LEAP’s Public Art Program uses a social justice framework to empower middle and high school students to have a voice in their communities and express themselves on social issues through the creation and public exhibition of art. This program instills social responsibility and civic engagement, imparts artistic skills, concepts and techniques, and fosters peer leadership, self-confidence and collaboration.
LEAP teaching artists work with New York City school students to:
Explore social issues in their communities
Study the history, practice, and power of public art
Create collaboratively painted works of art that express their views on vital community issues
As part of each residency, students have a unique opportunity to meet with world-renowned artists at their studios, as well as galleries, museums, exhibitions, and other sites. Guest Artists have included: Laura Alvarez, Shellyne Rodrieguez, Miljan Suknovic, Jessica Maffia, Vanesa Alvarez, Andy Cahill, Cecilia Lim, Louse Sheldon, Manny Vega, Trevon Blondet, Erin Weckerle, Lady K Fever, COCO144, and participation by the Bronx Museum of Art, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Situations Gallery, and SAFE Gallery.
LEAP’s Public Art Program culminates in citywide exhibitions, developed in cooperation with NYC Parks, where student artists unveil their creations and speak about the critical community issues they address in their work. The murals stay on display in parks across the city for the summer, where hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and visitors engage with the works of art.
"These kids are so brave. Their art speaks volumes about how we shape their growing brains and psyches. We need to remember just how much we influence their sense of security, hope, and kindness."