I am proposing an after-school program that will provide local high school students a unique environment to expand their knowledge on the world of art and design outside of their school. Urban youth will learn how to develop their voice through design and approach issues in their communities. According to NYC Annual School Report only 16 percent of high schools provide more than 6 credits in visual arts. There are about 412 schools in New York City. High School students are only required 2 credits in the arts (includes music, dance, theater, visual, and film) and most schools lack funds and resources to provide additional courses. It is imperative that this issue be addressed, because 84% of the youth in urban communities are missing out on what the world of art has to offer.
This is an issue that can easily be solved by simply having colleges and high schools that specialize in art around New York City open their doors to the youth in our local communities. This program will be the stepping-stone to helping the youth develop as artists and utilize local resources in New York City as a learning tool. Mayor Michael R Bloomberg once said that “Our students live in one of the world’s best arts cities, and they deserve nothing less than a world-class art education”, so why not help guide, educate, and mentor these students to broaden their horizons on something that they’re passionate about.
Design Foundations and Urban Development will provide the students with access to a breathe-taking college atmosphere; equip the students with tools to broaden their understanding of art and design, and guidance to develop a strong portfolio. Using facilities in Parsons to provide urban youth with a free after-school program on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30pm to 6:30pm will be enough to inspire and instruct the students. The program will provide a graphic design and portfolio development course to 30 students.
This program has the ability to expand and grow with additional courses and be implemented in to other colleges. This program will lend a hand to local communities to educate the youth and not rely on the Department of Education to solve their problems. The youth needs to be exposed to the capabilities of art and design and take advantage of their local resources. They will learn how to work as a team, build leadership skills, think critically and creatively, solve problems within their own communities, and have fun with art and design. The benefits of an after-school program are just as endless as the amazing things these students are capable of doing with the right tools and guidance. It is an opportunity to mingle with professionals and their peers from different parts of the city who share the same interest. They will also learn what it takes to apply to an art school and acquire scholarships.