Year Four Art21 Educators | Caitlin Miller and Matthew Garza

Last week we introduced Craig Newsom and Carl Anderson. This week, in the fourth installment of Art21 Educators introductions, we’d like to introduce you to friends and co-teachers at the Aaron School in New York City, Caitlin Miller and Matthew Garza.


This is Caitlin and Matt’s first year teaching at the Aaron school, a growing K-7 special education private school in Manhattan.

Caitlin says, “In our school, students learn best when they can learn a subject across disciplines. We often integrate social studies and social thinking lessons into our art lessons. Since contemporary art often deals with concepts larger than art itself, it is a great tool to help make those connections clearer.”


Focusing on the intersection of the humanities the arts, Matthew described his past experiences bringing the work of contemporary artists, such as the street artist and TED Prize winner J.R., into the interdisciplinary classroom in an exploration of Geography as a physical, social, political, and cultural construct. “Through contemporary art, I truly believe that youth can understand the power of arts to provoke positive change and gain a firmer grasp on communicating complex and nuanced ideas and disciplinary content.” Contextualizing his developing goals as a classroom teacher with a quote by Proust, Matthew also told us,

“As a classroom teacher, I am deeply committed to 1) strengthening my students’ disciplinary exploration of U.S. and Global History; 2) valuing time spent on relationships with my students and among my students through communal collaboration, assessment, and pride over exemplary work; 3) facilitating opportunities for my classroom to be civically and socially engaged in community and global issues through Engaged Scholarship as it applies to my curriculum; 4) utilizing the visual arts and creative performance, along with other areas of multiple intelligence theory, within and outside of my curriculum; and 5) translating and codifying my curriculum framework into mainstream state and national mandated assessment standards and disciplinary content.”

“Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees.” -Marcel Proust


* This post was written with Dana Helwick, Art21 Educators Intern.