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The Love Yourself Project aspires to engaging, empowering, and encouraging underserved youths around New York City, through art-based workshops, to reach their fullest potentials.
We are a community of artists invested in the emergence of a new future--a future filled with new leaders who support the communities which they live in; a future modeled on the belied that progress and change starts on an individual level, and when nurtured, impacts the lives of others around the world.
The Love Yourself Project, whose Lower East Side headquarters is located within the Michael Mut Gallery, was born in 2010 in a Lower Manhattan neighborhood by the name of Loisaida, a spanglish slang term meaning, Lower East Side. Formerly a Latino family community for 1st generation Americans, the neighborhood became racked by drug violence, gang violence and is now in the final stages of gentrification. As people from the neighborhood lose their homes and are forced by the economic crisis and rising rents to leave their home, individuals and the community are losing their sense of identity and self-esteem. Those communities which do not yet suffer from gentrification are feeling the pinch of a lack of access to resources on a global scale. The lack of resources and community disenfranchisement also limits opportunities for cultural expression and visual arts involvement. One example is the restriction of funding to arts programs on the elementary, middle and high school levels which can be directly correlated to falling test scores and performance in other subject areas.
On Nov 19, 2010, the Love Yourself team took to the streets and subways of New York City, distributing over 500 "Love Yourself" stickers and hand-folded origami hearts, and encouraged people to engage in a conversation about self-love.
Since that day, Love Yourself events have taken place in locations around the globe, including Paris, Luxembourg, Pakistan, West Africa and Australia. Whether by teaching children about the value of self worth or distributing peanut butter sandwiches to the homeless, the Love Yourself team continues to spread a message of love and acceptance throughout the world.
Love Yourself founder Michael Mut opened Michael Mut Gallery on Avenue C in an effort to bring culturally and socially relevant art into the community as a source of empowerment and inspiration.
With the help of others and their commitment to changing the way we think about ourselves, we challenge you to create an event in your neighborhood and schools. Please contact Michael Mut at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us online at: loveyourselfproject.org.
And don't forget....LOVE YOURSELF!
- Michael Mut
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