“We always have a choice of how we respond to the crisis. That’s what arts does: it gives students a voice.”

Since the onset of the pandemic and throughout the past year, the landscape of arts education has changed dramatically. At schools throughout the state of New Jersey, students were forced to communicate and create from home, or through major restrictions. However, in spite of this blow, students and the educators who lead them were able to adapt, create, and blossom.

In a short documentary feature, “Beyond the Boundaries: Arts Education through a Pandemic,” produced by the nonprofit Arts Ed NJ, New Jersey arts educators share how their students adapted and pushed through the challenges of COVID-19 to emerge stronger than before. The short film showcases breathtaking student artwork and performance from around the state, all created throughout the challenges and restrictions that the past year has necessitated. The documentary is a display of New Jersey arts students’ and educators’ resilience and ingenuity. It is an exploration of what happens when a community faces unique challenges and emerges even stronger than before.

This week, September 12-18, is National Arts in Education Week 2021. Arts Ed NJ will be celebrated on September 10th with the premier of this new documentary short. Several schools in NJ are also premiering and sharing the video during the week to celebrate.

As many students and educators return to school and to their classrooms at long last, this feature celebrates and commemorates their achievement against the odds of the past year. As one educator states, “What the pandemic taught the students more than anything is that they are the driving force. They are the medium. They are everything.” 

Please share the video on your social media channels using the hashtags #ArtsEdNow, #BecauseofArtsEd, and #ArtsEdBeyondtheBoundaries.