Professional Development

The Art Effect offers professional workshops and training to support capacity-building of libraries, community agencies and in school-based training. Educators gain knowledge and hands-on practice to introduce media and art into standard curricula and empower them to support students. In unique and customizable workshops, teachers learn strategies for bringing the arts into any subject in ways that assist students with literacy skills, technology, media education, social-emotional learning, classroom management, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and expanding their artistic vocabulary elevating work to a higher standard.

The Art Effect teachers lead educators through fun and exciting exercises that allow them to experience being a creator and give them tools to plan out how to bring it back to their own classrooms. The Art Effect uses a multi-media approach to learning including visual art, composition, video, digital painting, music, and other technology. 

For more information and to book a professional development workshop contact

Training options may include:

  • Arts for Literacy: Supporting Reading and Writing Through the Arts
  • Literacy Level-Ups: How to Gamify Your Reading Instruction
  • Making the Most of Your Computer Lab
  • Media Education in Your Classroom
  • Social-Emotional Learning and the Arts
  • Using Arts and Media to Teach Literacy Skills
  • Using Video to promote Your School and Classroom
  • Visual Composition: Deconstructing the Elements
  • Advising, Coaching and Technical Consulting on Equipment

Thank you for sharing such wonderful ideas. It is so evident that [The Art Effect] put so much time in to this workshop and are incredibly knowledgeable on this subject. And thank you for opening our eyes to such useful resources!” – Meredith Inkeles, Wappingers Central School District

“Thank you so much for the time and effort you have put into the professional development. It was extremely concise and well thought out.” – Christine Brooks, Our Lady of Lourdes High School

After School Enrichment

In partnership with school districts throughout the Hudson Valley, The Art Effect provides enriching and empowering arts-based after school programming for elementary, middle and high school students. This extended learning time compliments the New York State Learning Standards for English Language and The Arts by using visual, literary, media, and performing arts that engage students as active, creative learners.

After School Enrichment programs educate youth on how and why art and media are created, and provide access to equipment, supplies, technology, and tools students can utilize to create their own art, media, and theater. The program is designed to meet ambitious goals of improving students’ social-emotional learning, academic achievement, and attendance. The Art Effect’s learner-centered visual and media arts education fosters meaningful opportunities for active engagement, positive learning experiences, and arts-based academic enrichment. Our teaching practices help youth build critical thinking, communication skills, self-expression, and self-esteem, all critical elements to a successful education.

Visit The Art Effect’s classes page for more visual arts classes and workshops.

The Art Effect often collaborates with a consortium of community-based organizations, school administrators, educators, and artists to improve the lives of students and their families when necessary.

Poughkeepsie City School District Programming History

Since 2013, The Art Effect has worked with the Poughkeepsie City School District to provide engaging, high-quality after-school visual and media arts programming, first through the 21st Century grant from 2013 – 2016, then through the Empire State Extended Learning Time grant from 2017 – 2020. Over the years, The Art Effect has served thousands of students in grades 1 – 12 at all four elementary schools, Poughkeepsie Middle and Poughkeepsie City High School.

A few past projects include:

Poughkeepsie Mural Collaboration

Morse Elementary School students in 4th and 5th grade learned about the power of collaboration by brainstorming, planning, and designing mixed media collage murals using materials such as paper, found objects, recycled materials, and markers. Their mural represented parts of Poughkeepsie including; Morse Elementary School, Malcolm X Park, The Bardavon, The Walkway Over The Hudson, and Chuck E Cheese. Incorporating the layers of a cityscape was the key to this project to show a clear understanding of foreground, middleground, and background. 

Wings of Justice

Students at Clinton and Warring Elementary Schools designed large watercolor feathers for a collaborative “Wings of Justice” artwork“ in response to the book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave written by Himself.” 

Incorporating Other Languages

In response to 4th and 5th grade students’ interest in Japanese art, The Art Effect’s teaching artists designed three months of art lessons featuring Japanese artists such as Takashi Murakami, Chiho Aoshima, and Yayoi Kusama. Students learned about the culture, food, and even to speak some of the language!

Other projects have included:

  • Landscape collages
  • Trading cards
  • Monster bookmarks
  • Circular sun woven mandalas 
  • Mixed media paintings 
  • Recycled sculptures
  • Stop-motion animations
  • Crayon/watercolor “stained glass”
  • Painted masks 
  • Ambi Arts Drawings
  • Haiku animations
  • Tree silhouette paintings
  • Music videos 
  • Imagination mobiles 
  • Superhero masks
  • Self-portrait silhouettes
  • Movie trailers 
  • Cityscape collages 
  • Landscape drawings
  • Recycled robots 
  • Free-draw print-making
  • “Make Your Own Color” Sheets
  • Original character animations
  • Journalistic news videos
  • Tessellation patterns
  • Producing songs
  • Original film scripts
  • Audio journalism pieces 
  • Podcasts
  • Kinetic Typographies

To inquire about bringing after-school programming to your school, please contact


Bring The Art Effect teachers right into the classroom and infuse academic learning in any subject with media and visual arts projects. The Art Effect collaborates with faculty and educators on short- and long-term residencies tailored to creatively engage students in diverse subject areas, reinforcing skills and content they are learning in the classroom through media production and artmaking. Our multimedia lesson plans can accommodate for ages, content, format, and length to fit district-specific needs and/or Common Core standards, while keeping students actively and creatively engaged. Residencies can also be conducted in person or virtual.

Skills and Topics

residency programs

Many residencies focus on reinforcing ELA and literacy skills through filmmaking, photography, visual composition, sound design, and editing. Residencies can be tailored to fit a particular teacher’s desired lesson plans and differentiated to accommodate diverse learners. In addition to classroom specific learning, The Art Effect may also partner with a district to offer school-wide assemblies bringing media/arts education into the school setting. After school residencies are also available to meet the district needs.

Program options may include:

  • Animation and stop-motion storytelling
  • Music video creation
  • Cinematic Adaptation
  • Print, radio, or video advertising
  • Multi-media digital composition
  • Digital painting
  • Filmmaking
  • Kinetic typography
  • Podcasting and radio production
  • Zine-making

For more information on digital media and filmmaking programs, visit Spark Studios.

The Big Read

Each year, the Poughkeepsie Public Library District presents The Big Read, often in partnership with the National Endowment of the Arts The NEA Big Read is a national initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, which broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Through the Poughkeepsie Public Library District, The Art Effect hosts a series of library workshops, teacher trainings, and in-school residencies to be delivered as part of the PPLD’s Big Read program offerings. 

“The Big Read collaboration is expanding the learning of our high school students in ways that support their creativity, literacy, and growth of their content knowledge.” Dr Rosser, PCSD Superintendent

Past Partners


“I truly cannot thank you enough! The students were excited and engaged… Overall, I was moved as an educator, as I watched and experienced how much joy this brought to my students.” – Jamie Devlin, Roy C. Ketcham High School English teacher

“This residency allowed me to help students take themes from a text and compose their own digital responses to poems. Thank you!” – Nasarima Foster, Poughkeepsie High School English teacher 

“You have enriched our English program more than you know. I cannot wait to see this program grow for next year.” – Lizette Cintron, Wappingers Central School District Assistant Superintendent

Arts Camps

Dutchess and Ulster Art Camps offer a variety of programs that allow children ages 5-11 to imagine, discover, create, and have fun each summer. Young artists explore fine art, digital media art, and performing arts while strengthening their self-confidence, creative thinking, and art making techniques both individually and in a collaborative setting.

Professional teaching artists work with campers in small groups, using the visual, media, and performing arts to foster self-expression and creativity. Young artists are immersed in colors, lines, shapes, textures, fabrics, clay, video, and sound. Camp sessions are bursting with creative activities for young artists to explore. Campers experience a full day of art and activities including 2-D and 3-D sculptures, painting, drawing, music, animation, performance design, puppetry, free art making, and more.

Daily schedules include opening and closing circle, art instruction,  open studio time, snack, lunch, and outside play.  Accomplishments are celebrated at the final showcase, where each child’s family and friends are invited to see the performances, videos, and an art gallery of work that the children created that week.

2024 Dutchess Arts Camp – Poughkeepsie

Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm
Oakwood Friends School 22 Spackenkill Rd, Poughkeepsie
Week 1: July 8 – July 12
Week 2: July 15 – July 19
Week 3: July 22 – July 26
Week 4: July 29 – August 2

2024 Ulster Arts Camp – New Paltz

Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm
SUNY New Paltz – 1 Hawk Dr, New Paltz
Week 1: July 29 – August 2
Week 2: August 5 – August 9

Past guest artists and partners

Anne Tjernlund
Avery Engstrom
Jenna Pyzowski
Mary Haddad
Maya Llanos
Miles Cohen
Morgan Suter
Nia Scott
Paper Heart Puppets
Paul Solomon
The Samuel orsky Museum, SUNY New Paltz
The Vanaver Caravan
Zach Reid
ZOI Productions

    Become a member of the Art Institute to enjoy exclusive benefits while supporting The Art Effect’s mission to empower young people to develop their creative voice, shape their futures, and bring about positive social change through visual and media arts. As a member, you will save an additional 5% on classes and Summer Arts Camps, get in early with VIP entry to meet with top arts colleges at Hudson Valley Regional Portfolio Day, and receive early access to registration for year-round art courses. Call 845.471.7477 or click here to join today!

    Art Institute

    The Art Institute inspires and motivates students, preparing them for successful careers and acquiring merit-based scholarships to the nation’s best art schools in the visual and media arts. Art Institute is a year-round, intensive, pre-college portfolio development program for motivated teens ages 14-19. Graduates generate an impressive portfolio of original work that demonstrates their pre-professional skills in the visual and media arts. 

    See current and upcoming courses HERE.

    painting class at the Art Institute

    Courses and Skills

    Art Institute classes take place after school, on weekends, and in the summer on a trimester schedule. Classes are taught by professional artists/educators with a curriculum that surpasses the New York State Standards of Art Education. The student-centered, holistic program prioritizes personal and professional development through rigorous arts instruction, regular critiques, mentorship, public exhibition, and engagement with college and conservatory programs.

    The program creates a firm foundation in the visual and media arts by training students in developing ideas through the creative process toward the completion of a portfolio of original work. Students leave The Art Institute with a core understanding of skills including:

    • Core techniques and skills within their focused medium(s)
    • The processes of artmaking (concept to finished product)
    • Ability to create original work independently and professionally
    • Color theory, composition, perspective, depth
    • Artistic vocabulary to professionally speak about artwork & processes
    • Portraying personal experiences, emotion, thoughts in their artwork narratives
    • Giving and receiving constructive critique/feedback
    • Gaining confidence in themselves, their artwork, & their futures
    • Exhibition experience
    • Making connections to art in the world around them

    Teachers use a rubric based on the National Art Standards and customize their approach as they help students understand their strengths and weaknesses and learn how to critique their own and other students’ work. Throughout the year, students may also participate in international study trips, field trips to artists’ studios, college visits and portfolio reviews, and summer intensives. 

    The Art Institute also offers local youth opportunities to build collegial and community service connections. Students participate in the Art Institute’s National Art Honor Society; attend the Hudson Valley Regional Portfolio Day to meet with college representatives; host, curate, and display their work in public exhibitions; and participate in national art competitions.

    award winning painting

    Scholarships and Awards

    The Art Institute began as part of The Art Effect’s pre-merger organization, Mill Street Loft, in 1997 with the goal of helping motivated, talented high school students interested in pursuing careers in the visual arts build skills and develop portfolios. The Institute provides one-on-one mentoring to support students’ college applications, including a long history of success in helping Art Institute students secure merit-based scholarships to art schools and colleges. Our students have been awarded over $56 million in scholarships to the nation’s finest art schools across the nation including Maryland Institute College of Art, Pratt Institute, School of Visual Arts, Columbus College of Art and Design, FIT, Rhode Island School of Design, Purchase College, Rochester Institute of Technology, SCAD, and Maine College of Art and Design.

    In 2020, nearly $18,000 in financial assistance scholarships to The Art Institute courses were awarded to low-income students through scholarship funding including the Carole and Ted Wolf Scholarship Fund and other generous funders. Poughkeepsie youth who receive scholarships also participate in ArtsBridge, providing them with training, support, and mentorship to help them succeed in higher education, navigating acceptance and maximizing scholarship, and financial aid offers. 
    Additionally, The Art Institute sponsors student applications to the Scholastic Art Awards, YoungArts Competition, and the Congressional Art Competition. Since 2019, more than 200 gold, silver, and honorable mention keys have been awarded to students at The Art Effect from Scholastic’s Hudson Valley Art Awards. In 2020, students Anneke Chan and Alyssa Palerma both received competitive grand prize awards from their Congressional district.

    The Art Institute is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and is partially funded by monies received from the New York State Council on the Arts, The Dyson Foundation, the Leslie C. and Irene G. Roe Fund of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley and other supporters.