NYC STUDENTS SPEAK OUT ON MAJOR COMMUNITY ISSUES THROUGH ART IN HISTORIC CITYWIDE PARKS EXHIBITION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NYC STUDENTS SPEAK OUT ON MAJOR COMMUNITY ISSUES
THROUGH ART IN HISTORIC CITYWIDE PARKS EXHIBITION
NEW YORK—LeAp’s student artists of ten public middle schools from all five boroughs will present their large-scale public artworks—school lunchroom tables that they transformed into beautiful and meaningful works of art addressing important social issues in their communities—comprising the largest student art exhibition in the history of NYC parks and the first to span the five boroughs. Students will present their works at each of the 10 park sites and discuss the issues they explored—from gangs, bullying and teen pregnancy to gay rights and environmental awareness—from June 8th through 14th. LeAp’s Public Art Exhibition will be on display through August and was created by Learning through an Expanded Arts Program (LeAp) in cooperation with NYC Parks & Recreation.
LeAp’s fifth-annual citywide student exhibition, entitled “A View From The Lunchroom: Students Bringing Issues To The Table,” empowers young people to have a voice in their communities and to speak out on issues of relevance to them (such as gangs, violence, homelessness, drug abuse, healthcare, and cultural diversity, among others) and become catalysts for social change through their art.
The student artists/activists will present their artworks that address important community issues at their local parks on the following dates:
STATEN ISLAND – Friday, June 8
10:00am – 25R at Silver Lake Park (behind dog run – entrance on Victory Boulevard at Eddy Street)
12:00pm – 373R at Snug Harbor (near greenhouse along gravel path – entrance Richmond Terrace at Tysen Street)
BRONX – Monday, June 11
9:00am – 219X at Claremont Park (at top of park near gazebo Entrance where Teller Avenue meets Morris Avenue (off of East Mount Eden Avenue)
10:30am - Accion Academy at Crotona Park (in front of tennis house inside park along Crotona Avenue between Claremont Parkway and Crotona Park North
MANHATTAN – Tuesday, June 12
9:00am – Salk School of Science at Augustus Saint-Gaudens Playground (Second Ave at 19th Street)
11:00am – 169M at Central Park (at basketball courts by Great Lawn – entrance at 85 St)
BROOKLYN – Wednesday, June 13
10:00am - Mark Twain at Kaiser Park (Neptune Ave at 27 Street)
12:00pm - 53K at Detective Joseph Mayrose Park (Seventh Ave between 17-18 Street)
QUEENS – Thursday, June 14
10:00am – 75Q at Forest Park (Jackson Pond Playground corner of Myrtle Ave and Park Lane South)
12:00pm – 9Q at Juniper Valley Park (near flagpole at Juniper Boulevard South at 78 St)
This exhibition is part of LeAp’s Public Art Program. Beginning last February, LeAp teaching artists worked with students in 10 schools to explore community issues, study the history and practice of public art, and ultimately create beautiful works of art on the surfaces of the lunchroom tables for public display. In addition, internationally-renowned Guest Artists Christo, Mark di Suvero, Audrey Flack, Nari Ward, Mel Kendrick, Daze, Sanford Biggers, George Boorujy, Mary Mattingly and Emma Amos, met with students to discuss their work and the power and impact of public art.
Prior to the installation of the art tables in the 10 parks (two per borough), the students presented their artworks and spoke about the important issues they addressed at an opening event at Union Square Park on May 22nd. Many top city officials and artists were there to pay tribute to them, including NYC School Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott.
“LeAp’s Public Art Program gives our students a citywide platform to showcase their artistic talents and generate awareness for important issues facing their communities,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. “We are thrilled to have LeAp as a partner in our efforts to enhance arts education in the schools.”
“Once again New York City’s schoolchildren will become the city’s youngest public artists this summer, thanks to the efforts of LeAp,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “There is no better place to kick off this annual, socially-minded exhibit than in Union Square Park, where New Yorkers have been broadcasting their ideas for over a century. The students’ thought-provoking artwork is sure to enliven the City’s parks and raise awareness on the issues that are most important to them.”
LeAp’s Public Art Program was made possible by the generous support of NYC Parks & Recreation, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Fridolin Charitable Trust, HSBC Bank USA, NA, Hot Topic Foundation, Jack and Jill of America Foundation, Kinder Morgan Foundation, Richmond County Savings Foundation, Astoria Federal Savings, Lewis-Feigenbaum Charitable Trust, Auer’s Moving & Rigging Co., Inc., The Compleat Sculptor, Environmental Technology Inc., Mariano Brothers Specialty Moving, Whole Foods Market, Zabar’s, KADKO and CAMBRO. A very special thanks to NYC Department of Education and its Department of Facilities.
Learning through an Expanded Arts Program (LeAp) is a nonprofit, arts education organization committed to improving the quality of public education through a unique, hands-on, arts-based approach to teaching the core curriculum. Since 1977, LeAp has provided more than two million New York City students in kindergarten through 12th grade with music, dance, theater, digital media, and visual arts programs that directly teach the academic curriculum. LeAp offers in-school residencies, afterschool activities, teacher trainings, parent workshops, and assembly programs to schools citywide, conducts programs in hospitals, shelters, and cultural institutions and develops educational materials. LeAp is an innovative leader in the field of arts education, and has received major awards, grants, and endorsements from the United States Department of Education, New York City Department of Education, Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), The After School Corporation (TASC), and the offices of the mayor and governor.