FREE ARTS NYC empowers underserved youth through art and mentoring programs to develop their creativity, confidence, and skills to succeed.

The Need

1 in 3
NYC public schools lack an art room
only 11%
of creative professionals are from a minority background
1 in 3
young people will grow up without a mentor

Our Impact

Served 32,000 children and families and engaged 18,000 volunteers

100% of Teen Portfolio Mentees are accepted to a high school of their choice

Nearly 50% of Free Arts NYC youth are currently living in a shelter

Our Approach

PARTNER

with organizations and schools in underserved communities

ENSURE

each child and teen has the attention of a 1 on 1 mentor

CREATE ACCESS

to the arts and exposure to creative careers

EVALUATION

We strive to provide the highest quality programming, and measure our effectiveness with two evaluation systems all of which are proven to to contribute to long-term gains such as thriving, decreased risk-taking behaviors,
and increased academics.

THE TEEN ART PROGRAM MEASURES:

6 Core Social and Emotional learning capacities through pre and post surveys designed by .Algorhythm’s iLearning System

  • SELF-MANAGEMENT
  • CONTRIBUTION
  • ACADEMIC SELF-EFFICACY
  • SOCIAL SKILLS
  • POSITIVE IDENTITY
  • SOCIAL CAPITAL

“I first came to understand the crucial intersection of art-making and mentoring as a volunteer with Free Arts for Abused Children in LA. As an elementary school teacher in the late 90s, I saw opportunities for art education drying up. When I started volunteering at a residential care facility for boys, I was moved by how the children opened up while engaging with the arts and the volunteer mentors. These experiences inspired me to head back east and found Free Arts NYC.

With the support of a generous philanthropic family, I was able to launch Free Arts NYC as a one-woman organization. Nearly twenty years later, the organization has grown to a full-time staff of a dozen dedicated employees and developed a family of thousands of active volunteers. In 2017, our Teen Art Program tripled the number of participants and we’re on track to continue to grow our Free Arts Day Program to nearly 100 events this year.”

LIZ HOPFAN

Founder & Executive Director