America and AFP Brace for the Next Chapter in our History…

With an unprecedented climate of change and concern dawning in the United States, Art for Progress arts education programs are more essential than ever. AFP is embracing the ever-growing need for alternative and supplemental art, music, theater, and fashion programs for young people representing the voice of true expression in our city. Once again this has been an exciting semester for existing Art for Progress arts education programs in New York City’s public schools, and there are some new programs in the works for the second half of the school year.

Our flagship music program at Humanities Preparatory Academy, which includes school day sessions as well as after school, is flourishing and has produced and cultivated a bunch of wonderful talent this semester. Everyone at the school is looking forward to the talent show on February 16th, which will include solo vocal and instrumental performances, and a variety of ensemble pieces and even a dance number.  AFP’s after school program at the James Baldwin School is also going strong and was well represented in the recent school-wide talent show on Friday, January 20. Students from both schools have been working hard after school every day, choosing songs and rehearsing. Especially impressive is the spirit of mutual encouragement among the students as the shows approach.

As for AFP’s Young Adult Music Enrichment Program, tracking is nearly completed on Bronx rock band Statik Vision’s full-length album, and we are preparing to start mixing, while recording sessions for their brother band Big Sweater’s album are in full swing. This week’s sessions focused on the drum tracks for Big Sweater’s song “Platform Stare”, which is sure to be an anthem for our times. Both albums should be ready for release dates this summer, so keep an ear out!

Unfortunately, as a result of a heartbreaking turn of events regarding budget cuts due to a lack of enrollment at Hudson High School; AFP has had to suspend our program there. This is particularly troubling because the students that had been participating in that program are some of the most driven and engaged I have had the pleasure of working with, so if anyone out there in Bloglandia has a couple thousand dollars they want to write off, please contact me at Your contribution would go to cultivate some of the city’s most promising, diverse and dedicated young talent.

On the upside, we are starting a brand new after school program at Brooklyn’s International High School, and the James Baldwin School is looking to add a new theater arts program. We are also in discussions with the Essex Street Academy to start to implement programs there.

All in all, as the climate of American education continues to move farther away from the arts, which are essential for cultivating abstract thought and creative, innovative ideas, we at Art for Progress feel the work we are doing is becoming ever more essential and we look forward to pushing against the prevailing trends to support the next generation of New York City’s artists and musicians.


Until next time…