Through partnerships with New York City alternative sentencing programs,  Art Start provides music, visual, and performing arts programs to youth with open court cases. During this crucial window of time, participants are able to commit to goal-oriented creative projects, express themselves, hone in on their artistic interests, and re-direct their energy toward positive goals.  Art Start  believes that by honoring these young people and their voices, we discover the key to open greater opportunities with them.

ONE MIC is intended to awaken self-realization in teens that have been mandated to alternative to incarceration programs in NYC. The program uses Hip Hop pedagogy, an instructional method that utilizes hip hop culture to provide a bridge to concepts that promote critical understanding, via the Bruce Willis/Art Start Recording Studio. Through year-round, student-centered workshops, participants cultivate original works while learning to think critically about their roles in the world around them. Media production techniques, event coordination, social networking and leadership development are among the strengths they attain.

In 2016, Art Start’s Youth Offender Outreach Program operates inside of two alternative-to-incarceration programs, and three youth detention facilities in NYC.

“This project- I promise you- it works. The young men and women of Art Start have really touched my heart…”


  • Center for Community Alternatives
  • Passages Academy


  • Sheltering Arms
  • STRIVE International
  • The DOME Project
  • Union Settlement