How can I share my gifts with others? This was the question that 40 motivated high school students from around New York City explored together during Sing for Hopes free, week-long Youth Arts Intensive, offered from August 4th through 8th at our new Soho satellite campus, GLASGOW CALEDONIAN UNIVERSITY NEW YORK. Participating teens were able to express themselves in a diverse array of art forms — from acting to songwriting, choreography to visual art — all under the mentorship of 28 consummate professionals from the Sing for Hope Volunteer Artist Roster.
The week of interactive workshops, led by Director of Youth Arts Stephanie Martinez, was immersive, joyful, challenging, and for some, life-changing. ,By participating in this program, I gained much more confidence in myself and made new friends too, declared Maricarmen, sixteen and from the Bronx. ,In my school, we dont have a lot of arts programs. So learning more about singing, songwriting, and acting was an awesome new opportunity for me. The lessons I will take from this Intensive are to not be afraid of who I am, never give up, and always try my best.
Volunteer Artist Laura Ricciardi leads a visual art workshop at Sing for Hope’s Summer Youth Arts Intensive. (Photo Credit: Shawn Hoke)
A closing celebration for friends and family showcased a hilarious improv scene, a spirited dance number choreographed partly by students, and a 6-part a cappella song. The young performers also had the chance to share some of the personal insights they wrote about during each dayas journaling exercise: some reflected on their increased self-esteem; others made a commitment to pursue their passions as they enter adulthood.
Monique McDonald, longtime Volunteer Artist, coaches a young participant. (Photo Credit: Shawn Hoke)
Sing for Hope administered a survey at the completion of the program and found that:
- 100% of participants believed they grew as an artist during the Intensive
- 96.55% felt more confident after the week of workshops
- 96.55% had tried something new during the program
- 96.55% believed they gained skills that they can apply in everyday life
- 93.1% felt inspired to continue exploring the arts
We sincerely thank our Volunteer Artists — RANDALL BENICHAK, ALYSON CAMBRIDGE, CHERUB IMPROV, Jamie Ehrenfeld, Michael Gilbert, Roderick Lapid, MONIQUE MCDONALD, LLOYD MILLER, DJORDJE NESIC, the NYU MIXTAPES, ABBY POWELL, Laura Ricciardi, Valerie Salgado, and BLAKE WHYTE — for donating their time and talents to create this transformative experience.
(All photos by Shawn Hoke.)
Sing for Hope’s mission is to transform and uplift individuals and communities by mobilizing artists in volunteer service programs, bringing the power of the arts to those who need it most. Click HERE to learn more about Sing for Hope’s other youth programs. For more information about participating in an upcoming Arts Intensive, contact Director of Youth Arts Stephanie Martinez at s.martinez[at]singforhope.org.