Applications are Now Open

Apply Before may 1st / JUNE 1st



1. StART Dreaming

StART Dreaming is a free yearlong program that immerses 15 - 20 rising high school seniors in arts education to which they do not have access, and helps them get into college. After a three-week summer arts intensive, the program tracks students through their senior year of high school, offering them ongoing cultural immersion opportunities and the support they need to get into college. This portion of the program includes a partnership with Morgan Stanley, through which each student is paired with an individual mentor who helps them submit their college applications. StART Dreaming has maintained a 100% success rate in college admissions for all of its high school graduates, and most students receive substantial scholarships.


2. StART Young

StART Young is a free summer performing arts program in Washington Heights. It consists of two two-week sessions, one for 25 students in grades 3 - 6 and one for 25 students in grades 7 - 11. Students learn how to sing, dance, and act under the guidance of trained teaching artists, and are given the opportunity to develop their own scripts around issues that matter to them. Past script topics include family incarceration, coming out, and immigration. Each session culminates in a final performance, designed entirely by the students, that is free and open to the public. When they graduate from StART Young, many students go on to participate in StART Dreaming.


What Parents Say

“My son told me he loves this program because everyone is so friendly and he shares with the other children. He says he doesn’t feel judged and is free to be himself. My son has been bullied in his school and was mocked for his creativity and his energy - making him feel less confident. This program has helped his creativity blossom, his self confidence grown and of course make friends.”



3. StART Access

In 2018, Statement Arts began to think critically about how it could reach more at-promise young people throughout New York City. In response, StART Access was born, which has already welcomed 45 new students. StART Access brings this growing group of new students together with current StART Dreaming students and alumni to create an even broader community. All StART Access programming is free and consists of an array of cultural, college preparatory, and life skills-building activities including SAT prep classes, financial literacy classes, acting and vocal master classes, and the StART Speaker Series which brings professional artists in monthly to speak to students about their careers in the arts.



4. StART Works

Statement Arts is still in touch with and continues to support the over 75 StART Dreaming graduates. Each summer, 10 - 15 alumni are hired as interns for both StART Young and StART Dreaming to learn new skills. In addition to their duties, interns inspire new cohorts and participate in the arts instruction and final performances of the StART Dreaming summer arts intensive. New StART Dreaming cohorts are intentionally kept intimate to accommodate growing numbers of returning alumni, who are increasingly interested in staying connected and giving back to the Statement Arts family.


Other Projects


The Photography Project: Luang Prabang, Laos

For the past four 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 100 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 2020 . 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 first '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.

Past Projects

Screen Shot 2019-01-19 at 10.06.38 PM.png

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

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.



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.


World Art

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.

You can read about our trip here.