NeON Arts: A New Initiative

Sarah Johnson, Director of the Weill Music Institute, shares information about this new two-year initiative of the New York City Department of Probation.

By Sarah Johnson, Director, Weill Music Institute

Dear Colleagues,

We are happy to invite you to an open meeting of arts organizations interested in working with NeON Arts, a new two-year initiative of the NYC Department of Probation (DOP).

Building on DOP’s successful efforts to increase public safety by engaging probation clients in the arts, NeON Arts, a public/private initiative will fund local arts organizations in seven communities that are home to high concentrations of probation clients.  The project will connect community-based artists and local arts organizations to probation clients who report to a NeON location, or Neighborhood Opportunity Network.  The artists and clients will collaborate on projects in a variety of disciplines.  In addition to creating meaningful arts projects that will benefit their local community, participants will learn important skills and develop positive peer relationships.  The partnering arts organizations will be selected by  the local NeON Stakeholder Groups, which are comprised of DOP clients, DOP staff, key members of the community, and local business and cultural leaders.

The seven NeON neighborhoods are Brownsville (Brooklyn), East New York (Brooklyn), Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn -opening soon), Harlem (Manhattan), South Jamaica (Queens), Staten Island and the South Bronx.  Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, an ongoing arts partner of the NYC Department of Probation, will serve as the intermediary organization to provide support and facilitation for NeON Arts.

The NeON Arts initiative launches on November 1, 2013 and will run for a period of two years. The project’s total funding of $1 million is provided by the Open Society Foundations through a grant to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to support New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). NeON Arts is a signature initiative of YMI.

The meeting, on November 19, 2013 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at The Dempsey Center (127 West 127th Street between Adam Clayton Powell and Lenox) will offer information on the application process, the structure of collaborations, and the evaluation work that will be part of the citywide project.

There is NO RSVP required. Feel free to pass this invitation along to any colleagues you think might also be interested. We look forward to working with you on this exciting project to bring the arts to the NeON communities of New York City.


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