Shout Out to Our Students

Sometimes, good things come in threes. This past November, several Creative Art Works students and Youth Apprentices earned recognition from local, national and international organizations. We would like to share their accomplishments with you.


Mini-documentary Helps Hamilton Heights Neighborhood Win Improvements for Jacob Schiff Playground

Last week, we learned some of our Youth Apprentices played a small but noteworthy role in securing funding from the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation for much-needed capital improvements to Jacob Schiff Playground, which serves as a common backyard for thousands of residents of West Harlem. In announcing this news, The Jacob H. Schiff Playground Neighborhood Association, which has been advocating for these upgrades for years, lauded the short documentary, In the Park, which was created by five young film-makers who participated in the 2018 summer Public Art Youth Employment multimedia program.

The six-minute film features Mark Levine, Council Member for Manhattan’s 7th District, advocating for upgrades to the park. His succinct argument is made all the more compelling by visuals in the film of public restrooms, park benches and artificial turf in dire need of repairs or replacement. The Parks Department’s improvement plan will address all of these issues and more.

I’m glad our film helped to bring change to a wonderful park. Thank you, CAW, for the opportunity and the experience. I always had hope in this community, and I feel really good that our efforts made a difference.
— Justin Guzman
  2018 Multimedia Youth Apprentice Justin Guzman

2018 Multimedia Youth Apprentice Justin Guzman

We congratulate our CAW Youth Apprentices Justin Guzman, Esther Gonzales, Giovani Clarke, Sebastian Tulsiram, and Sherif Saka for their fine work. All Apprentices in our Youth Employment programs face many challenges that are inherent to the process – there is a steep learning curve, high expectations and a hard deadline. Finishing any film is an accomplishment, but this particular documentary team had to persevere to overcome a number of unforeseen obstacles, including an unusually rainy summer that played havoc with their shooting schedule.

We offer kudos to our Teaching Artists Kevin Gay and Barthelemy Atsin, and out Teaching Artist Assistants Jordan Campbell and Eric Paul Crespo. We are grateful to NYC Council Member Mark Levine, City Council Parks & Recreation Committee Chair Barry Grodenchik, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitch Silver, NYC Parks Manhattan Borough Commissioner Bill Castro, and the Landmarks Preservation & Parks Committee of Community Board 9 for supporting the improvements to Jacob Schiff Playground.

Watch In the Park on our Vimeo Page.


CAW Student’s Art Makes the Cover of the National Guild for Community Arts Education Conference Program

 APRCHS Teacher Wendell Lissmore congratulates Paola for having her art selected for the cover of the program for the 81st Community Arts Education Conference.

APRCHS Teacher Wendell Lissmore congratulates Paola for having her art selected for the cover of the program for the 81st Community Arts Education Conference.

CAW is beyond proud of Paola, a students from one of our in-school programs at A. Phillip Randolph High School. Paola’s painting, Cry River, was chosen as one of only five variant program covers of the 81st Annual Conference of the National Guild for Community Arts Education! This was the third time that a CAW artist was chosen to receive this honor, and Paola’s program was the only one to run out of stock during the conference. Program Director Daniel Bergam; Deputy Director & Director of Development Karen Jolicoeur; and Program Manager – Teaching & Learning Lance Paladino attended the Arts Ed conference in Baltimore and reported that artwork from CAW’s in-school, out-of-school-time and Public Art Youth Employment program was featured prominently on the National Guild’s website and in slide shows during the opening plenary sessions. Also, artwork from the 2017 summer mural, “Ascension,” at PAL Harlem Center was featured on the Guild’s save the date postcard.

We framed a copy of the program and asked Principal David Fanning and Paola’s teacher, Wendell Lissimore, to present it to the young artist.

Words cannot express the feeling of pride that emanated from this young woman when [we] presented her with [your] gift. Thank you for all of the work you have done and continue to do with our students...They appreciate it more than we realize sometimes.
— APRCHS Principal David Fanning

MHxD program wins SEED Award

 Students work on at Mental Health by Design mural in the stairwell of the at Louis Brandeis School Campus on the Upper West Side. The MHxD program recently won an international Seed award.

Students work on at Mental Health by Design mural in the stairwell of the at Louis Brandeis School Campus on the Upper West Side. The MHxD program recently won an international Seed award.

People around the world are now seeing Artwork by our kids, thanks to a SEED + Pacific Rim Award. The Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) and the Pacific Rim Community recognized the NYC Department of Health for creating community artwork in public spaces through the Mental Health by Design (MHxD) initiative. The SEED + Pacific Rim Awards recognize sustainable public art projects and promote positive change in communities. The NYC MHxD program was one of only six from around the world to win this award. CAW is proud to have been one of the first providers to receive a MHxD grant.

Innovative, discrete interventions that will change the lives of many students. …using design to [improve mental] health is a very innovative approach.
— Seed Award Jury Comments

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