Marquis Studios is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing arts-­in­‐education services to 150 New York City public schools annually. We strive to develop a strong partnership between artists and teachers by providing arts programs to supplement traditional classroom teaching techniques. Each residency or workshop focuses on a specific visual or performing arts discipline selected by school staff and administration.

Founded in 1977, Marquis Studios has served over 460,000 students, 26,000 teachers and 15,000 parents at schools throughout New York City. Working with a diverse population, 80% of programs serve students living at or below the poverty line with over 50% of all grant-funded programming serving classrooms containing with disabilities.

Marquis Studios Offers:

  • Core curriculum programming consisting of ten-­week arts residencies taught by our staff of trained Teaching Artists.
  • A full spectrum of arts residencies that encourage student exploration of visual arts, theatre, music, dance architecture, circus arts and puppetry.
  • Custom designed programs to meet the educational goals set by the school through collaboration with Marquis Studios and classroom teachers.
  • Programs that address New York State Learning Standards, both in the arts and academic areas.
  • Professional development for classroom teachers to provide arts education techniques and concepts that can be brought back to the classroom.
  • Parent/Child Workshops that help parents understand the connection between arts and academics while providing a fun, hands­‐on experience parents and children can share.


Marquis Studios administrative staff is comprised of thirteen employees with occasional help from interns and volunteers.

  • Amy Appleton

    Director of Education

    Amy Appleton received her BA in Studio Art and Spanish from Muhlenberg College and her MA in Community Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Amy has over 10 years of experience as a visual arts teaching artist with youth and families in schools, fine arts studios, community centers, playgrounds, and faith-based organizations. In NYC, she worked with the Center for Arts Education, Free Arts NYC, and currently writes and leads tours for families at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through Curious Minds Tours. Amy has worked in the education departments of multiple urban arts non-profits: ArtsQuest in Bethlehem, PA; the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, MD where she served a year in AmeriCorps; CITYarts in NYC, and Free Arts NYC where she spent 5 years developing programs for youth and leading professional development workshops for arts mentors and instructors. She is also a musician and performs in the NY Flute Club’s Ensemble Program and the Trinity Handbell Choir in Astoria. Amy has been a lifelong advocate for arts education and is excited to join the team at Marquis Studios in 2016.


  • Ryan Berg

    Data Manager

    Ryan has been a proud member of the Marquis Studios team since 2012. He loves international travel, roller coasters and writing. An Army veteran, he is originally from Seattle, where he graduated from the University of Washington before relocating to New York. Ryan has a background in music – he plays guitar and has toured North America with his own bands, and as tour support for other acts. He has worked extensively as a stage manager for Cardone, the Ultimate Vaudeville Magician. He has been a house manager at Manhattan Repertory Theatre. Ryan is currently stage-managing a developing musical, written by James Franco and David Van Asselt. Ryan is a writer and actor at Studio 4 NYC, where he has spent the summer in a filmmaking masterclass taught by James Franco.



  • Diana R. Breen

    Interim Executive Director

    Diana Breen is beyond excited to inspire a life-long love of the arts in young people and prepare Marquis Studios for its next chapter. Diana leads her own consulting business to support organizations in fundraising, strategic planning and program development. She recently won a national non-profit $2.9 million to help justice-involved youth get and keep jobs and to enroll families in the health coverage they deserve. As Executive Director for Ariva, she oversaw economic empowerment programs serving 9,000 families a year. There, she doubled and diversified revenue, launched Ariva to become a leader in NYC’s financial education field, and expanded and developed the Board. Diana also served in management roles for the Children’s Defense Fund – NY, Literacy Partners, NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs, and the New York Public Interest Research Group (where she taught a college class and broke the organization’s fundraising record). Diana graduated first in her class from Baruch College with an MPA (specializing in non-profit management) and graduated magna cum laude from NYU with a degree in music performance. As a volunteer, she has mentored a teen with iMentor, tutored high schoolers with the Children’s Aid Society, and served as Board Vice-Chair for the Cypress Hills Child Care Corp. Diana enjoys traveling the world with her husband, playing the flute, practicing Spanish, catching up on the classics for book club, and seeing her baby daughter smile. She resides in South Slope, Brooklyn.