School Arts Support Initiative

SASI students with art worksWith generous support of The Center for Arts Education (CAE) from the United States Department of Education Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Grant Program (AEMDD), The Center for Arts Education’s SASI program worked with nine New York City middle schools to develop sustainable education in and through the arts in place of limited, fragmentary and sporadic arts education programming.

SASI is a research program that enables middle schools with little or no arts programming to provide rich and multi-faceted arts instruction to all their students. SASI 1 schools, organized during the 2008-9 academic year, have begun to demonstrate how the arts affect the artistic, academic and psychological well-being of middle school students. SASI 2 schools are now involved in replicating and adapting the transformative model created by SASI 1 in the expectation that research findings will be significant and that the SASI model will be replicable nationwide.

Nine New York City middle schools are committed to the structural, curricular and pedagogical policies as they pertain to the arts in their schools.   CAE’s team of external evaluators is tracking both qualitative and quantitative data throughout the four years of this AEMDD program. Each school has both common and unique features enabling SASI to model different approaches to achieve their arts education visions. Each school principal has been provided with an experienced arts educator/administrator who acts as coach to the School Leadership Team and other members of the staff and parent group. Cross site and on site professional development regarding curriculum enhancements and innovations is integral to the SASI program. An ongoing dissemination aspect of the project enables SASI to share the results of these efforts in conferences, meeting and published reports in print and on the internet.

SASI was initially developed with support from The New York Times Company Foundation, working with The Center for Arts Education and the New York City Department of Education.

A year after its launch in 2007, SASI was awarded a U.S. Department of Education Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination Grant. In 2010, an additional USDOE grant was awarded to expand the program to include 6 new schools. 

Additional project support for SASI has been provided by The National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, and the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund.

Download the original SASI brochure.

Watch the June 2014 video documenting the impact of SASI.


The nine SASI schools are:

JHS 231Q Magnetch/Tri-Community Jr. High School

MS 223X Laboratory School of Finance and Technology 

MS 57K The Ron Brown Academy School

PS/IS 208Q

MS 421M West Prep Academy

MS 584K Granville T. Woods

MS 534K The Upper School at PS 25

IS 347K School of Humanities

JHS 291K The Roland Hayes School