Vitaly Filipchenko

1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?

When my daughter immigrated here from Siberia at 13 years of age, I was so very happy to be able to find her wonderful, free after school programs at every museum and arts organization. These after school programs at MOMA, The Met, Museum of New York City, Brooklyn Museum, Superheroes Writing Program in Brooklyn, the Children’s Museum as well as independent theater groups offered Masha a chance to make American friends, learn English and the most important thing – how to think openly. Coming from Russia – the culture and the educational process is very different.

Here in America it was a chance to freely imagine stories and ideas. She went on to be honor student, worked as a high school science aid at Natural History Museum among other arts and cultural awards. As Mayor – I want to fund all independent and grassroots arts organizations as well as the larger institutions to expand programs for all disadvantage kids in the boroughs. From at-risk to new immigrants. The arts are the one way to rebuild NYC after the devastation of Covid.

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NYC AiE Roundtable