Free Arts NYC provides under-served children and families with a unique combination of educational arts and mentoring programs that help them to foster the self-confidence and resiliency needed to realize their fullest potential.
Free Arts volunteers are community members, students, professionals, retirees, artists, educators and activists from diverse backgrounds. Our volunteers help us reach over 2,000 underserved kids each year through Saturday arts festivals and weekly arts-based mentoring groups for youth ages 6-12, and an 8-week collaborative art experience for families. Programs take place in shelters, group homes, public and charter schools and other agencies throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. We have a variety of ways for volunteers to get involved, from single day commitments to regular, weekly mentoring opportunities.
I have been volunteering for Free Arts NYC for years but in the last four years, I've been a mentor in the Creative Lab program for teens. The teens are amazing and I am always beyond impressed with their creativity and ideas. The Free Arts team is organized and engaged with the teens (in this and many other programs) and the volunteers. Mentoring and meeting with my teen twice a month, introducing my art interests to her, and working with Free Arts staff and facilitators to prep them for steps they should take while in high school so they are prepared for college applications. This is the most fun, rewarding, and personally fulfilling volunteer activity I've ever done.
by Deborah A. from New York City, NY(October 26, 2009)
I've been with FreeArts for five years and as the organization says, "Art Heals." The 6 and 7 year olds I've mentored have grown and learned to express themselves through art projects and exposure to different tools and mediums. The look on a young person's face when they see that red and blue paint can make purple is priceless. And there is nothing like seeing the pride in a child's eyes when she proudly says, "Look what I made!" FreeArts is made up of caring people; they are organized and dedicated. I can't recommend this volunteer opportunity enough.