Every child deserves food, clothing, and shelter. At Free Arts NYC, we believe they also deserve paint, glitter, clay and the opportunity to express themselves creatively with the help of a supportive mentor.
Free Arts NYC is a volunteer-based nonprofit established to bring the healing power of the arts to children and families who face poverty, homelessness, and other risk factors. At no cost to the children, families, volunteers, or our collaborating agencies, we provide programs that are mobile, making it possible for our volunteers to bring creativity and hope directly into the communities where there is the greatest need.
Our core programs – Free Arts Days, Weekly Mentor Program, Parents and Children Together with Art (PACT) and Cultural Enrichment Opportunities – use painting, dance, drama, writing, music, sculpture, photography and other creative outlets to help children express themselves and gain confidence and self-esteem. Working with trained volunteers and professional facilitators, Free Arts programs allow young people to gain self-confidence and strengthen their relationships with their peers, parents, guardians and mentors.
Since 1998, founding Director Liz Hopfan has taken the nonprofit from a budget of $100,000 to over $1,400,000. Free Arts NYC volunteers have now served over 22,000 children and families.
Free Arts NYC volunteers and facilitators give all of the children and families we work with a high level of personal attention. Our volunteer to child ratio is often 1:1 and, at most, 1:3. We are able to reach these ratios without exorbitant expense because of our unique volunteer model.
The key to Free Arts’ success lies in the creativity of our programs, designed by an extremely capable and passionate staff, as well as the organization’s unparalleled ability to meet the needs of many different communities around the city.
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