WPIX New York Highlights Thrive Collective’s Murals, RHYME Program

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Thrive Collective was recently featured on WPIX during its 6 p.m. evening newscast.

On Feb. 17,  at P.S. 155 and the Renaissance School of the Arts (RSA) in East Harlem, WPIX reporter Michelle Ross interviewed Jeremy Del Rio, founder and executive director of Thrive Collective, and sixth-grader Justin Guanilo, a student in the organization’s R.H.Y.M.E. program.

The report focused on Thrive Collective’s achievement of a significant milestone—the completion of its 300th mural—and its mission to eradicate artless education in NYC public schools. Thrive was founded nine years ago in response to a 2014 report by the New York City Comptroller that detailed how 419 schools in New York City, or nearly 30 percent of them, did not have a full-time certified art teacher.

“Kids overwhelmingly in low-income communities of color lacked any sort of arts education, and for us, that was the impetus,” Del Rio said on the broadcast.

“The same communities that birthed hip-hop 50 years ago are overwhelmingly the ones that are under-resourced in arts education, not because they aren’t overflowing with creatives and talent but because institutionally, there’s been a fracture and a divide.”

During the COVID-19 quarantine, PS 155 won Thrive Collective’s #KindnessBeatsTheVirus Free Mural Contest. More murals followed and PS 155 and RSA are also part of Thrive’s R.H.Y.M.E. (Rhymes Help Young Minds Excel) program.

A RHYME music video and quotes from Guanilo were also featured on WPIX.

“My favorite part of the program is that I’m able to write my feelings into the rap,” Guanilo said. “It builds character and allows kids to be creative.”

Watch WPIX Report Here

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