Visions of Inspiration was a hot little event we got down with last week in celebration of Black History Month, working with Smirnoff & Pepsi to organize a party and a silent auction to benefit Art Start @ the Apple Store in Soho. MTV's Sway and Buttahman hosted, Beverly Bond spun, and all sorts of fam - Purple City to S2A and more - rolled through to give their support. After the jump, check pics and more info about Art Start.
Photos by Ricky Castriota & Chris Atlas
Art Start is an award-winning, nationally recognized model for using the arts to save lives. Founded in the spring of 1991 by a handful of artists who got together to make art with homeless kids in New York City, the program now presents weekly workshops to help children develop self-expression and raise self-esteem through the process of making art. The workshops, which are held at two to four shelters at any one time, promote collaboration, learning and discovery. A teacher-training component helps visiting volunteer artists design their workshops to be engaging and supportive in the chaotic and transient shelter environment.
Some of the teens of Art Start are struggling in "last chance" high schools, living on the street or have recently been released from prison. The Art Start studio workshops, launched in 1994, taps into their familiarity with popular culture to engage their interest and make education relevant to their lives. Hip-hop music is a second language to the kids, its rich poetry and rhetorical power inspiring their creativity and passion. The complex, interdisciplinary labor involved in creating a professional work provides an exciting challenge for the young people.