At Free Arts NYC our philosophy is: “There are no mistakes in art!” Our programs aren’t about creating a masterpiece or becoming the world’s best artist. They’re about kids and families enjoying the process of expressing themselves creatively as they build resilience.

Combining the impact of art with mentoring, each program provides participants with:

  • Opportunities to exercise their creativity and develop visual literacy through making and discussing art
  • The support and encouragement of caring program facilitators and volunteer mentors.

 Youth and families enroll in programs via one of our community partners including:

  • Schools
  • Social Service Agencies
  • Supportive Housing Facilities
  • Shelters


Our programs combine art and mentoring because research shows:

  • Mentored youth are significantly less likely to engage in risky behaviors
  • Low-income youth involved in the arts are more likely to attend college, obtain employment, and give back to their communities.

In our programs, youth and parents develop their communication and problem-solving skills through art-making. The relationships they build with program facilitators and volunteer mentors create a supportive community that fosters confidence and self-esteem.