OUR STORY & MISSION

MISSION: ProjectArt transforms the nation’s public libraries into vital cultural hubs by offering youth year-round visual art classes and providing studio spaces for emerging visual artists.

Adarsh 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,stats 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.

statsIn 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.

Read ProjectArt founder Adarsh Alphons on Unleashing Creativity in Public Libraries on the Rockefeller Foundation blog.