Through localized arts education initiatives with professional teaching artists, we provide free access to arts education for underserved youth.
Our Joy Projects serve as introductory art intensives designed to spark curiosity and appreciation for the arts. Week long sessions, guided by professional artists, explore the fundamentals of specific disciplines and provide students with a hands-on exploration of the creative process. On completion, participants will have exposure to art and experience creating an original work in a short form.
After School Programs
Students spend two days weekly working with a professional artist to explore the creative process, while building social skills described in our teaching method. Split into two 18-week phases, phase one uses a multidisciplinary approach to help students explore creative expression. Phase one is heavily instructor driven and focuses on laying the groundwork to take a work from ideation to completion, as well as reinforcing collaboration and communication skills. Phase two is primarily student driven and builds on the fundamentals of the previous phase. Students use the skills learned to collectively draft, create, and exhibit a large scale art piece that serves to express their voices within their community.
Community Art Classes
In an effort to bolster community appreciation of the arts and serve students outside our schools of residence, we offer free art programs to youth in our communities of involvement. Students are able to explore an offered discipline on short term basis and learn the basics of the creative process and gain experience producing art. The classes serve to provide a deeper introduction into a discipline and inspiration to delve further through our partner organizations.
We are a young organization with limited resources, but we have leveraged little to accomplish much; having provided art education to over 1,000 youth from NYC to Lima over the past four years.
Over the past eighteen months, we have brought our work to our own backyard, expanding to provide arts education for 150 underserved youth of New York City. While in development of our first after school program, we have worked with organizational partners to fulfill our mission of cultivating artists and developing leaders.
Mobilizing 12 professional teaching artist to date, we have directly served over 50 youth living in transitional domestic violence prevention shelters in partnership with Sanctuary for Families, the leading nonprofit in New York State dedicated exclusively to serving domestic violence victims, sex trafficking victims, and their children.
This year, we also partnered with 20/20 Vision for Schools and PS/MS 282 in Park Slope, Brooklyn to assist installing a student designed mural with 50 youth from the school alongside over 300 other volunteers from the community and Citigroup.
With additional funding, we anticipate doubling our efforts in 2015 to serve 200 youth in NYC through our partnership with Sanctuary for Families and by launching our pilot after school initiative in an NYC public elementary or middle school, as well as hosting two community art classes in the Brooklyn and Manhattan boroughs.
Since our inception in 2010, we have seen our initial work grow year over year. What began as one joy project serving 200 kids in La Comunidad de Niños Sagrada Familia, has expanded to bi-annual Joy Projects serving over 300 youth and a community music program consisting of a 35-seat orchestra.
Comunidad de Niños Sagrada Familia is a haven for abandoned children in the outskirts of Lima, Peru, established thirty years ago by Miguel Rodriguez. A business man by trade, Miguel dedicated his life to creating a safe environment for the street kids of his community. After losing his infant son, Miguel began taking in kids from the street. What began as four youth is now a vibrant community of over 900 kids aged 0-19, with over 150 currently attending higher education.
La Comunidad operates independently and relies on private and corporate donations, as well as partnerships such as ALEGRIA, to provide a way of life for children with a variety of extreme backgrounds. We serve as a foundation for art education and seek to bring joy and hope to the community. With additional funding, we plan to increase our community art classes in a variety of disciplines and launch a pilot after school program in 2015.
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