Marquis Studios is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing arts-­in­‐education services to 170 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 500,000 students, 28,000 teachers and 18,000 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:

  • 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.

  • Laura Grotenstein

    Operations Manager

    Born and raised in New York City, Laura is passionate about making the arts accessible to everyone in her community. She attended Reed College in Portland, OR, where she received a B.A. in Art, with a concentration in sculpture and book arts. Laura has worked with a number of organizations throughout the city, which has given her firsthand experience in the positive effects of the arts. She first joined Marquis Studios as an intern in 2015, and is excited to continue making an impact as part of the team. 


  • Paula Heitman

    Executive Director

    For 25 years, Paula has devoted her career to enriching the lives of children in New York City. Paula worked as a teaching artist for various arts education organizations while earning her Master of Arts in Educational Theater at New York University. After graduating NYU, Paula worked for the New York City Department of Education as a high school drama teacher. Moving into the non-profit world, Paula worked as an Education Associate at TADA! Theater.
    Paula was in charge of afterschool programming at the theater as well as dozens of public schools throughout the five boroughs. She became the Program Director at East Side Community High School overseeing their arts program collaboration with Urban Arts Partnership (then known as Working Playground). Paula then served as the Executive Director at Breakthough NY, an academic enrichment program for motivated middle school students from low-income families. Most recently, Paula ran Families First, a non-profit, early childhood center serving the Cobble Hill, Brooklyn community for nearly 40 years. Paula has extensive experience as a grant writer, development director, strategic planner and event manager. Paula’s career has centered on serving marginalized student populations, including students attending under-resourced public schools and students with disabilities. Paula believes deeply in supporting all students and providing equal opportunities to experience the arts. Paula lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, son and a trio of two cats and a dog.



  • Janae Hijaz Edwards

    Arts Partnership Manager

    Janae Hijaz Edwards graduated from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill in 2011 with a degree in International Studies and Studio Art. From there, she conducted research in Venezuela on arts and cultural heritage which sparked her interest in supporting creative expression in local communities. Since then, she has had the pleasure of working as an arts and literature professor in Colombia, and returning to New York to gain experience across the arts industry. Recently, Janae worked as Residency Programs Coordinator at Studio in a School, an experience which inspired her to want to work more closely with teaching artists in NYC. She also had the pleasure of working in Gallery Partnerships and Sales at Artsy.  With a diverse professional background, Janae’s passion for the arts, education, and community building has taken her around the world. Janae hopes to bring all of her professional experiences into her work at Marquis Studios, and is thrilled to be joining our team as an Arts Partnership Manager.