How Art Changed Me and Opened Doors – New PBS Series Will Feature Pilar Batista

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Pilar Batista, a former teaching artist with Thrive Collective, will be featured on the upcoming digital series, “How Art Changed Me.”

Streaming on the ALL ARTS network’s app, website, and social media platforms, the series explores the transformative potential of arts by highlighting personal stories.

Batista, who will be featured on the second episode of “How Art Changed Me” on March 23, noted how art has opened the door to a myriad of opportunities.

“If I didn’t have an exposure to the arts, I don’t know what my life would be like,” she said.

Pilar’s immigrant parents have always believed in the power of the arts. Being exposed to creativity at a young age inspired her to pursue architecture and work to provide better living conditions for NYC Public Housing residents.

A designer/drafter with Baseline Architecture and a graduate student at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Batista served in various roles with Thrive Collective from 2014 to 2019, including teaching artist and project manager. She volunteered with the organization in 2014 as a high school junior, then became an intern and an apprentice artist, and eventually emerged as Thrive’s youngest-ever art director.

“Pilar has always been a person of strong beliefs and convictions,” said Stephen Uhey, senior project manager for Thrive Collective. “When she first came to volunteer with Thrive, she was very soft-spoken and shy. Over the years, I saw her grow into a strong, confident leader and teacher while finding her voice.”

As she taught students basic painting skills to be used in public murals in New York City, Pilar developed a philosophy of teaching.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re not an artist,” she said in 2017. “I always want to make the students aware that everyone is creative, and everyone has the ability to create.” And—as her feature on ALL ARTS will demonstrate—everyone has the opportunity to be changed by art.


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