History Alive!

Intergenerational Arts-in-Education 

ESTA's History Alive! Program is open to all public schools and community-based organizations that work with older adults. Residencies run 14 to 18 weeks in and out school. Residencies include planning meetings and a school-wide and community event to celebrate the participants' creativity. 


History Alive! takes place in and out of school, and offers students the richness of intergenerational exchange while engaging them in interdisciplinary, curriculum-based inquiries that both catalyze their social consciousness and their capacity for creative expression.  Youth and elders work as “oral historians”.  Working together, they determine the content that will appear in the final project and collectively decide how to best express it. Through art making and community building, elders and youth learn about each other's respective cultures and traditions, forming meaningful relationships.


This exploration – and creative expression – of history through the lens of a participant opens students to a recognition of the “human face” of history.  Not only do the youth increase their understanding of and appreciation of the arts, they also increase their awareness of their own traditions, cultures, and communities.  The youth come to understand that they themselves have stories to tell, that they too belong to groups – families, communities, regions, cultures, age cohorts.  By appreciating their own stories, they come to appreciate the particularities of the stories of the elders with whom they work and, by extension, with other people who are different from themselves.  They make connections where they are not apparent and experience themselves as belonging to a broader community and world – able to take their place in it and make a difference.

History Alive! follows National and State Standards for arts and social studies. 


For more information about History Alive! 

Call Teachers & Writers Collaborative at 212.691.6590 or send them an email!

Take a peak into ESTA's intergenerational arts education program History Alive! Thanks to Eric Brietbart for filming this!


  • Available to ALL public schools and community-based organizations that work with older adults
  • 5th Grade and up!
  • Older Adults 55 and up! 
  • 14-week school day residencies
  • 18-week after school residencies
  • Theater, collage, print-making, sculpture, and painting
  • All programs begin with a planning meeting for teachers and administrators
  • All programs end with a culminating event celebrating the group's work

ESTA's Intergenerational programs have been cited by the following organizations as a best practice: