STARTING ARTISTS INC

Rating: 5 stars   11 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth

Location: 211 Smith Street Brooklyn NY 11201 USA

Mission: Starting Artists, Inc. (SA) benefits under-served middle and high school youth through hands-on training in the arts and entrepreneurship. SA’s free after-school classes in media arts and business prepare and inspire teenagers to create arts-based enterprises.
Results: Often the arts reach under-performing students when other disciplines cannot. Students, parents, and school administrators report several outcomes such as increased self-confidence, higher grades and test scores, further engagement in enrichment programs and community service, self-identification as an artist, and demonstrated interest in the arts and business as a career. Through SA, young people who have been traditionally underserved gain access to the cultural capital so vital to class mobility. Of the SA students who submitted work, 75% won top honors in the 2009 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the most prestigious and longest-running student art competition in the US. In addition, in 2009, all of our 8th grade students who applied to LaGuardia High School for the Arts, NYC's most well-known arts-specific high school, were admitted and in 2010, 5 out of 6 visual arts applicants gained admission to the visual arts program there.
Target demographics: The Afterschool Program welcomes students ages 12-19 years old while special events, private classes, and birthday parties are open to all ages.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 250+
Geographic areas served: NYC
Programs: Free Afterschool Program, Vacation Arts Intensives, Birthday Parties, Community Events, Classes on Demand, Street Fairs.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

If you want to establish some direction in your child's life, Starting Artists is the place to begin. Marisa and Lacey are the most talented, respectful, and loving people you could ever want to have as mentors for your children. My son is 12 and he has grown so much in all aspects since he has been attending Starting Artist. The classes they offer are so detailed and full of creativity that my child isn't done with one day before he is itching to return for more. The places they visit and the people they meet are also extremely interesting and what a great way to help your child enjoy the wonderful things this great city has to offer. Your kids have only one chance to be kids. Why not surround them with the best resources, tools, and people so that they could have a life time of memmories as well as develop interests and talents you may not even know they have. I know I don't regret sending my son to Starting Artists and I'm sure you won't either.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my son's way of looking at things in a possitive light.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I don't have to worry that my son is being treated incorrectly.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extremely kind, loving, inviting, talented, informative, I could go on and on and on and on and on and never make justice on how wonderful they are.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Wow. Knowing Marisa, the leader, I can bet they will incorporate more classes and get a bigger location to accomodate more kids. She could even get more team leaders and open up in different areas so more kids could have the great opportunity they offer

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to volunteer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

getting the word out.

One thing I'd also say is that...

if I had one wish I would wish Starting Artists was granted a wealthy sponsor so they can concentrate on educating kids worry free.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Starting Artists is unique in providing teens with with low-cost (or free for those unable to pay) programs that focus on self expression, art, techniques in various media, and careers in art. As someone with an undergraduate degree in fine arts, but no insight into using my education towards a career in the arts, all I could think of was that I wished such an opportunity had been available to me. The students' work is impressive. I especially like being able to shop on line for professional-quality photographs and hand-made crafts at such reasonable prices. I met Marisa Catalina Casey before she opened Starting Artists, and I was impressed with her passion, her conviction, and her optomism for starting such a venture when so many nonprofit organizations are struggling. In addition to showing kids how to make a career in art, she shows them an example in following her dream.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

knowing that there is an opportunity for kids who are not interested in team sports or music to have after-school programs that build community and self-esteem and that may even lead to their making careers in the visual arts.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

awesome.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach more kids and provide more scholarships.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Starting Artists is an incredible organization that offers a free after-school program in Brooklyn New York. Talking with students I found that the organization has really become an important piece of their life.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build an endowment to fund the free afterschool program.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Mari brings so much passion and dedication to the organization. I have been very impressed with the work of the students.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the creativity, every event is different.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Starting Artists is one of the most creative, enthusiastic, and inspiring communities I've ever joined. Their afterschool program, their birthday parties, vacation intensives, and specialized workshops are stimulating, professional, and immensely enjoyable. Director Marisa Catalina Casey is one of the warmest people I have met to date, and her vision and heart is seen in every project at Starting Artists. The program's influence on Brooklyn's youth has had a much-needed and positive impact in the community since its inception.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

ALL WAYS!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hope that they could receive more funding so that they could expand their program.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

connecting to my neighbors--volunteers, parents and children--through art.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

wonderful!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change thousands of lives and the lives of many generations to come.

Ways to make it better...

There is nothing about Starting Artists that I would change other than the amount of time I spend there. I wish that I could volunteer more often.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

being able to hire more staff and provide more computers for the students. With more funding, this would be a possibility.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I taught a workshop at Starting Artists and it was extremely organized, well attended, and overall very rewarding. The students there seem to be very involved and enjoy all of the projects placed in front of them. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and as a teacher just for that hour, I was so excited to be making art with them and sharing the process together

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the ability to teach a great group of kids

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get them a bigger space

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The organized way in which it is run, and the enthusiasm of all involved

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

fantastic

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

get a bigger space, more supplies, upgrade technology, hire more teachers, have field trips, travel opportunities for students

Ways to make it better...

There were even more kids there!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

their space is too small

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Great products, great energy, and you get to help students learn by buying fun, low-cost art that you actually want? It's a win-win as far as I'm concerned. I also love the way students are encouraged to learn how to market their art, and apparantly do so on their own (reasonable) terms.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

significantly reinvigorate the new york city elementary arts program.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

Starting Artists is the kind of place I wish I had when I was growing up! Coming in on-and-off over the past year, I've had the opportunity to see the evolution of the program as well as the consistency in the core values put forth by its founders. Home to a tight-knit creative community, the dialogue and thinking amongst students and volunteers is mature, honest and inspiring. This supplement to the students' daily curriculum seems to be why they keep coming back.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

It is both inspiring to see the level of thought put forth by the students and to have my own ways of thinking questioned with genuine curiosity.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Everyone their shares a passion for creativity and intelligent discourse. Creative ideas are put to the test, challenged, improved and supported.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I am running Open Source Gallery in South Slope and got interested in Starting Artists because I like to involve more Teenagers in our program. Marisa was so helpful and all my questions and requests were so welcome. I am now thanks to starting artists proud to have a very nice and very helpful intern and hopefully I can give this particular "starting artist" a jump start or at least an insight into the art world. I went to visit and love their program. I wish I was 12 again! Monika

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

were so enthusiastic and friendly, but also fun. The perfect combination to run a nonprofit for young adults!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

The most often comment I hear about Starting Artists from other adults is, "I wish I had a place like this when I was younger." That's why I founded this community-based organization for teens so that 12-19 year old students have the opportunity to be creative and entrepreneurial in a safe and open space. I learn something new each day as I mentor students and teach them the tools of self-sufficiency through the arts. My best days are those when I can tell that a student has made a positive step in his or her life because of SA's programs. Whether it is expressing him or herself through the visual and media arts or being accepted to the school of his or her choice or learning a new skill, the sense of accomplishment and pride each student feels makes all of the hard work worthwhile. The staff, students, parents, volunteers, partners, and supporters have helped to create a tight-knit, creative, and inspiring community and I feel fortunate to be a part of.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Committed, passionate individuals that give of their time, energy, and creativity.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand to serve more students at a larger location (or several locations), disseminate its model to other nonprofit organizations around the US and around the world, invest in more equipment and supplies.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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