Joy of Giving Something Arts Education Initiatives

The ability to understand and interpret images is an essential skill for basic communication and comprehension. Access to visual arts learning should be a fundamental part of every child’s education, yet funding for the arts remains woefully inadequate in schools nationwide. Joy of Giving Something is committed to the ideal of universal access to visual literacy and arts education.

Our grantmaking is comprised of three initiatives: scholarships, expansion grants, and support for afterschool programming.

Since 2009, we have awarded more than fifty scholarships to students pursuing a post-secondary education in visual arts. Scholarships are made through partner organizations such as Appalshop, Imagining America, International Center of Photography, Perpich Center for Arts Education, and The Studio Museum in Harlem.

As a means of supporting and expanding high-quality visual arts learning, grants for the purchase of photographic equipment and software are made to select educational institutions. Recipients have included the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife (Bronx); Community Darkroom (Rochester); PAL Program (Syracuse); Lower Manhattan Community School (NYC); Mark Twain School IS239 (Brooklyn); Van Siclen Community Middle School (Brooklyn); and Boys Club of New York.

In 2015-16 JGS piloted a new grantmaking initiative to support high quality youth photography programming in partnership with New York City Beacon community centers funded by the Department of Youth & Community Development. The grant provides training and technical assistance for instructors, as well as cameras, computer lab equipment, and materials for a final showcasing of student photos. Awardees are also provided with an engaging curriculum to introduce young people to the fundamentals of visual literacy. Curriculum, training, and technical support are provided by International Center of Photography (ICP).

The pilot of this initiative was launched in Spring 2016 at Queens Community House Beacon and will be expanded to Cypress Hills Local Community Development Corporation in Fall 2016.