Welcome to the 2021 Manhattan Borough Arts Virtual Festival!

What a difference a year makes! The themes of this year’s festival are Hope and Gratitude. Finally, we find ourselves looking ahead towards better times, acknowledging the intense hardships of the past year and the growing awareness of how far we have come since the pandemic began. Last year’s festival was the first time we experienced a remote celebration. We searched for any type of connection we could create through our forced separation and we found it through the creation of shared artistic creations. Now slowly but surely, with hope and gratitude, we are coming back together physically to experience this new chapter of our city’s life. And once again, our student musicians, dancers, actors, and visual artists, with the incredible support of our amazing Manhattan School Leaders and teachers, have met this moment and created performances and artwork deeply reflecting these unique times and their lived experiences.

Rachel Shapiro, Manhattan Borough Arts Director

Click to view student performances

Click to view student artwork

Congratulations to our talented student visual artists and performers for the exemplary work they have accomplished during such a challenging year. I would also like to extend my gratitude to their talented teachers, families, and committed school leaders for their continued support of rigorous arts programming in their schools.

I applaud the artistic accomplishments of all our students across the city and look forward to making a continuous, rigorous, inclusive arts education a reality for all New York City public school students.

Meisha Porter, Department of Education Chancellor

When we create a platform for students to be leaders, to express themselves and to take risks in creating arts, they develop a sense of ownership, innovation and creativity that guides their learning and adult lives. Throughout this pandemic, our students used their artistic talents, skills, and passion to communicate, connect, and heal. In my role as the Executive Superintendent for Manhattan, I am proud and humbled by our 125,000 extraordinary students, artists, and leaders of NYC, who continue to demonstrate resilience and excellence.

Marisol C. Rosales, Executive Superintendent for Manhattan

Thank You... Mayor Bill de Blasio

Chancellor Meisha Porter

Manhattan Executive Superintendent, Marisol C. Rosales

Office of Arts and Special Projects, Executive Director I.A. Maria Palma


Carry Chan, District 1 Manuel Ramirez, District 6 Paul Rotondo, Transfer HS

Kelly McGuire, District 2 Vivian Orlen, High Schools Alan Cheng, Consortium HS

Christine Loughlin, District 3 Ketler Louissaint, District 75 Fred Walsh, Urban Assembly HS

Dr. Kristy De La Cruz, District 4 Robert Zweig, District 79 Richard Cintron, New Visions HS

Danika Rux, District 5

Rachel Shapiro

Manhattan Borough Arts Director

Mema Vaklinova

Manhattan Borough Arts Coordinator