PROJECTART KICKS OFF IN DETROIT TO PROVIDE FREE ART CLASSES TO YOUTH IN DETROIT PUBLIC LIBRARIES
Beginning this October, free art classes for youth have officially begun in Detroit through the non-profit, ProjectArt which places after-school art classes also in New York City and Miami public libraries for youth in low-income communities. Having tenaciously worked on launching their programs over the past year, all classes were fully enrolled (some with waiting lists) on the first day. Over 60 children now have a safe-haven to thrive in their creative potential, right in the neighborhoods where they live. Support from regional leaders, including Lisa Applebaum, The Skillman Foundation and their enthusiastic collaborative partner, Detroit Public Library, has guided the program, while conferring much-needed counsel to serve our constituents. Particularly when it comes to youth – the phrase ‘it takes a village’ rings true.
Free youth classes began on Saturday, October 1 and will run continuously throughout next summer in four library locations. To see ProjectArt’s program locations and class times, click here. The first Detroit student exhibition will take place in December and we can’t wait to invite you to meet our amazing students and their families.
Adarsh Alphons founded ProjectArt because he truly believes that art saves lives. Expelled from school when he was just seven years old for drawing in class, his parents put him in a different school, and by the time he was fifteen, he was painting portraits for Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and the Pope—all because one art teacher perceived his passion for art, encouraged his aptitude and believed in him. Adarsh also started performing in academics. Art opened new doors and helped him work through setbacks as a young adult. After moving to New York City and settling in Harlem, he wanted to make sure that the youth in the neighborhood had the opportunities to help them work through their personal challenges and stay in school, while giving them an outlet to express themselves creatively and constructively.
In 2011, with little more than a bag full of art supplies and borrowed office space in Harlem, Adarsh began ProjectArt. There was one goal and one goal only: to put paintbrushes in the hands of as many children that don’t have adequate access to arts education as possible. Soon, friends became teachers, parents became volunteers and kids became students.
Over the last four years, with the help of hundreds of people who have donated their time, money and resources, ProjectArt has created a model of change that can confront the national arts education crisis and impact youth on large scale while keeping our costs low. The resulting model is infinitely scalable, while spurring excitement at one of our nation’s oldest institutions, its libraries. One of the incredible things about this journey has been the inspiring and generous people that ProjectArt has had the good fortune of working with. Having started with very little, ProjectArt has been lucky to have met and continually surprised by the generosity of others. Welcome to Detroit!
+ All classes are tuition-free/full scholarship.
+ Project-based, context-led curriculum.
+ Classes are divided into developmentally appropriate age groups: 4–7, 8–12, 13–17 years old.
+ Currently in 32 public libraries in New York City, Detroit and Miami.
+ Creates a ripple effect of positive impact.
+ Provides Art & Social Practice Residencies for emerging artists.
Register your child HERE.
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