Meet John

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What drew you to Art Start? 

I was always a creative, artistic kid and wanted to be able to share something I love and continue to love with the youth in Bushwick.


What is your most memorable moment as a mentor? 

Experiencing how excited the youth are when they get to be creative. They always dive right in and make amazing things.

How has your time as a mentor influenced you? How?

It has taught me to be more patient and shown me that there isn’t just one way to do something.


What do you love to do on your spare time?

I’m still an art kid at heart so I love museums, theatre, and architecture. I am a big fan of traveling anywhere I can and of course, continuing to explore NYC.

Meet Stella

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Stella is from Melbourne, Australia. She comes from a Fine Art and Creative Writing background. Stella is drawn to working with local communities and likes to explore the relationships between, and challenges of, womanhood, multiculturalism and modern identity.

What drew you to Art Start? 

I wanted to expand my experience in the management side of the Arts. The workshops were a bonus that ended up taking over my attraction to Art Start.


What is your most memorable moment as a mentor? 

Getting to know the kids and knowing that they are getting to know you in return. Teaching them how to draw something or helping them create something themselves and seeing the pride and happiness in them is an amazing feeling.

How has your time as a mentor influenced you? How?

It’s made me realize how much I enjoyed working with communities and youth. That my skill to create art is great but being able to use it and help someone else create art is even better.


What do you love to do on your spare time?

Work on my writing practice. I also love to eat, watch tv and sleep.

What else are you passionate about? 

Feeling Good :-)



Meet Leslie

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Leslie was raised in Pennsylvania and Northern New York. In 2012, she graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in illustration, and is currently working as a freelance artist and coordinator for SVA's writing department. She has been volunteering with Art Start since 2015. 

What drew you to Art Start? 

I think investing in youth and fostering creativity is really important, so when I heard about Art Start I was immediately interested in being a part of it. Plus, I really just enjoy hanging out with the kids and making art. 

What is your most memorable moment as a mentor? 

I don't have one particular moment, but getting to know certain kids over an extended period of time due to the consistency of the workshops has been the most memorable thing, for me.

What else are you passionate about?

Illustration and literature. 



Meet Sarah

 "Sometimes the best way to solve your own problems is to help someone else."

"Sometimes the best way to solve your own problems is to help someone else."

Sarah lived in Southern California before moving to the Bay Area for college. In early 2018, she moved from Oakland to Brooklyn and has been volunteering with Art Start since. In middle school she went to her first volunteering event with her dad- a food drive for the local homeless population. Ever since, it's been an important part of her life. She especially loves working with children and is grateful to have found the Art Start community!

What drew you to Art Start?

I love art and I love working with kids. I had just moved to NY from Oakland and this felt like a great organization to join.

What is your most memorable moment as a Mentor?

My favorite moments are on Family Nights! Making art projects with the kids and their parents is really fun and heartwarming

How has your time as a mentor influenced you? How?

Every session with Art Start is one of the best parts of my week. It’s really rewarding and humbling to make art with such creative and vibrant kids.

What do you love to do on your spare time?

So many things! I love to paint, draw, watch movies, eat food, explore neighborhoods and try as many new things as possible.

What else are you passionate about?

Sushi!

MEET AYANNA

 “Back in high school, I was very involved with a local family shelter & in my senior year I developed an art class for parents & children living there. I was eager to continue the work when I came to college & Art Start gave me an opportunity to serve a community that I am passionate about.”

“Back in high school, I was very involved with a local family shelter & in my senior year I developed an art class for parents & children living there. I was eager to continue the work when I came to college & Art Start gave me an opportunity to serve a community that I am passionate about.”

Ayanna was raised in St. Mary, Jamaica and Snellville, Georgia before moving to New York City in 2010 to attend The New School for Anthropology and Contemporary Music. She currently works at the NYC Department of Education, and is planning to earn her Masters in Ethnomusicology. In 2012, she began volunteering with Art Start on the Hip-Hop teen night at LIFE. Since then, she has volunteered during music and art nights at Family Shelters, along with young moms in group homes. She has a passion for music, social justice, and creating accessible spaces for learning together. www.ayannaheaven.com

What do you do as a mentor?

I currently volunteer on Tuesday nights in a visual arts workshop with young mothers. We have done so many fun projects with the moms, and I love getting creative with them every week.


What inspired you to get involved with bringing arts to underserved NYC youth?

I have always had a passion for the arts and education, so this was a perfect fit for me when I began volunteering in 2012. Back in high school, I was very involved with a local family shelter, and in my senior year I developed an art class for parents and children living there. I was eager to continue the work when I came to college, and Art Start gave me an opportunity to serve a community that I am passionate about.


How has your time as a volunteer impacted you?

My time as a volunteer has been so formative, and my friends and family all know how important Art Start is to me. I have grown close to so many of the kids who attend the sessions, and it is always extremely bittersweet when they move out of the shelter. I have really learned to appreciate the time you have together with people, as it truly is fleeting. Every week that we have with the youth is important to cherish and to value. I wish them all the best as they move with their families, and I hope that our paths will cross again in the future.

 

Share a dream with us.

I dream of a society that allows all people to live their authentic lives free of hate and injustice. I dream of a people who understand their collective power, with the courage to speak their truth. Last, I dream of a world where we elevate the voice of our youth, and respect that they know best what they need to succeed.