Mission & History

“The mission of the theater, after all, is to change, to raise the consciousness of people to their human possibilities.”

– Arthur Miller

Our Mission

The Arthur Miller Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides equitable access to quality theater education in public schools, and aims to increase the number of students that receive a dedicated theater education as an integral part of their academic curriculum. We believe that arts education is a right of every public school student. As an organization, we affirm that if arts education assumes its rightful place in the public school curriculum, we will foster generations of imaginative graduates, enhancing the evolving world of theater and all other fields of human endeavor.

We accomplish this mission by providing resources and support to new certified theater teachers in public schools.

We also put more theater teachers in public schools by offering eligible candidates the opportunity to earn scholarships toward their theater teaching certification.

Our History

Arthur Miller created a foundation in his name to help young artists. In the years after his death, Rebecca Miller thought about how her father's mandate could be interpreted. With children of her own in New York City public schools, she learned about the challenges of public arts education and grew interested in the arts education movement. Rebecca began to wonder if the Arthur Miller Foundation (AMF) could become a part of this effort, adding volume to the wave of thought and data that places the arts not at the bottom of the necessary elements of a school day– forgotten behind science, technology, engineering, math, and the humanities– but squarely in the middle of a rounded education. After joining forces with her Vice Chair, Sandi Farkas, the pair began to explore how AMF could have the greatest impact.
In 2013, AMF began working with the NYC public school Quest to Learn on the Arthur Miller Theater and Film Pilot Program, in partnership with the Institute of Play.  This enabled AMF to expand its understanding of how to build theater and film education programs from the ground level. By 2014, the Arthur Miller Foundation institutionalized a self-sustaining theater, film and overall art-making culture at Quest To Learn.  Armed with the tools learned in developing and successfully implementing the pilot program, AMF was prepared and eager to expand its reach and heighten its impact.
In 2015, AMF decided to solely focus its attention on theater education and began working with New York City Public Schools to support new certified theater teachers with the tools, resources and support they need to build sustainable in-school theater programs. Inspired by the Arthur Miller Theater Pilot Program and the Arnhold Dance Teacher Support Program, AMF worked closely with Peter Avery, Director of Theater for New York City Public Schools, to create the Arthur Miller Foundation Fellows Program.
In 2016, the Arthur Miller Foundation Scholars Program was created in partnership with The City College of New York's Graduate Program in Educational Theater.  This initiative supports non-theater public school teachers and professional teaching artists by funding 50% scholarships for graduate coursework to earn their theater teaching certification. The goal is to feed the pipeline of public school theater teachers, thereby increasing the percentage of schools that have a dedicated theater program, giving more students access to theater education within their school day.
Arthur Miller Theater Education Programs are on the ground and making a real difference in New York City public schools, effectively reaching around 49,500 students in all 5 boroughs. We have also exported our programs to Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut, one of the most underserved districts in the country made up predominantly of Title I Schools, where we are impacting another 2,500 students. Yet we are mindful that this is only the beginning.  Our aim is to export this program model to other schools in need across the city, state and country, when the time is right. At the Arthur Miller Foundation, we believe that arts education should be a right, not a privilege. Our work has only begun.

Our Ultimate Goal

To serve as a catalyst in the transformation from STEM to STEAM, to ensure that every child has access to arts education.