In addition to our educational programming, the Society hosts several programs to assist the community. Below is a breakdown of some of the things we do, and how you can get involved.
In 2017, the Society created The Art Academy for Incarcerated Youth on Rikers Island. This program serves youth ages 18-21, with twice-weekly high-quality arts programming focused on visual storytelling. Each 2-hour session is taught by professional illustrators, led by Executive Director, Anelle Miller. One of the goals in creating this program is to provide equitable art education opportunities that enable incarcerated youth to learn how to reflect, create, express, and develop empathy for themselves and others. Due to laws regulating the privacy of incarcerated youth, we are not permitted to provide many details. This program is currently on hold due to COVID-19.
The Society has participated in many outside community outreach programs including:
- The Art of Healing Festival hosted by The Thrive Collective, an event dedicated to healing gun violence trauma through the creative arts.
- Party on Park hosted by The New Harlem East Merchants Association, which delivers programs that put advocacy into action through collaborations with businesses, residents, and neighborhood organizations across East Harlem.
- The FIT Diversity Comic Con, an annual celebration of multiculturalism and acceptance of all colors, creeds, and genders in the sequential arts.
- Summer Streets, an annual celebration of New York City’s most valuable public space—our streets.
- Society members also participate in a Pet Portrait Fundraiser, an annual outdoor drawing event where illustrators and comic artists volunteer to create pet portraits to raise donations for the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, whose mission is to transform NYC into a community where no dogs or cats of reasonable health and temperament will be killed merely because they do not have homes. At these events, we offer free interactive art projects, and give away art supplies, and books.
- In addition, the Society hosts portrait drawing sessions at area VA hospitals, and mural painting sessions at local children’s hospitals.