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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture

Mission: Statement Arts is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing the creative visual & performing arts to underserved and/or low-income individuals. We channel creativity to educate, to enhance intellectual performance, to empower and guide, and to build self-esteem. Statement Arts is committed to giving our students an intercultural and interdisciplinary arts experience to which they do not have access. Statement Arts believes in the power of art to inspire social, cultural, and environmental education to further a legacy of responsible global citizenship.

Results: We have a 100% success rate in college admissions and matriculation for all graduating high school seniors in the Expanding Horizons College Preparatory Program.

Target demographics: We work with marginalized young people who lack access to performing arts education.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2016, we reached 79 students through our programs. This does not include our ever-growing network of alumni who continue to turn to Statement Arts for support.

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: Currently, Statement Arts runs two annual projects: Empower Youth Through Performance and the Expanding Horizons College Preparatory Program. Empower Youth offers summer programming for youth grades 3­-11. Trained teaching artists lead classes in acting, singing, and dance, designed to foster creativity and build conflict resolution skills. Students work together to create a script that they enact in their final show, covering topics from bullying to addiction. Expanding Horizons started as a summer program, but has expanded to provide year­-round support to rising high school seniors. Expanding Horizons begins with a three­-week summer intensive. Students receive instruction in acting, singing, dance, and writing, culminating in two performances. Expanding Horizons follows students through their senior year, ensuring they have the resources needed to get into college, such as SAT prep classes and mentoring.

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

It's inspiring to see what the young people that Statement Arts works with are capable of - and to see them recognizing their own potentials through the program and with the incredible support of the staff.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have only attended one program, but I was so impressed with the dedicated staff and students! The talent is remarkable and the interactions of everyone was so supportive and loving! Fantastic program!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first learned about Statement Arts in 2013. I was looking for an internship during the summer between my two years of graduate school in social work, and saw a posting from Statement Arts in a Columbia e-blast. They were looking for a social work intern to come in and teach writing to a group of marginalized young people who were interested in the performing arts. While this might be an unusual environment for some social workers, I couldn't have imagined a more perfect fit. Having majored in Psychology and English in college, and being a singer myself, I knew that I wanted to work with Statement Arts instantly. They brought together everything I loved and believed in. That summer changed my life, and I have stayed close with those students and the organization ever since.

Now, three years later, I am the Interim Executive Director of Statement Arts. I have stayed connected to this organization because I believe in the community it creates for and the hope it instills in the young people it serves. We use the arts as a means to communicate, express, work things out, and grow. I am so humbled and honored to work with some of the most spectacular, talented, brilliant, and vibrant young people I have ever known.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Joyce Mathisen, I recently moved to the New York City area and decided to volunteer for an organization that is passionate about helping children. I spent hours looking through the New York Volunteers website and kept coming back to Statement Arts and the Expanding Horizons College Prep Program. Statement Arts is a perfect fit because it works with students in the area of theater arts and college prep, two things I have experience with from raising my own daughters. I finally decided to contact the organization. The founder Liza Politi and I met so I could learn a little more about the organization, and we ended up talking for over two hours. I immediately knew I wanted to work for the organization.
My official title is donation coordinator but like everyone else in the organization I wear many hats. Over the summer I worked with alumni that came back to intern at the summer program. These students both alumni and current are amazing. They are bright, talented, and passionate individuals. We solicited donations from vendors, ran the first Statement Arts Barnes & Noble Book Fair, research scholarships and grant opportunities, and gave a College Readiness Seminar to the current high school students. Probably more important than all of those things was I listened to them. One young man would tell me everyday he just wanted to make money. I would explained to him that with a college degree he would have more opportunities to move up the ladder at work. He enrolled in classes again for this semester. Another young lady wanted to go to a four year college but is starting in a community college. We talked about her transferring and getting the most out of her community college experience. She went to the guidance office and changed her major from undeclared to music and we are working together on her future college plans.
I am reminded of the old proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” and for these students Statement Arts is that village. It is more than a summer program for them it’s a community where they can shine and believe in themselves and their dreams. I feel both humbled and honored to work with them.
New York is in desperate need of organizations like Statement Arts. We recently hosted a fundraiser, our first golf outing. At the dinner I was talking to one of the participants and he told me his son teaches at an inner city school. He explained to me that many of these children have nothing to do over the summer which can lead to trouble. It made me extremely proud to be a part of Statement Arts and the Expanding Horizon College Prep Program. Please help us to continue to grow and to work with these students.
Liza always says there is more than one way to be a parent and once you’re a Statement Arts kid you are always a Statement Arts kid. I think I want to change that to once you are Statement Arts family you are always Statement Arts family. We are asking you to support us and be a part of our family. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Joyce Mathisen

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had a great time working with Statement Arts and their group of kids. As Producer of Room 28 Comedy we have worked with them for our live sketch shows. They are a bright and full of energy We couldn't have had a smoother experience. Thank you so much to the organization and kids for being amazing.

1 Patrick67

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Statement Arts is one of those organizations that excels in empowerment. The individuals who volunteer their time care about the children and young adults they work with. We supply social services support, mentoring, and college prep programs in addition to our arts education classes.

Statement Arts has changed my life and I'm happy to share that with everyone that joins us.

1 Sheila F.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I learned about the work of Statement Arts by happenstance some months ago. On first impression, I was simply awe-struck by the work they are doing with under-served youth and I was inspired to get involved. After reaching out to one of the founders, it became clear to me that this is a labor of love by a group of very talented and dedicated artists and professionals. Having met some of the young adults and seen how Statement Arts' programs have impacted and shaped them, I am even more impressed by the important work of this organization. I recently joined the Board and look forward to helping the organization expand its footprint so that more youth can benefit from their work.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with various Statement Arts projects over the past several years. As a professional photographer, I have been involved with documenting projects.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

have donated to statement arts and seen first hand the wonderful work they do with kids and the Arts. It's truely amazing how they can reach kids and the results are spectacular.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a founder of Statement Arts and have developed the project "Urban Arts" for the past four years. The dedication shown by the board members, volunteers, and project leaders far surpasses any non-profit I've worked with. The students that partner with "Urban Arts" achieve great success in performances, preparing for college, working with community, and traveling for competitions. The Statement Arts volunteers develop meaningful work that changes students' lives.