Cultural Affairs Agency Invests in Art Education

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Thrive Collective proudly welcomed the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) as a partner this year thanks to the advocacy of NY City Council Members Vincent Gentile, Fernando Cabrera, and Donovan Richards. Through DCA initiatives including the Immigrants Cultural Fund, the Art as Catalyst for Change Anti-Gun Violence program, and Cultural After School Adventures (CASA), DCA directly invested in our work at five schools, supporting visual arts, music, and film programs in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and the Rockaways.

Art as Catalyst for Change & CASA

Rockaway Recap

Watch the video report from The Rockaways. Here are the highlights:

At MS 42Q, Art as Catalyst for Change and CASA funding allowed us to:

  • Provide 200 middle school students accredited, in-school Murals, Media, and Music classes for an entire semester;
  • Provide 45 students and 150 volunteers after school and weekend Murals and Media programs;
  • Produce two murals, one recital, two assemblies, and three student films.

At MS 183Q, Art as Catalyst for Change funding allowed us to:

  • Provide 180 middle school students accredited, in-school Murals, Media, and Music classes for an entire semester;
  • Produce one indoor mural, one sculptural installation, two assemblies, and two student films.


NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer admires sculptural installation at the UFT headquarters by MS 183 students depicting their idealized neighborhood.

More from UFT

Immigrants Cultural Fund

With support from the Immigrants Cultural Fund, Thrive Collective provided visual arts classes at PS 104 and PS 127 in Brooklyn and PS 236 in the Bronx that explored the respective immigrant cultural diversity in each school and collaboratively produced schoolyard murals totaling 1,600 square feet. Our multidisciplinary arts education and social development programming began in February, and empowered students, parents, volunteers, and faculty at each school to design and execute their respective murals from April – June.

The mural themes included: “Welcome to PS 236”; “I Am Brooklyn”; and “Brooklyn Gives (I Am PS/MS 104).” In each instance, the students considered their own personal experiences as immigrants or as neighbors welcoming new immigrants into the community, and responded to questions such as:

  • “How does my family welcome guests into our home?”
  • “How have immigrants made Brooklyn home?”
  • “How can we give generously to our neighbors and community?”

The programs included age-appropriate, in-school and out-of-school instruction that developed mural and life skills such as design, image transfer, color mixing, painting, communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, resilience, and leadership. Throughout the projects, school alumni and other students earned community service volunteers hours. We celebrated the student work at the “We Are Thrive Experiential Art Exhibit” sponsored and hosted by the United Federation of Teachers on June 17th; and facilitated ribbon cutting celebration events on completion of the project in early June.

Photo Galleries

I Am Brooklyn

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (PS 127)

Brooklyn Gives

Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn (PS/MS 104)

Welcome to PS 236

Mount Hope, Bronx (PS 236X)

Stay Calm Move On

The Rockaways, Queens (MS 42Q)

I Am The Rockaways

The Rockaways, Queens (MS 183Q)

Watch the Student Films

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