The Expanding Horizons College Prep Program
Our year long College Prep Program starts in July. For 3 weeks, we run rigorous classes in audition techniques, master classes in acting, private voice lessons, interpretive coaching, and panel discussions with working pros. There are also writing workshops that focus on those all important college application essays. Our summer portion concludes with a final performance that is free and open to the public. This program continues throughout the school year with mentoring sessions designed to support the participants through the college application process, including college selection, the college applications themselves, SAT prep, the financial aid and FAFSA forms, finding additional scholarship money, as well as preparing them for what to expect once they head off. We currently have a 100% success rate getting our kids into higher learning institutions and most of them receive substantial scholarships.
You must audition for a place in this program.
The goal of Statement Arts is to help level the academic playing field for underserved and disenfranchised kids through the exploration of their artistic talents. We reach young people at the most critical time in their development. We encourage them to believe in themselves, and are there with the practical resources to help them to achieve their goals. Our alumni network extends the positive support, offering guidance and encouragement as our students navigate their college years.
Empower Youth Summer Arts Project
At Statement Arts, we believe that the arts are a road to empowerment. Sadly, many public school students in New York City's underserved communities have little to no access to the Arts. There is a real need to empower underserved, minority and low-income youth through arts education that goes beyond the classroom. Statement Arts is equipped to help fill this gap by providing qualified teaching artists and mentors to young kids, introducing them to music and theater.
During the month of July, in partnership with The United Palace of Cultural Arts, Statement Arts will be running two free* summer art programs for kids in grades 3-6 and 7-11. We'll be teaching introductory classes in acting, singing and dance. The Empower Youth Project culminates in a final performance that is written by the kids themselves that is free and open to the public.
The Photography Project: Luang Prabang, Laos
For the past three years, Statement Arts has traveled to Luang Prabang, Laos to teach photography to a group of young aspiring photographers and bring much needed equipment. Because of the generosity of our supporters, we were able to donate more than 75 cameras, (DSLRS as well as point and shoots) as well as tripods, flashes, light shapers, software, tablets, backpacks, lenses, cases and much more to Carol Kresge's revolutionary non-profit, @My Library.
Award-winning, Chilean photographer, Ari Espay and Liza Politi have taught camera basics, proper exposure, story-telling through images, composition and how to capture moments to about 30 participants annually. Every participant received his/her own camera at the end of each workshops. This on-going project is hugely successful and we hope to return to Laos again in 2018 . You can see the work of the young Laotian photographers here.
The Photography Project: Yangon, Myanmar
In 2016 and 2017, Ari, Liza and Statement Arts ran four workshops in Yangon. For two of these workshops, they partnered up with Yu Yu Myint Than and Myanmar Deitta, Yangon’s only gallery dedicated to the photographic arts. Social workers from the Shan States of Northern Myanmar were brought down to the capital city to participate in these classes. These young activists are dealing with civil war, drug addiction, human trafficking, land/territory issues and rights for the LGBT community. They are on the front lines, often times before the media. By putting cameras in their hands and providing them with photography skills, they will be better able to document what is happening in their rapidly changing country. There were 10 (7 males and 3 females) enrolled in this workshop. This past February (2017) we ran our fist 'women only' workshop. Eight dynamic and talented young women joined us again at the Myanmar Deitta Gallery to learn about how to make compelling images and story-telling. You can see the work of these young women here.
We have also worked with ‘Helping Hands’, the first 'socially responsible' enterprise in the city. There were 13 kids in that class (12 boys and one very brave girl!!!) and they spent the week traveling around Yangon making images and learning about the art of photography.
With the help of Scottish ex-pat, Don Wright, the final Burmese photo class participants were 11 young people who work in the country’s notorious ‘tea shops’. At the Morning Star Tea Shop, more than 65 kids live and work together. Life is quite hard for the these kids with the days starting long before the sun. Don Wright has been overseeing this project for quite some time and by bringing in much needed equipment and additional skills, he will be able to expand his current program to include more kids.
A Single Drop Of Water
A Single Drop of Water (2010) was an international arts based environmental awareness and education program that used photography to document the journey of water. Our goal was to raise awareness about the importance of this precious resource and its scarcity in many communities.
The project provided photographers with a platform for sharing their images and stories. A Single Drop of Water also provided inspiration to photographers with access to particularly underprivileged areas, where clean water is scarce. More than 2,000 people in 53 countries participated in this endeavor and submitted images that pertained to A Single Drop of Water, Water in Our Daily Lives, Water Scapes and Clean Water Initiatives. There was also a People's Choice category as well as a Youth/Under 25.
Finalists won cash prizes totaling $5000 and the winners of our People's Choice and Youth/Under 25 categories were awarded new cameras.
Urban Arts (2003-2010) was a volunteer project that filled the immediate needs of the music program at the High School of Environmental Studies (HSES), an underserved public school in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen. Our priorities included:
Bringing in professional New York City choreographers, actors, directors, casting agents, pianists, costumers and photographers to work with the students as teaching artists. We ran a variety of workshops, photo sessions, master classes, and rehearsals; all of which were coordinated through Statement Arts. Thanks to these generous teaching artists, HSES was able to put up six full scale musical productions, including A Chorus Line, Bye Bye Birdie, Little Shop of Horrors, Pippin, The Wiz, and Annie.
We also provided our students with the opportunity to perform for broader audiences. Statement Arts raised money, enabling several performing groups to compete in national music festivals.
Impact On The GULF
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Statement Arts joined THE CULTURE PROJECT's IMPACT Festival* by working with a dedicated and knowledgeable alliance of arts organizations to create IMPACT on the GULF.
IMPACT on the GULF showcased dynamic artistic endeavors that testified to the despair and hope that co-existed in the region affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Exhibits included theatrical performances, panel discussions, film screenings, jazz nights, readings and fundraisers.
*IMPACT was a human rights festival organized by the Culture Project, and hosted on 42nd Street by chashama, from September 28th through October 7th, 2006.
The World Art Project
Statement Arts took 16 professional performers from New York City by bus to the Hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast to perform in the most neglected and forgotten areas. We called the project, World Art and invited local choirs, musicians and singers to join us for a week while we brought music, holiday spirit, toys, and supplies to those desperately in need. Partnering with grassroots aid group our shows took us all over the Gulf Coast including Slidell, Louisiana, and to the ruins of Mississippi towns- Waveland, Kiln and Bay Saint Louis which were demolished by the eye of Katrina. We sang in tents, feeding stations, churches, libraries and a FEMA distribution center. The tour concluded with a memorable concert in New Orleans' French Quarter.