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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Statement Arts Inc

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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 StART Dreaming College Preparatory Program.

Target demographics: We work with NYC youth who lack access to performing arts education.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2018, we reached over 175 young people from all across New York City. We also created two new programs, StART Access and StART Works, to meet the growing need for meaningful arts education outside of the public school system. Through these new programs, we provide work opportunities for alumni and offer year-round opportunities to a growing network of NYC youth.

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: Currently, Statement Arts runs two annual projects: StART Young and the StART Dreaming College Prep Program. StART Young 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. StART Dreaming started as a summer program, but has expanded to provide year­-round support to rising high school seniors. StART Dreaming begins with a three­-week summer intensive. Students receive instruction in acting, singing, dance, and writing, culminating in two performances. StART Dreaming 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

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

This program supports the development of performing arts for under served NYC school children. I have supported this wonderful organization for several years. The quality of the Statement Arts team and its dedication to the students they serve is exemplary. I have attended several of the program's annual student performances and have always been struck not only by the passion and talent of the of the students but the quality of the program's instructors and its student performances. Its SAT support program provides its student performers with the tools they need to properly prepare for the admission tests and has resulted in a college acceptance rate of 100%.

Valerie J.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Statement Arts is a fantastic organization!! I have been donating for several years because they have such a great impact on young lives. They help to develop talent, which clearly improves self esteem. It is so rewarding for me to see the support the kids get to apply for and be accepted to college. Thanks for all you do!!!

Leandra T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Statement Arts is an amazing I would recommend to any young artist. It is a place that welcomes everyone with open arms. My experience at statement arts was amazing I grew as a person and I grew within my craft which is directing. Statement arts helped me get into my 1st choice college with the help of the mentors they provided. I had my college essay done before everyone in my grade thanks to statement arts. Statement arts also helped me with any extra fees that I couldn’t cover. Even after the program statement arts was still there for me checking up on me helping me. Statement arts is truly a family and everyone should go and be apart of this amazing community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Statement arts was for me a life changing experience. Not only did the program help me with acting, singing, and all of the college process (that was beyond helpful), but they also helped with my mindset. I was someone who got into statement arts in 2016, and it became a huge change in so many facets in my life. It is a very vulnerable and safe environment in terms of mental health, acting, and singing. You’re allowed to feel emotions and show parts of yourself that you may feel you’d be judged on, and be welcomed, and given love and support. You’re given free vocal lessons which would normally cost like $100 per lesson to help with the persons song and performance for the StArts show. Also you’re given a space to work on your acting, and make your piece make sense and flow it’s truly amazing. On top of that after the 3 weeks there are a good amount of fun activities to still do with the non-profit like speaker series that are from other artists who work in the field of the performing arts or writing etc. They help with your college process in terms of helping research colleges, and doing your financially aid with the help of Morgan Stanley, and outside financial aid experts which is so beyond helpful for a FREE non-profit. On top of all of that I’ve made some life long friends, and a community of a ton of amazing and kind individuals

Victoria L.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Statement arts is an amazing non profit that helps young kids get a step into the right direction and get the support that sometimes isn’t provided at school or at home! It is a program that mentors, supports, and inspires kids to pursue their dreams in theatre but also whatever they put their mind to.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an alum of the college prep program, I can attest to the amazing works of StART. It is really hard to describe what exactly makes the organization different from others-- but in my experience I have never met individuals who are more consistent, supportive, giving, and overall kind to all who join the family. Statement Arts is a family. Once you're in, you're in for life. The doors are always open and ready for people to join, and those who have left to come back.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Statement Arts is an amazing nonprofit bringing arts education programs to kids from underserved communities across NYC. The organization was founded in the early 2000s by two of my high school teachers and has helped enrich the lives of countless of students (like me!) through exposure to music, theater, and visual arts. I now have the honor of being on the Board and doing my part to ensure the organization and the kids served through our programs continue to thrive.

Aidan Wynn D.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working with Statement Arts for the past 5 years. A friend of mine suggested I get involved as music director and made the connection for me - I have loved every minute spent with them. They are an incredible organization committed to making a difference in the lives of NYC teens by inspiring them to create, perform, and dream big while equipping them with the planning skills to actuate their dreams. Every student who participates in a Statement Arts program leaves with a greater sense of self, awareness of important world events and ideas, and is given a beautiful and diverse community of friends to help them on their life journey. I truly can’t say enough positive things about Statement Arts and have continued to come back to work with them each year because the difference I see in the students is transformative. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable, extremely talented and couldn’t be more kind. Congrats to founder Liza Politi for starting such a life-changing program. 5 stars all the way around!

EJ B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Statement Arts is the real deal. Staff bend over backward to make sure the kids get every advantage. They are inclusive of diverse students and are a one-stop-shop for information about the college application process, financial aid, and how best to pursue a career in the performing arts. Classes are well organized and structured, but still flexible enough to accommodate the needs of individual students.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Statement Arts does life-changing work with NYC youth, beginning with its immersive summer program, and for its college preparatory students, extending through the school year. The organization prides itself of its college acceptance rate, as well as its unique alumni programming and community engagement.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I got involved with Statement Arts about 2 years ago, and the experience has been absolutely fantastic. The way that this organization is able to scale its resources to help kids achieve their dreams is utterly remarkable. I am very proud to be a part of it!

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!

2

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.

2

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.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We believe Statement Arts fills a much needed void in bringing the arts into the lives of many, especially underserved children. The vibrant interactive performances of The Think Theater Project for young children, for example, fosters understanding and acceptance in a fun and educational format. Watching the reaction of the children and their parents at their live shows, is a joy. Annette & Seth Kaminsky

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We had an opportunity to attend one of Statement Arts plays produced by Think Theater. It was so much fun watching the play and watching the enthusiasm that it generated among the children. We particularly loved the interaction of the actors with the children. Richard & Carol Van Deusen

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am the project leader for The Think Theater Project. Statement Arts' support and enthusiasm was the driving force for the success of this program. The thought, compassion and detail that they put into every project is truly amazing. I am proud to now serve as a board member and continue to be inspired by the students, creative team, and directors of Statement Arts.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with Statement Arts in Provincetown this past summer. Not only was their work with kids top notch, but the intellectual dialogue they built around their work amongst a diverse array of other artists was exceptional. I still keep in touch with many of the artists and arts educators I met through my participation with Statement Arts. I expect that as their community continues to grow, the work of Statement Arts will only get stronger, push further, and have a greater impact... I can't see how it won't.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The artists at Statement Arts have gone above and beyond in working with the students at our school. Liza and her team are wonderful and have helped our students to prepare for our annual musicals each year. Their dedication and expertise have provided our students with an education that will carry them in all facets of life. We are eternally grateful to them and are fortunate to have them as invaluable contributors to our school community. They are the best!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I helped organize last year's Think Theatre Project, one of Statement Arts most recent outreach programs. It was an amazing experience, and I will be helping again this year as well. It's pretty incredible to find an organization that is so clear on it's goals to help kids. The group's enthusiasm and passion is really inspiring, and I am very proud to be a part of it.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have recently come to know Statement Arts through their 'Think Theatre' program. I am quite impressed by the dedication and professionalism of the creative team and think that they have an incredible capacity to reach and impact the lives of the children they serve. It was very exciting to watch the first season unfold and I look forward to 'Think's' continued success.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My first introduction to Statement Arts was when I went to see the high school performance of A Chorus Line. I was amazing by the talent and acting abilities of the kids which clearly was do to the dedicated mentoring by Statement Arts. I have also seen how the Think Theater project has works with younger children, through theater, to dissect topics such as tolerance, discrimination, diversity and peace building. Their performance of Peacemaker was top notch! Statement Arts is made up of incredibly talented and dedicated artist.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was one of the people who founded Statement Arts. What started out as a volunteer program at a high school in Hell's Kitchen has grown into an impressive full-fledged 501c3! I am continually moved and inspired by the people that I work with.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been working as a volunteer with Statement Arts for three years now, and I've never met a more enthusiastic and dedicated team. They manage to jump through hoops and make the impossible happen... all on a shoestring. It's amazing to see students really come out of their shells and become better, more articulate, considerate, thoughtful citizens as a result of their theater experience. I'm really looking forward to helping take the organization to the next level over the next two years. If you have a spare few dollars to donate to the arts I can assure you it will be well spent at Statement Arts.