What: A drop-in summer arts enrichment program
Who: Children aged 4-9 years old who live in Mitchel Houses
When: select Saturdays from June-October
Where: NYCHA Mitchel Houses in Mott Haven
Current Funders: Educational Foundation of America, HW Wilson Foundation, Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust, NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts (with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature), with support from the Mitchel Houses Tenants Association
To give children a safe and creative space to explore themselves and their environment during the summer months
To develop children’s fine art skills
To enhance children’s self-confidence and sense of pride in their community
Program Description: ARTSPOT was designed as a mini- arts festival to introduce children at Mitchel Houses to the natural resources of the Bronx through art, as well as to offer caregivers a free, safe place to engage their children during the hot summer months. On consecutive Saturdays in August and September, a team of Museum Teaching Artists, with support from the Mitchel Houses Tenants Association and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, offers a series of fun drop-in art experiences or "workshops" in different art disciplines (music, dance, fine arts, sculpture, puppet-making) and water play for children living in the area. Caregivers are encouraged to join their children in all activities participating right on the housing association grounds. A closing celebration highlights the work of the children and features food and entertainment for the whole family.
ARTSPOT was inspired by the Gramsci Monument erected in 2013 in the Bronx at the Forest Houses where a Swiss artist, Thomas Hirschhorn, involved the entire Forest Houses community in erecting a temporary tree house like structure inspired by the philosopher Antonio Gramsci. A small closed-in section of the monument was devoted to children where they were able to drop in at any time to do arts projects.
This year, ArtSpot will be held in Mill Pond Park and open to the public.