Saturday Program Welcomes New Director, Jamerry Kim
POSTED ON: April 7, 2021
Jamerry Kim has been hired as the new director of the Saturday Program, a decades-old educational program at The Cooper Union that offers free classes in art and architecture to underserved New York City high school students. Kim brings to the Saturday Program her perspective as a multi-disciplinary artist and educator whose interest is in the themes of diaspora, language justice, and history. She holds an MFA in graphic design from Yale University and an MA in media studies from The New School, where she also teaches.
Kim has also taught at Queens College, CUNY where, in addition, she served as interim programming director for the Center for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Understanding (CERRU). A resident of Flushing, she began a monthly art community group there to address a lack of resources and community visibility for artists and creatives. But perhaps most importantly, Kim is an alumna of the Saturday Program, having participated as both a high school student and as a student instructor. She has shared how honored she is to be stewarding the Saturday Program, knowing firsthand its indelible impact on how she envisioned her life as an artist, and is eager to uphold the values of SatPro while also working to create new possibilities for the program.
Just over a year ago, the Saturday Program was part of a reorganization that placed the program under the umbrella of Continuing Education. The goal was to streamline operational logistics, reduce duplicative administrative costs, and address the program’s multi-year budget deficit while retaining the program's strong connection to the schools of art and architecture and continuing to deliver the Saturday Program’s invaluable experience to New York City public high school students and to Cooper Union’s student instructors.
For several reasons, including the challenges presented by the COVID-19 closure of campus and Cooper’s own pandemic hiring freeze, the potential of this administrative structure could not be realized. After soliciting input from Saturday Program and Continuing Education employees, the Saturday Program faculty advisory committee, and student workers, it was determined that the Saturday Program would benefit from a more direct connection to faculty and students and from a director with a background in art and art education. Consequently, under Kim's leadership, the Saturday Program will resume its administrative “home” within the School of Art with close coordination and collaboration with the School of Architecture.
In addition to hiring Kim, a hiring search is underway to add two new staff positions to the program: one a full-time office manager role focused on supporting office services, and the other the part-time role of student success coordinator, which will include supporting school-based partnerships, facilitating student participation, and performing data collection and reporting for grant funding.
Although the Saturday Program has been realigned with the School of Art, the structure of the Continuing Education and Outreach programs will remain unchanged and will continue under the stewardship of Toni Torres, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Effectiveness.