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SI makes every effort to be as inclusive and equitable with our community outreach programs and events as possible. We intentionally seek to engage historically underrepresented minorities, disadvantaged youth, LGBTQIA populations, and people with disabilities in our online and off-site activities. 

Below are a few examples of the other outreach activities that SI has engaged in over several decades. To learn more and volunteer with us, email SI Director of Programs/Partnerships Lindsay Compton.

Art Academy for Youth on Rikers Island

Upon request of the NYC Department of Correction (DOC), SI developed and implemented our first Art Academy for Youth on Rikers Island ages 18-21 in 2017. This DOC-funded program has been offered weekly to temporary detainees awaiting trials or transfers ever since, with the exception of a brief hiatus during the pandemic. The Academy curriculum focuses on visual storytelling and is taught in 2-hour sessions by leading illustrators and comic/cartoon artists. Students are given project-based assignments to complete each session like T-shirt design/production to allow new participants to feel comfortable in the creation process. They are taught to work with a variety of materials and techniques to voice their own stories through drawings and cartoons, while also increasing their problem-solving and communication skills. DOC-funded/approved supplies are purchased by SI and distributed weekly. 

Community Outreach Events

In furtherance of our more than century-old mission, SI has participated in many community outreach events offsite. Below is a sample list of those activities.   

  • Since 1992, SI has donated hundreds of children’s books to nonprofits yearly.
  • The Art of Healing Festival hosted by The Thrive Collective is an annual event dedicated to healing gun violence trauma through the creative arts.
  • Party on Park sponsored by The New Harlem East Merchants Association, which puts advocacy into action through collaborative programming with businesses, residents, and neighborhood organizations across East Harlem.
  • The FIT Diversity Comic Con, which is an annual celebration of multiculturalism and acceptance of all colors, creeds, and genders in the sequential arts.
  • Summer Streets, an annual event sponsored by the Mayor’s Office in celebration of New York City’s most valuable public spaces—our streets.
  • 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. The Alliance’s 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, SI conducts free art workshops and provides participants with free art supplies/books.

If you are interested in volunteering for future programs like these, please signup and we will contact you for the next opportunity.

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