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Free Arts NYC is a volunteer organization in New York City that brings the arts to underserved children. It organizes art mentoring programs like, Free Arts Day— a “pop-up” arts festival where kids six to 13 get paired with a volunteer buddy who helps them make arts and crafts projects. After making art all morning, the kids and volunteers break for lunch and are treated to a live, interactive theater performance.
Free Arts is a great organization that introduces the arts to kids that may not necessarily be exposed to these creative outlets in school. It’s often music and art classes that are cut from the budget at schools first, which is why it’s important to give kids the opportunity to unleash their inner artists via programs like these. After all, you never know if you’re the next Picasso until you pick up a paint brush. And you’ll never know if you’re the next Meryl Streep until you step out on stage. Giving children the opportunity to be artistic is important.
Does Free Arts NYC inspire you like it does us? Here are five ways you can bring the arts to children in your community, no matter where you live:
Hold Your Own Pop-up Art Festival – Set up an arts and crafts day for the kids in your community. Create two or three stations for making simple crafts, like friendship bracelets or brown paper bag puppets. You can even organize with a few friends to have these arts and crafts festivals after school. Or, have an impact in a more intimate setting by babysitting community kids for a few hours while helping foster their creative side.
Organize Museum Visits – Plan a trip to an art museum or local play for some kids in your community. Exposing kids to art can help inspire them to create.
Take a Dance Class – Even if you have two left feet, you can take a beginner class in any form of dance, whether it be ballet, tap, jazz or modern. Invite the kids in your community to join you. If they can’t afford a class, share what you learned. Or organize a local dance for the kids in your community. Play some tunes and let them have fun. Anyone can dance!
Teach Your Art – There must be something you are great at artistically. Take your knowledge and share it. If you’re a great writer, teach kids how to tell their own stories. If you’re a painter, organize an after school session to teach kids your techniques. Art is something that thrives on mentorship. Mentor someone in your art.
Put on a Play or Make a YouTube Video – Here’s a chance to make your directing debut! You can put together a theatrical performance—like a backyard play for parents or a YouTube video shot on your phone—and cast the kids in your community. It’ll be a fun collaborative event that you can all work on!