Partner Spotlight: ProjectArt

We're excited to share our latest Partner Spotlight post featuring Lane Lytle from ProjectArt. Their goal is to build the largest art school in the United States - without owning a single building! Check out the Q&A below to see how you can get involved with this inspiring organization.

What is the mission of ProjectArt, and more specifically, in New York? 

The mission of ProjectArt is to put paintbrushes in the hands of as many children as possible. 

Inspired by both the arts education crisis (over 4 million children in the United States alone do not receive adequate access to the arts in school) and the lack of affordable studio space for emerging artists, ProjectArt provides free, afterschool art classes in public libraries to youth ages 4-17. Nationally - our goal is the build the largest art school in the United States - without owning a single building!

How did you become involved with this organization? I became involved with ProjectArt in February 2016. I was looking to transition from my previous position and came across ProjectArt and immediately connected to the mission and knew this was what I wanted to do. 

Can you talk about the work ProjectArt does and the program or programs you run? ProjectArt provides art classes in 23 libraries in New York City in all 5 boroughs, in 5 libraries in Miami and 4 in Detroit. All the classes are free to the students and held after-school - creating a safe third space in the library where the students ultimately end up spending additional hours outside of ProjectArt where they do homework, use the computers, etc. 

Our classes are taught by teaching artists who partake in our Art & Social Practice Residency Program. The Residency is a yearlong program where - in exchange for studio space in the public library, residents teach 3 ProjectArt classes per week. At the end of the program, the residents will put on an exhibition at their perspective libraries, as well as participate in a group show at a high visibility exhibition space. 

What do you spend most of your time on? My job title at ProjectArt is External Affairs Manager - which encompasses a lot of different tasks! I am responsible for corporate sponsorships, press, event productions, managing volunteer roles and working with our Junior Board. My main responsibility is to make sure we create and form meaningful partnerships as well as make sure people know about ProjectArt and all the wonderful work we are doing. 

What is the best way people in New York can get involved and help ProjectArt? Most of our volunteer opportunities are in New York presently! To get involved sign up on our website: http://projectart.org/volunteer/

What are your goals and ProjectArt's goals for the next three to five years? ProjectArt plans to continue our national expansion. In 2017, we plan to bring our programs to Los Angeles, Chicago and Pittsburgh. Our current expansion goal is to be in 11 cities by 2021. 

Apart from just external growth - ProjectArt also aims to look internally and continue to strengthen and develop the pre-existing programs and continue to think of ways that we can better become a more effective organization.

Anything additional? ProjectArt has recently been featured by Morton Salt and OK Go in the #Walkherwalk campaign and music video, One Moment! Check it out here.