On Saturday, we hosted a small holiday dance party for New Urban Arts alumni. Maybe you, or someone you know, attended. Looking around the room, we saw a diverse group of young people, dancing and catching up with friends. Some were home from college; some were enjoying a vacation from work.
At some point, it occurred to us: this is how our city’s future should look. Please donate to New Urban Arts to build toward that future.
We live in a truly multiracial city, with no one group in the majority, but diversity in our cultural institutions hasn’t kept pace with demographic shifts. We need to change this reality by opening avenues of cultural participation to youth of color. Sadly, with arts education at an all-time low nationally and locally, these opportunities are rarer than ever in our public schools.
The decline in arts education has driven more students than ever to New Urban Arts. We are now Providence’s largest high school afterschool arts provider. As you’d imagine, costs have risen with attendance, but we’re committed: we’re not turning anyone away, and we’re staying true to our vision. We need your support to take on the challenge of expanding cultural access for our city’s youth.
Consider this recollection from a New Urban Arts alumnus, currently attending the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt):
“Before I started coming to New Urban Arts three years ago, I was very shy, quiet, and didn’t have many friends…. My life was pretty much boring. I had never even ridden public transportation before.NUA gave me the opportunity to see Providence. When I made friendships with mentors, it kind of gave me a VIP pass to many activities they were doing outside of New Urban Arts. Like helping out with a project at the RISD Museum. Or going to the Athenaeum…. These are places I had never been to before. Working with these mentors has really opened my eyes to see the artistic side of Providence.”
You can help us make the same impact for the record number of youth we’re serving today. We truly believe that, for the city to thrive, its culture needs to reflect the youth who are its future. New Urban Arts is the place to make this happen; please give today.
Daniel Schleifer, Executive Director
Paul Tavarez, Board Member and Youth Program Alumnus