Art Start connects New York City’s artists and creatively-minded professionals with marginalized children and youth to make masterpieces. In 23 years, Art Start’s nationally recognized model of arts-education has been powered over 1,100 volunteer artists in NYC.

Volunteering for Art Start is more then just community service — it’s life enhancing for all involved. Paired up with young people whose dreams far surpass their immediate circumstances, artwork is just one of the magical results. Your ideas, your time, your expertise and your willingness to make a relationship with a child or a teen, even if just for one night a week, will open up their minds to seeking opportunity and plowing towards their goals — not to mention how it will open you up as an artist and creative mind.


Art Start volunteers have many ways to contribute to our mission, but the main one is to be a Workshop Volunteer in any of our three programs, Homeless Youth OutreachYouth Offender Outreach, and Emerging Artists-in-Residence, which requires of you to:

  1. Commit to a full “session”, one night per week, with no more than TWO absences.
  2. Have a background or interest in the arts and a willingness to help lead a project based on your interests.
  3. Have experience working with groups of children or teens, either in a classroom setting, summer camp, daycare, or large family.
  4. Have a positive, open mind, and believe that anything is possible with vision and commitment.
  5. Attend a one-on-one interview, undergo a federal sex offender background check ($25 at the cost of the volunteer), and undergo a volunteer artist orientation for 2-3 hours on your designated volunteer weeknight during the week directly preceding the start date of your session (see below Schedule)


Art Start workshops take place on weeknight evenings, between the hours of 4-9pm.  Most workshops are 1.5 hours long and the starting time depends on the program.  Art Start workshops are located in Chelsea, Downtown Brooklyn, Bushwick Brooklyn, South Bronx, and Harlem. Workshops include visual arts, music, dance, photography/film, music recording, and arts & media industry professional development. Ages of youth participants range from 5-21.