Partnering with NYC Cultural Affairs

(Year 2)

Partnering with NYC Cultural Affairs, Year 2

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At Thrive Collective, we love stories that demand sequels.

After proudly introducing the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs as a new partner last year, this year we saw an expansion of that relationship. Our principal champions remain NY City Council Members Vincent Gentile, Fernando Cabrera, and Donovan Richards, along with Antonio Reynoso who joined them this year. Through DCA initiatives including the Immigrants Cultural Fund and the Art as Catalyst for Change Anti-Gun Violence program, DCA directly invested in our work at nine schools, supporting visual arts, music, and film programs in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and the Rockaways.

Art as Catalyst for Change

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

  • Provide 200 middle school students accredited, in-school Murals and Media classes for an entire semester;
  • Provide 45 students and 150 volunteers after school and weekend Murals programs;
  • Produce one mural, 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 and Music classes for an entire semester;
  • Produce one mural, one recital, and two assemblies.
Watch the Student Videos

School Media students at MS 42Q wrote, produced, directed, filmed, starred in and helped edit this collection of videos thanks to Art as Catalyst for Change.

Immigrants Cultural Fund

With support from the Immigrants Cultural Fund, Thrive Collective provided visual arts classes for twelve hundred students at seven schools in Brooklyn and the Bronx, including:

  • Fort Hamilton High School (Brooklyn)
  • High School of Telecommunications, Art, and Technology (Brooklyn)
  • Progress High School (Brooklyn)
  • High School of Enterprise, Business, and Technology (Brooklyn)
  • Legal Studies High School (Brooklyn)
  • PS 310X (Bronx)
  • IS 117X (Bronx)

Each program explored the respective immigrant cultural diversity within each campus, and produced five public art murals totaling 2,200 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 murals explored various themes related to the immigrant experience, including welcome, identity, cultural formation, and more. 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 NYC home?”
  • “How do our immigrant roots impact our cultural identity today?”

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 ribbon cutting celebration events on completion of the projects throughout the month of June.


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