Why arts education? What is the arts education crisis?
We firmly believe that children deserve an outlet for self-expression and a way to harness their own creative power. The statistics are clear: students without arts education are five times more likely to drop out of high school, making them 72% more likely to be unemployed than someone who did graduate. Students who have access to arts education, on average, score 96 points higher on the SAT and are three times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Nearly four million elementary school students in the US do not get any visual arts instruction at school during their formative learning years. In New York City, access to arts education for youth has fallen disproportionately in the city’s lower income neighborhoods. Of the 419 schools surveyed by the NYC Department of Education, 20% of them lacked even one full-time certified arts teacher. We believe this is absolutely an equity issue and a civil rights issue-just as is access to AP courses and other educational opportunities. Learn more about the crisis here.
Where does ProjectArt work?
ProjectArt works in public libraries across the city that are strategically located to bring access to underserved communities. Classrooms in public libraries are a great resource because they are already strategically placed in the city for maximum accessibility, have fully functioning infrastructures and because of long-established roots in the community. There is a natural constituency of children, youth and families around each branch who are directly served by our programs. See where we work.
Do you put art classes in schools?
We do not place art classes in schools. Instead, we work with schools to send their students to ProjectArt’s classes. We are in contact with Guidance Counselors from schools surrounding the public libraries in the communities we serve, and together select students who would benefit the most from being a part of our programs. The schools we work with are selected from NYC Comptroller’s report of the Significant Disparities in Arts Education.
How does ProjectArt pay for classes?
ProjectArt is a nonprofit organization with its own independent 501.c.3 status. We exist through the generous support of individual donors and foundations. Our goal is to make our operations as transparent as possible, which is why we clearly outline exactly how our money is spent. Twenty dollars covers the cost of one art class for one child, while two hundred dollars covers one child for an entire semester of classes. Understand how every dollar is spent.
Who are ProjectArt’s students?
ProjectArt provides it’s classes in the communities that need us most. In New York City, access to arts education for youth has fallen disproportionately in the city’s lower income neighborhoods. We work with three different age groups: 4-7, 8-12, 13-17. We want to ensure that our youth are supported through their growth, from elementary school through high school. Meet some of our students.
How can I get involved?
ProjectArt needs supporters of all types! You can donate your time as a volunteer, your voice by spreading the word on social media and tweeting at celebrities, your resources by connecting us to space, sponsors, or supplies, or you can donate your ideas. Of course, we also greatly appreciate monetary support. Get involved.
How can I donate?
Every dollar counts and ProjectArt is more than happy to accept donations of any amount. It takes just $20 to pay for one class for one child. Individuals who donate $200 or more are designated as advocates. Two hundred dollars covers the cost of a semester of classes for one child or the cost of one class for all of the students. Advocates will be able to follow the course of their money directly to the child and/or class they are funding. All donors are encouraged to attend the student exhibition at the end of the semester so they can see the direct results of their support. Give to ProjectArt.