The Bigger Picture: Free Arts NYC
February 23rd, 2018
The Brant Foundation is proud to be mentioned in The Bigger Picture: Free Arts NYC, an article by Meredith Medelsohn in the Spring 2018 issue of Gagosian Quarterly.
Meredith Medelsohn discusses the impact of Free Arts NYC and its mission to foster creativity in children and teens, on the occasion of its twenty-year anniversary.
Free Arts NYC’s model is straightforward, relying on partnerships that Hopfan has been cultivating over the years. Free Arts NYC identifies children for the program through city agencies, shelters, and schools, then provides them with opportunities. It reaches out to philanthropic sponsors: the clothing giant Uniqlo, for instance, recently hosted a Free Arts Day—a themed, curriculum-based artmaking event for kids—in one of its New York stores, enlisting dozens of its employees as volunteers to work with the kids. The Brant Foundation has also been instrumental, hosting Free Arts Days for children bussed up from the city to its sprawling grounds in Greenwich, Connecticut, where they are hosted by artists exhibiting there. Colen worked there with kids from Free Arts NYC to make abstract paintings like his own, using crushed flowers and M&Ms. He later hosted a group of teens in his studio. For him, the experience was not just about helping kids to be creative and learn skills: “I’d hope it would inspire them to know whatever their dream is, it is worth pursuing, no matter if it seems absurd, silly, or too grand.”