchoolWorks Labs.

MUSE and Buffalo Public School #32, the Bennett Park Montessori Center are at the center of a seven-year partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts: Empire States Partnership. A whole school arts integration program, this funding allows both MUSE and BPMC to engage in deep and long-term artists residency’s that partner teaching artists with classroom teachers to use the arts to engage children in rich and meaningful learning. This years project theme is “Pieces to Piece”, conceived by music teacher Teddy Strauss, where the school is involved at looking at our cultural diversity through music and dance and imagining the future through hand crafted original instruments and interpretive dance. Students created their own authentic batiked costumes, made found object percussion instruments, experienced both West African and Latin drum and dance, created political cartoons, and a comic book project. The culminating event will feature original student poetry of the graduating 13 year olds highlighting their contribution to “Pieces to Peace.”

The Oracle Charter School is among MUSE’s newest partners. A New York State Charter School, its mission is to integrate both the arts and technology into its extensive 7-12 curriculum. MUSE is Oracles cultural partner and will provide professional development and long term resident teaching artists to partner with core curriculum and arts teachers serving students. In Fall of 2005 Oracle will open its doors with its mission to create a curriculum, infused with arts and technology, that emphasizes interdisciplinary study and cooperative learning wherein students have the opportunity to act both as learners and as mentors.

Youssoupha Lo, West African drummer and dancer connects with kids
Photo:Lori Joyce

Buffalo Prep and MUSE forged a relationship in 2004 wherein we became their cultural arts partner for the summer Primary Prep program. Using the campus of the Nichols School as a base for a teaching artist’s laboratory, last summer 100 rising 5 th and 6 th grade academically motivated students engaged in a theme program entitled the Harlem Renaissance. Working from a historical time line of the Great Migration to the Depression, core curriculum teachers in English, Math and Social Studies and Technology, partnered with a Musician, Actor, Dancer, Visual Artist, and Spoken Word Poet to create direct line connections from the curriculum and theme and the art of the time. Students learned the Charleston and Lindy as a Math lesson, mapping and diagramming space and Geometry. Students created their own poetry in the style of Langston Hughes. They learned the significance of kid culture street games like Zoodeo. They learned the significance of the lyrics of The Black National Anthem as well as Fats Waller, in History class. They painted in the style of William H. Johnson and Aaron Douglas. They researched through the internet various visual artists of the time. The culminating event was a Rent Party where the joint was jumpin and every student presented some form of authentic original art.

Funders include:

General Mills
BlueCross/BlueShield of WNY
The New York State Council on the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts
The Ronald McDonald Foundation
The Children’s Foundation
Donor Directed Funds from The Tides Foundation
Our Board of Directors and other Individual Donors



MUSE belongs to The Western New York Regional Leadership Network, which serves arts-in-education organizations currently engaged in whole school arts integration from Jamestown, New York, to Rochester, New York. The WNYRLN provides advocacy and professional development to the field of Arts in Education.

MUSE is a founding member of the Coalition of Arts Providers for Children, a roundtable for the Greater Buffalo area that provides opportunities for arts organizations to collaborate and strategize. The CAPC Roundtable Luncheon Series provides opportunities for members to meet and discuss current issues with prominent leaders and decision makers on fundamental questions facing arts organizations in Western New York. The CAPC office is housed at MUSE.