In celebration of it’s 5 year Anniversary, ProjectArt Detroit will host its first ever virtual benefit on April 22nd at 7PM. The event will commemorate the hard work of students, resident artists, and organization partner The Detroit Public Library. ProjectArt serves youths aged 4-18 and local contemporary artists by way of free access to after school arts education, facilitated at seven branches of The Detroit Public Library. Attend the event to meet the students and resident artists, view their artwork, and gain unique insight into the program through a curated 45 minute benefit celebration
ProjectArt is a national nonprofit empowering youth, emerging artists, and communities through partnerships with public libraries. Its’ leading out-of-school and residency program for artists and underserved K-12 students provides innovative, creative, and effective approaches to teaching and learning through the visual arts in partnership with public libraries in 9 cities from coast to coast. Through the organization’s arts education and social practice residency in the public library, artists create new artwork inspired by ProjectArt’s mission and the library. Simultaneously, they mentor our students who do not receive adequate access to art education in their school. ProjectArt defines underserved as those lacking adequate access to art programs and cultural opportunities because of economic conditions, race or ethnic background, geography, or disability.
ProjectArt has a strong interest in projects that provide students with opportunities to think critically, problem-solve, work collaboratively, and communicate effectively as they mature into young adults.
A vital part of ProjectArt’s strategic plan and mission is to bring free arts learning opportunities to as many children as possible. With this in mind, ProjectArt launched in Detroit in 2016 with the support of Founding Board member, Lisa Applebaum. The Skillman Foundation and The Detroit Public Library swiftly became valuable partners in supporting the program as well. In its first year, ProjectArt Detroit offered free arts learning opportunities at four library branches. In our second year, 2017, ProjectArt won a grant award from The National Endowment for the Arts, and gained other local supporters. This allowed ProjectArt to expand to two additional library branches, carefully chosen by identifying impact zones in communities
where schools had eliminated art programs. With this expansion, we also increased the number of students served and artists employed, with continued support from the Applebaum Family Philanthropy and The Skillman Foundation, among others, in 2018.
ProjectArt expanded to its seventh library branch, and hosted the Student Group Show in Adam Strohm Hall at Main Branch Library. In fall 2019, ProjectArt launched its Teen Apprenticeship Program designed to prepare students who want to pursue arts at the collegiate level. In 2019 ProjectArt Detroit also showcased Gradient Colors, an exhibition of resident and student artwork done in partnership with Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. In 2020, ProjectArt pivoted to online classes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and forged a partnership with Wayne State University to provide art therapy classes to students.
Now, the coronavirus pandemic has propelled ProjectArt to consider new and innovative methods of community engagement and we are responding with fully attended online after school classes, artists residencies, artist roundtables, exhibitions, and more! We are so excited that creativity and adaptiveness has reshaped how art is created and presented, capturing the interest of our diverse audiences across the country, while maintaining the safety of participants in our program.
In its inception, ProjectArt was founded with only 10 children in a Harlem community center in 2011. Since then, it has opened programs in Cleveland, New Orleans, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles. By partnering with public libraries across the country, ProjectArt strives to combat the elimination of arts education in public schools, by offering free arts programming for children ages 4 -18. Today, ProjectArt serves children and artists weekly across nine cities.
Through its residency program, ProjectArt enlists practicing artists in each city to teach individualized art classes grounded in social practice and community engagement. In exchange for an artist residency in the libraries, the program provides them exhibition opportunities, a space to further their careers, and a network of artist colleagues across the country. ProjectArt partnerships—and the support of foundations and businesses across the country—allow ProjectArt to create an efficient and easily scalable model that puts the organization on the path to being the nation’s largest arts education program for youth as well the nation’s largest artist residency program.
ProjectArt is committed to empowering youth and artists through tuition-free arts classes and artist residencies in partnership with the Detroit Public Library. With your support of our Detroit program, we can continue to thrive, bringing hundreds of hours of in person classes and residencies back to our libraries in 2021. We are incredibly grateful for your contribution and your celebration of ProjectArt Detroit’s exciting year ahead.
The event will take place via private live video stream on projectart.org. This is a ticketed event with RSVPs highly encouraged. Suggested ticket donation is $20. More information on