As a kid I always enjoyed art. As an adult I don’t draw or color as much, but I do still enjoy looking at art. Art is social – people stand around it, talk about it and are moved by it. Today’s organization uses art as a catalyst for social change.
Art for Change is a 501c3 non-profit organization located in East Harlem community of New York City, New York. The organization’s mission is to provide a forum through the arts to address the social justice issues that affect the residents of the East Harlem section of New York City. They encourage the community to push for social change and do it by using art as a catalyst for disseminating information.
Art for Change was founded in March of 2000 by local resident Eliana Godoy along with a group of local artists, activists and supporters. The new organization would focus on the use art to raise awareness about social and political issues, offer a platform to address and discuss these issues, and encourage civic engagement. They are dedicated to building a better community through the arts.
Art for Change currently has several main programs including Hacia Afuera (an annual, two-day multidisciplinary public arts festival that presents over 60 artists in the streets and public spaces of East Harlem) and “Art Belongs to Everyone”(a multidisciplinary visual and performance program that presents exhibits that incorporate interactive workshops, film screenings, dialogues and lectures).
Art for Change also recently launched an immigration campaign with the goals of shifting the current mainstream discussion away from criminalization and giving a voice to children and young people who are often marginalized from the debate. “It’s Also a Children’s Story” is a component of this campaign. This project strives to create a platform for artistic interventions to take place in particular to give a voice to children’s struggles and aspirations. According to Harry Jean-Pierre, co-executive director of Art for Change, “Art for Change believes that supporting, equipping and mobilizing artists can help create a local and national solidarity movement that can effectively counter the current escalation of anti-immigrant hate and violence.”
As with most organizations we profile on The Blogunteer, Art for Change is a program that depends on help from volunteers. Here are just a few opportunities:
- Art for Change has four main committees that oversee their activities. Volunteers are welcome to serve on the programs, finance, operations or development committees.
- Volunteers are also needed to assist with events – including setup, cleanup, craft tables, and more.
You can find a volunteer interest form here.
Donations are also accepted directly through the Art for Change website.