Neighborhood Arts, a non-profit organization delivering after-school arts enrichment to underprivileged schoolchildren, connects artist volunteers with schools and programs looking to expose their students to artistic pursuits. At East Palo Alto Charter School, kids from second- to sixth-grade are experiencing a creativity craze as they explore elements of design, rhythm and song, the latest hip-hop moves and a wide range of theatrical techniques.
The goal is to engage young students in activities that will add meaning to their lives and give them new outlets for self-expression. Ultimately, they will take their new skills to other segments of the population–seniors and young schoolchildren–to entertain, engage, and influence others in positive ways.
Founded in memory of Guy and Jill Bigwood, patrons of the arts and social activists, Neighborhood Arts’ primary mission is to incorporate cutting-edge findings in sociology and education to help bridge diverse communities of young people through arts enrichment. We draw on volunteers from local high schools and colleges, as well as from the broader community, enriching the learning/creating experience on both sides of the pedagogical give and take.