One day, sitting on the subway, a teenager walked on with ripped pants, a stained shirt, and holes in his shoes. This individual had so much confidence from the moment he stepped onto the subway. He started to perform and solicit money to make it through the day. Immediately, I reached into my pocket, pulled out some cash and my business card and told him keep hustling. That was the day I knew I wanted to affect change with my work and team up with Art Start.
Seeing the difference a few dollars can make in someone’s life really touched my heart and opened my eyes to the fortunate life I’ve always had, something for which I am eternally grateful. Living in New York, it is a daily occurrence in which you encounter individuals of all ages, from teens to elderly to entire families, living on the streets, their days and livelihoods solely dependent on the generosity of others. Imagine having to rely on the generosity of strangers, many of who don’t even look up from their cell phones, as these helpless individuals implore for some spare change just to get by.
These individuals have so much talent that goes unseen. Having to hope that their artistry earns them enough dollars to buy their next meal, that's the kind of HUSTLE I appreciate. Together with Art Start I hope to support and make a difference in each of their lives.
Join us on Thursday, October 19th, 2017 to celebrate GOOD VIBES ONLY with Art Start (www.art-start.org) and visual artist Elizabeth Sutton (www.elizabethsuttoncollection.com ). The fundamental purpose behind this fundraising effort is to get critical resources to an amazing organization providing support for the children affected by homelessness in New York City and we hope you’ll consider making a donation or becoming an event sponsor.
Art Start carries out its mission through three pillars of invaluable programming - Homeless Youth Outreach, Youth Offender Outreach and the Emerging Artists Program – and has garnered praise from change makers around the world, from Oprah Winfrey to Bill Clinton. Here are the facts:
- Art Start began in 1991 when a handful of artists got together with children in NYC homeless shelters to connect through art, and has grown into a moment which brings the creative process to over 23,000 youth via over 11,700 volunteer teaching artists.
- Art Start’s Homeless Youth Outreach Program, offers creative art workshops to youth ages 5 to 21 years old, five nights a week within family homeless shelters.
- Art Start youths receive an estimated 500 hours of creative art workshops during their stay in a shelter, which currently averages 451 days in NYC.
- Art Start's Emerging Artist Program provides life changing opportunities for creative NYC teenagers ages 13 to 21 who have histories of homelessness and court involvement. Upon completion of the program, participants show marked improvement in work readiness, leadership, future orientation, and life skills necessary to pursue and sustain ongoing education and employment opportunities.
- Through partnerships with New York City alternative sentencing programs and youth detention centers, Art Start’s Youth Offender Outreach Program provides performing and visual arts workshops to youth with open court cases. During this crucial window of time, participants are supported in redirecting their energy toward positive goals.
At this fall’s benefit, we are expecting a host of philanthropic and art-world notables and a number of VIPs. Cocktails and food will be served all night, with entertainment including stand up comedian Felicia Madison, a musical performance by Dan Mizrahi, DJs, and video messages from Art Start’s at-risk youth. There will be a live auction for Elizabeth Sutton’s original artwork, as well as auction packages that will conclude at the end of the event. 100% of proceeds will be donated to the development and funding of Art Start’s youth programs.
As such, we invite your support on this uplifting night in raising much needed funds and resources for Art Start and its artists, scholars and future leaders. I’ve attached a formal invitation along with Sponsor-Donor forms for your consideration. Please feel free to email me back with any questions you might have.
We hope to receive your RSVP!
Elizabeth, Natasha, and Michelle
Team #ESCxArtStart #GoodVibesOnlyESC
@elizabethsuttoncollection @artstartorg @theknowbynatasha @mstudioevents