I am honoured to be a new Board Member for Developing Artists and this Giving Tuesday I am happy to support their fund raising efforts. The talented, socially conscious teens of Developing Artist are one of our best hopes for the future. At this extremely challenging time DA offers a creative, safe haven for teens who need an outlet now more than ever. My daughter Elanna, became a DA company member over 15 years ago and to this day mentorship, networking and sense of community remains strong. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to give back to this worthy cause and hope you will consider a donation.
This has certainly been an intense several months to say the least and the hard work must continue when it comes to Art & Activism. For many, Developing Artists is a symbol of Hope: What we like to call RELENTLESS HOPE.
During these tumultuous times, as our young artists continue to fight for justice, no matter what obstacles are put in their way, they continue to meet each other, their allies, and even foes with love and acceptance.
[Click the link to receive HOPE for the future in 98 seconds!]
The world may have shifted, but there is an ongoing need for teens in New York City to create art and use it for peaceful protest. It is imperative that Developing Artists does everything it can to continue providing these teens with the tools to be heard and succeed.
By helping us raise $30,000 by December 31, you will make it possible for us to provide more resources for our students to enhance their training. This means helping us buy them instruments - from a $75 ukulele to a $600 keyboard - so that we can begin providing private music lessons. It means purchasing a $150 media kit including a ring light and microphone, so that the students can make high-quality performance content from home, supported by our team. Even during this unprecedented era, we’re doing more than ever and can only continue with your support, because the fight doesn’t end.
Developing Artists was founded in 1999 with a simple act of protest against youth discrimination. Following Artistic Director Jill DeArmon's numerous years of experience teaching performing arts in NYC public schools and established studios, she was astonished by the lack of freedom and empowerment students were given to create and felt they were censored rather than amplified and trusted. She was threatened to either stay and stick to the status quo or be fired. Jill told her class that she was leaving, because she could not accept ageism. Every student decided to follow her out and the first Developing Artists Ensemble was born. In collaboration with her new ensemble, Jill offered classes where teens could be heard, with support to create original work that tackles important social issues. She committed to empowering students through art by giving them practical tools to express themselves and learn to collaborate.
DA offers rigorous theater education to underserved high school students (aged 13-19) in the New York City metropolitan area. Our goal is to provide young people with professional performing arts training that will equip them with valuable artistic and life skills, and the confidence to take action in their lives.
Core programs are DA’s year-round theatre classes and the REBEL VERSES Festival launched in 2001. Through the years, DA has directly served over 2,400 students and thousands of audience members. DA fostered a community of diverse artist citizens and maintains ongoing connections with our alumni network, some of which return as Teaching Artists. We help DA students get into notable high school and college performing arts programs, and some have gone on to study at prestigious institutions such as Yale School of Drama. One such alumnus, Julian Elijah Martinez, recently made his Broadway debut in NETWORK starring Bryan Cranston and is one of the stars of WU-TANG: AN AMERICAN SAGA on Hulu. Another alumna, Jessica Asch, Program Creator and Lead Clinician at Shine MSD, Inc, became a licensed arts and drama therapist whose work with at-risk youth has included developing and implementing a creative arts therapy program around collective healing in Parkland, Florida.
The last three years also helped solidify the identity of DA: Our ensemble engages with individuals on the frontline of important social issues then utilizing various performing arts, we bring to light these issues to a broader audience as we seek allies along the way to impact positive social change. DA was tapped to perform in numerous events including: We Rise: A Celebration of Resistance at the Delacorte Theatre (Public Forum in Collaboration with Resistance Revival Chorus), New York Women’s Foundations Celebrating Women Breakfast 2019, City Hall rally hosted by New York 4 Culture and Art to protest the proposed 6 millions dollar cut in cultural and arts funding. Developing Artists’ trajectory is leading us to connect and work with many social justice organizations for our future projects.