POLLY KAHN joined the New York Philharmonic in 1994 as Director of Education, after having served previously as Director of Education for the Tisch Center for the Arts of the 92nd Street Y, Assistant Director of the Lincoln Center Institute, and as a national arts-in-education consultant.
Over the past six seasons, Ms. Kahn has worked to revise and expand the New York Philharmonic education programs. During this period, these programs have quadrupled with offerings ranging from pre-school to continuing education, from programs for schools with limited music resources to programs serving the next generation of musicians in conservatories. Almost 500 schools and 83,000 individuals participated in these programs last season from the New York Metropolitan area, and an additional 70,000 music teachers (and their students) benefited from the New York Philharmonic’s programs through their nationally distributed teacher’s guides. This season, the education department is further widening its reach with Web site resources for teachers, children and their families. The New York Philharmonic is the only orchestra to have an interactive Web site for children. In total, the eighteen education programs of the New York Philharmonic serve as a model for the orchestra education field, and have been featured in local and national media. The Philharmonic programs are included in the new publication, Gaining the Arts Advantage, recently released by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and the Arts Education Partnership.
Ms. Kahn plays a local and national leadership role in the arts-in-education community as Vice-Chair of the Board of the New York City Arts-in-Education Roundtable, a member of the Board of the Center for Arts Education (the Annenberg III Initiative), and with the national constituency of orchestra education directors through the American Symphony Orchestra League.