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NeON Arts In-Person Workshops Resume in Spring 2022

Free Creative Learning Experiences Led by Local Artists and Organizations Available for Young People Across New York City From April to July

NYC Department of Probation and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute Partner to Bring Free Arts Programming to the NYC Community

(NEW YORK, NY; May 2, 2022)—Carnegie Hall, in partnership with the New York City Department of Probation (DOP), today announced that hundreds of young people from across New York City will participate in free creative workshops—including music production, fashion, spoken word, photography, filmmaking, and more—in person this spring as part of NeON Arts. Beginning in April, youth have free opportunities to learn and receive mentorship from local artists and organizations in weekly workshops that enable them to connect and collaborate. This spring marks the first time that young people have been able to participate in NeON Arts workshops in-person since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A program of the DOP in partnership with Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, NeON Arts integrates free arts programming into seven Neighborhood Opportunity Networks (NeONs)—community centers across the city—supporting young people, ages 16–24, in exploring the arts, establishing positive peer relationships, and developing important social and career skills.

NeON Arts provides funding to New York City artists and arts organizations, inviting them to produce programs in partnership with the NeONs, which connect residents to opportunities, resources, and services in their neighborhoods.

The eight artists and organizations that have been awarded funding in spring 2022 include: Andrea Orellana; Green Earth Poets Cafe; Marcela Carbajal (Uniq Being); MARTK'D Inc.; Paul Deo; Projectivity Group; Rico Washington; and The International Child Program. More information on the grantees is available below.

Launched in 2013, NeON Arts celebrates youth, highlights creative talent, and develops the social and professional skills of participants, preparing them for careers inside and outside the arts. Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute manages the grant-making process for NeON Arts, coordinating events and working with arts organizations and stakeholders. An integral part of NeON Arts has been the direct involvement of local community members. Local NeON stakeholders select participating arts organizations made up of people on probation, DOP staff, key community members, and local businesses.

Carnegie Hall gives special thanks to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for supporting NeON Arts through the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. This funding will provide essential support to the program, including the return to in-person, place-based artistic workshops in the seven NeON neighborhoods.

About the NeON Arts’ Spring 2022 Programs

Storytelling through Songwriting 101 (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn): Participants take part in a course led by Marcela Carbajal that helps establish their identity as songwriters, learn the basics of music production and audio engineering, develop song structures, and experience a culminating recording studio session. The workshop series culminates in a participant performance at Blank Bamboo, a local venue in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Spoken Word Open Mic Poetry Series (Brownsville, Brooklyn): Led by Green Earth Poets Cafe, participants learn different poetic devices and styles, have an opportunity to brainstorm with fellow students, and practice and perform publicly each week. Participants will rap or read their work in performance and compile their writing for later publishing.

Pocket Flicks: Cellphone Filmmaking to Stay Healthy, Safe, and Positive through Technology and Media (East New York, Brooklyn): This workshop empowers participants to use a smart phone along with their natural talents and creativity to produce a personalized video. Students learn to visualize, record, and edit a publishable public service announcement video. Instruction involves idea development, storyboarding, writing (or collaging), and smart-phone recording and editing. Pocket Flicks is led by The International Child Program.

Invisible Cities (Harlem): Participants photograph and interview members of their community and assemble a digital story, led by journalist Rico Washington. Upon completion of the workshop, participants will have acquired basic skills in photography (including familiarity with camera parts and terminology and DSLR camera techniques), audio and video editing, and storytelling.

Afrofuturism in the Metaverse (Jamaica, Queens and South Bronx): The objective of this course is to demystify the metaverse and bridge the digital divide by teaching skills needed in today’s digital job market. Paul Deo helps the students understand 3D metaverse architecture, develop and mint NFTs, create 3D sculpture in virtual reality (with a VR headset), and learn the fundamentals of cryptocurrency.

The Immigrant Reformation Quilt Project (South Bronx): Participants learn to tell their own personal narratives through the art of loom weaving, guided by Andrea Orellana. Students will create an amalgam-type macrame vertical landscape loom piece, made from scrap materials. Elder community members will be on hand to teach the younger generations the old ways and histories for posterity.

MARTKD: Your Sneaker Story Workshop and Showcase (South Bronx): Participants work through a MARTKD sneaker design workbook and curriculum, that provides an understanding of key principles that are needed to get into the sneaker industry. All participants will work on a sneaker concept and present their final project to a panel of industry leaders for a chance to see their project put into production.

Mural Mission (Staten Island): Projectivity Group invites students to work collaboratively to create a message through art. A professional muralist will advise participants as they choose a theme, message, image, and design for a public mural. Students will then help prime the wall, setup a grid, and transfer the design as a line drawing to the wall. They will then work together to fill in the mural.

For more information on the spring workshops, click here.

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“The arts and culture connect us to our humanity, entertain and inspire us, and help us make sense of the world,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer. “I am so proud to support NeON Arts because of the positive impact it has on young people across New York City by connecting them with creative outlets. With enough practice, practice, practice, every one of these aspiring artists can achieve their dreams thanks to Carnegie Hall’s support.”

“New York City has a rich history in the arts; from Broadway to brilliant artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat to birthing musical genres like hip-hop, doo-wop and salsa. Programs like NeON Arts are not only an extension of that rich tradition but also an incubator of young talent,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I am proud to have secured $500,000 for NeON Arts, which will use these funds to provide young people with the resources to nurture the burgeoning artistic talents of the next Jay-Z, Darren Aronofsky, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.”

“I am thrilled to celebrate the return of in-person NeON Arts workshops this spring,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Committee on Criminal Justice. “The innovative programming offered through NeON Arts fosters deep community ties and invaluable opportunities for self-expression for our city’s young people. I am grateful to Carnegie Hall, the Department of Probation, and Commissioner Bermúdez for their incredible work changing the lives of so many New Yorkers.”

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About Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute

Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) creates visionary programs that embody Carnegie Hall’s commitment to music education, playing a central role in fulfilling the Hall’s mission of making great music accessible to as many people as possible. With unparalleled access to the world’s greatest artists, WMI’s programs are designed to inspire audiences of all ages, nurture tomorrow’s musical talent, and harness the power of music to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. An integral part of Carnegie Hall’s concert season, these programs facilitate creative expression, develop musical skills and capacities at all levels, and encourage participants to make lifelong personal connections to music. The Weill Music Institute generates new knowledge through original research and is committed to giving back to its community and the field, sharing an extensive range of online music education resources and program materials for free with teachers, orchestras, arts organizations, and music lovers worldwide. More than 800,000 people each year engage in WMI’s programs through national and international partnerships, in New York City schools and community settings, and at Carnegie Hall with many more taking part online. This includes more than half a million students and teachers worldwide who participate in WMI’s Link Up music education program for students in grades 3 through 5, made possible through Carnegie Hall partnerships with more than 115 orchestras in the US, as well as internationally in New Zealand, Canada, China, Japan, Kenya, and Spain.

For more information, please visit: carnegiehall.org/Education.

About The New York City Department of Probation (DOP)

The New York City Department of Probation (DOP) helps build stronger and safer communities, fostering positive change by working with and supervising people on probation. NeON Arts is a program of the New York City Department of Probation (DOP) in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute that integrates arts into the seven NeONs. The project empowers local stakeholder groups to choose arts projects for their own communities—projects that engage clients and neighbors in strengths-based activities supporting educational outcomes and connecting to employment opportunities. Participating in NeON Arts helps young people for the world of work by developing the 21st century job skills employers are looking for, including the ability to work creatively with others, visual literacy and critical thinking across disciplines. NeON Arts facilitates over 80 stakeholder meetings annually. Over 14,000 New York City residents, including those on probation have participated in 150+ projects citywide. The program has awarded more than 100 grants to artists.

Learn more: nyc.gov/probation


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NeON Arts is a program of the NYC Department of Probation in partnership with Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute.

Lead support is provided through the NYC Council Speaker's Corey Johnson’s Innovative Criminal Justice Programs Initiative with sponsorship by Council Member Keith Powers and through the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention with sponsorship by Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Major support is provided by The Kresge Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Young Men’s Initiative.


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