Art Start Team
In this episode, we interview the Art Start team. Art Start, a non-profit organization based in NYC. Art Start hosts various workshops empowering our youth through art.
Art Start uses the creative process to nurture the voices, hearts, and minds of historically marginalized youth, offering a space for them to imagine, believe, and represent their creative vision for their lives and communities.
Art Start has been Trust The Grind’s give back cause and we really resonate with the mission they are on. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to create. Really enjoyed talking to Mariama Noguera-Devers, Cathia Ochoa, and Jessiye Davis.
Learn more about Art Start
More about Art Start. OUR MISSION Art Start uses the creative process to nurture the voices, hearts, and minds of historically marginalized youth, offering a space for them to imagine, believe, and represent their creative vision for their lives and communities. Through consistent workshops with long-term partners, including youth organizations, schools, alternative sentencing programs, and residences for youth and families experiencing homelessness, art becomes the starting point of a larger life process, and the start of larger conversations about the future of our communities. “Art Start’s approach makes the most effective use of the resources available - whether dollars or people power.” - President Bill Clinton OUR MODEL Art Start uses a student-centered approach to education. Workshops guide youth in identifying their confidence to appreciate who they already are and what they innately have to offer the world; then, to think critically, ask important questions, and build on opportunities in their way. Most youth express a deep yearning to contribute to positive change in their world. We center our collective work upon the phrase “Imagine, believe, create, become,” as a mantra to frame a time of instability and transition as a time for personal growth and development. We use the creative process to provide vital opportunities for youth to heal, thrive, and grow through the adverse conditions of their present circumstances, and guide them toward developing life skills beyond the arts. For nearly 30 years and with the help of 12,000 volunteers and teaching artists, we have served more than 25,000 youth, and become an award-winning, nationally recognized model for transforming young lives. OUR VALUES Art Start seeks to deepen our commitment to our mission—personal development through the creative process—by aligning our approach, philosophy, and discourse with the principles of Anti-Oppression (anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia, anti-ableism, anti-ageism, and more). Our organization values are a reflection of this commitment. ACCOUNTABILITY Art Start is committed to consistency, transparency, and open communication as a means of being accountable to the work and the greater Art Start community. We hold ourselves to embodying our organizational values when working with each other as well as with all members of our community. We value consistency as the foundation of trust. CREATIVITY We believe that each individual has an autonomous and creative spirit which is inherently healing and liberating. Liberation is to re-imagine who one is and who one will become beyond present circumstances. We reject the banking theory of education. The creative process equalizes us as a community inside the Art Start space. We believe that art and creation is the starting point of a larger process of personal development. We also believe art is a starting point for larger, important public exchanges about societal inequities in our society. We believe in the power and importance of the creative process over the need for a final product. CULTURE AND COMMUNITY Art Start’s community prioritizes the intentional representation and leadership of youth, family and alumni participation and intentional integration in a wholistic organization. Art Start believes that through stable, long-term partnerships with non-arts social service agencies, we are a part of nurturing the whole person. We see the value in being a part of a network. As such, we invest energy into the relationships with our partners, seek to collaborate with partner staff, and include them in opportunities for training and development. We hold our partners accountable by addressing problems that harm the program, our staff, or the partnership. When partnering with agencies who are not aligned with our values, we take meaningful steps to bring forth alignment, and/or make decisions about the partnership accordingly. Art Start believes that staff/mentor participants and non-staff/mentor participants connect through the creative process to create Art Start projects and programs. We do not see Art Start staff as those with skills and tools to give students who don’t have those skills. The creative process equalizes us a community inside the Art Start space. GROWTH Growth is continuous and ever-evolving. We value the wisdom of each person’s lived experiences while utilizing the resources at hand. ANTI-OPPRESSION Art Start is committed to Anti-Oppression in it’s internal operations as well as its programs with partnering agencies. We are committed to the process of Anti-Oppression alignment in its many stages and the ongoing examination of oppression in all of it’s forms within our organization and programs. When oppression is identified, in others or in ourselves, we will take formal steps to interrupt it, be accountable, and prevent it in the future. IMPACT Art Start believes in sustainable development and rejects the model of charity. We are committed to maintaining a space and platform for participants expressing their whole selves, and accessing pathways to create desired change. Through our relationships with the greater community we commit to educating the public on the socio-economic injustices impacting participants. INHERENT WISDOM / SELF KNOWLEDGE In the creative process, important choices and representations of the creator are made that Art Start doesn’t censor or direct in particular ways. We nurture the process with support, space, access to a variety of materials, and open-ended questions that direct the participant back to their own innate skills and ideas. WELL-BEING/ NURTURING SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENTS We are dedicated to nurturing supportive environments that are grounded in understanding and empathy and creating a balance between exploration and structure, fun and safety. Art Start values work-life balance, including a family-positive work environment that allows for care-providers to incorporate consideration for their family commitments into their work agreements. Over the past thirty years, Art Start has become an award-winning, nationally recognized model for using the creative arts to transform lives. 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