“The Urban Arts Festival Is A Showstopper!”

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2nd and 3rd graders from PS48 in Queens had some fun in the Urban Arts Festival photo booth after performing their mime piece for the crowd!

Overheard in the audience:
“The Urban Arts Festival is a showstopper!  I want all my friends to understand the impact on these kids’ lives.”
Last night, 200 Urban Arts Partnership board members, supporters, teaching artists, teachers, and friends packed the mainstage at the 92YTribeca for the annual UrbanArts Festival Evening Friendraiser. They were there to celebrate the close of another school year and the incredible academic and artistic progress of our students.

Performers from the Academy lit up the stage with thundering poetry; joyful dance; inspired original music; and a film with the power to affect momentous change in our communities.

Artistic Board member and journalist Sway Calloway spoke from the heart aboutUrban Arts students’ ability to write poetry:  “It gives me hope about the future of this generation and the quality of hip hop”. Hip-Hop artists Dres and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels both spoke to the personal connections they’ve made with our young artists and how impressed they are with the growth and development of their work.

But it was our 2013 Nagler Scholar Sarwat Siddiqui who best expressed the impact that Urban Arts programs can have on students who take advantage of every opportunity:

“I joined the Urban Arts Playwriting program three years ago. I was initially hesitant, as it meant I would have to face a two hour-bus, ferry, train-commute from Staten Island to the office throughout the year, while also balancing my challenging AP and honor classes coursework. However, it didn’t take me long to realize the opportunity was totally worth it. I needed an outlet to express myself and cope with my challenging home environment and low self esteem. I entered UAP as a quiet, shy and insecure tenth grader reluctant to share my work. But over years of kind and positive feedback and support from my teachers, mentors and peers atUrban Arts, I gained confidence in both my writing and in myself. I began to actually voice my opinion, both in and outside Urban Arts, and let go of my insecurities.  I am excited about going to Fordham to study to be a neurologist/playwright/activist.”

Before we welcomed our guests to the Friendraiser, over 500 students from across the city took part in showcases that included elementary, middle, AND high school programs! Each performance and film was the culmination of months of hard work and the collaboration of students, teachers, teaching artists, administrators, and of course, the supporters who make it all possible!

Thank you to all who attended the 2013 Urban Arts Festival Please DONATE toUrban Arts Partnership today and inspire the next group of young artists!