Above image: Art Ready mentee Clarence and his mentor Jessica Ann Peavy celebrate Clarence's original video, "Perfect Picture," at the 2012 Art Ready exhibition opening.


Participating artists and organizations:

Moderator : Dr. Marit Dewhurst, Director of Art Education and Assistant Professor in art and museum education, City College of New York and Founder, In the Making teen art program, Museum of Modern Art

Hannah Berson, Associate Director of Programs & Assessment, Exploring the Arts
Michael Paul Britto, Teaching Artist and Mentor, Smack Mellon Art Ready and Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV)
Kathleen Gilrain, Executive Director, Smack Mellon and founder, Art Ready and Summer Arts Intensive education programs
Johnny Ramos, Director of Media Fellows, Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV)
Tim Rollins from Studio K.O.S.
Jason Yoon, Executive Director, New Urban Arts

Smack Mellon and Emerging Leaders of New York Arts (ELNYA) are pleased to present a panel discussion with representatives from Smack Mellon’s Art Ready arts mentorship program as well as other leading artists and organizations in the community-based arts education field.  The event is part of ELNYA’s Creative Conversations series, and corresponds with Smack Mellon’s student art exhibition, Art Ready: Selected Work from the Artist Mentorship Program.

With art programs increasingly being cut from public middle-high schools, artistic young people often have few outlets to develop their creativity and craft, let alone prepare for art school.  Importantly, they also often have limited exposure to the realities of living and working as an artist, and to the wide range of possible artistic careers they can pursue.

Our panelists will discuss successful program models that address this problem through matching young people with artists and arts leaders in studio and workplace environments outside the traditional school classroom. We will explore such topics as best practices in arts mentorship/apprenticeship programs; assessing these programs' impact on students, artists, and communities; and making careers in the arts accessible to students of all income levels and backgrounds.



Dr. Marit Dewhurst, Moderator
Dr. Marit Dewhurst is the Director of Art Education and Assistant Professor in art and museum education at City College of New York (CCNY) where she also directs City Art Lab, a free afterschool art program for teens.  She completed her doctorate in education from Harvard University with an emphasis on youth arts and social justice education.  She has worked as an educator and program coordinator in multiple settings both nationally and abroad including community centers, museums, juvenile detention centers, and international development projects.  Prior to joining the faculty at CCNY, Marit founded and coordinated The Museum of Modern Art’s free studio arts programs for teens.  Publications include chapters in several books on art in social justice education and articles in Equity & Excellence in Education, The Journal of Art Education, and The Journal of Research Practice.  In addition, she has co-curated an exhibition on traditional art and HIV/AIDS education with partners at The Michigan State University Museum.  Her research and teaching interests include social justice education, community-based art, youth empowerment, and the role of the arts in community development both locally and abroad.  Marit is currently the principal investigator and coordinator of the Museum Teen Summit, a youth-led research and advocacy program for museum teen programs in New York City. ccnyarted.wordpress.com

Hannah Berson, Associate Director of Programs and Assessment, Exploring the Arts (ETA)
As Associate Director of Programs and Assessment at Exploring the Arts (ETA), Hannah manages partnerships with eight New York City public high schools and develops assessment strategies and practices for all ETA programs. Exploring the Arts is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 1999 by Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto.  ETA’s Tony Bennett Apprenticeship Program places outstanding juniors and seniors from public high schools specializing in the arts as interns at arts organizations or as apprentices with professional artists.   Participating students gain exposure to career opportunities in their artistic field, gain exposure to established and emerging artists / art works, develop basic workplace skills, and forge mentoring relationships with creative professionals. Before ETA, Hannah managed after-school teen arts apprenticeship programs at Gallery 37 in Chicago, which later became After School Matters.  She has also worked with the education programs at New York City Opera and New York’s Children’s Museum of the Arts, as well as in music and visual arts classrooms in New York and Chicago public schools.  Hannah holds a B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Arts Administration from Columbia University. www.exploringthearts.org

Michael Paul Britto, Teaching Artist and Mentor, Smack Mellon Art Ready and Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV)
Michael Paul Britto is a video artist whose work addresses the misconceptions and assumptions surrounding people of color in the United States. Selected exhibitions include shows at Smack Mellon, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the Studio Museum in Harlem, El Museo del Barrio, and the Soap Factory in Minneapolis. Michael was a Smack Mellon Studio Artist in 2007 and has also completed residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, and NARS Foundation. In addition to teaching in Smack Mellon’s Art Ready and Summer Arts Intensive programs for nearly 5 years, Michael has experience working with children and young adults in his position as media coordinator at the Boys Club of New York City and as a teaching artist in Downtown Community Television Center's (DCTV) Pro-TV youth program. He has also worked at the Children's Arts Carnival in Harlem teaching basic video production and at the "Visual Knowledge Program" at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City, creating lesson plans on race narrative. Michael is also currently a high school media arts instructor. www.brittofied.com

Kathleen Gilrain, Executive Director, Smack Mellon and founder, Art Ready and Summer Arts Intensive education programs

Kathleen Gilrain has served as the Executive Director and Chief Curator at Smack Mellon since October 2000. She has brought a wealth of experience in the production and management of exhibitions, emerging artists’ fellowship programs, artists’ residency programs, and educational and community outreach initiatives to Smack Mellon. In 2007-2008, she founded Smack Mellon's two education programs, the Summer Arts Intensive and Art Ready.   Kathleen is also an educator certified in New York State to teach art K-12. She has teaching experience in both elementary and high school levels, and has been teaching in the sculpture department at Brooklyn College since 1998. She has also taught at Marymount College in NYC, and The University of Massachusetts Amherst and has been a visiting lecturer at The Cooper Union in NYC, The Metropolitan State College in Denver, and Penn State University. Before joining Smack Mellon, Kathleen was the Executive Director of Socrates Sculpture Park for five years, where she worked with the Education Director to create innovative programs for students both at the park and in NYC schools. Kathleen is an artist and has exhibited internationally. She received a BFA from The Cooper Union, NYC and an MFA from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is certified as a Mentor Supervisor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC Center for Training and Professional Development. www.smackmellon.org

Johnny Ramos, Director of Media Fellows, DCTV
As Director of Media Fellows, Johnny Ramos is responsible for the curriculum, program design, instruction and administration of DCTV’s long-term, in-house Youth Media program, the Media Fellows. He also oversees DCTV’s 6 week Summer Media intensive course. Media Fellows is a 1 – 3 year, 10 month per year, free media arts instruction program for over 25 New York City Youth a year.  Students learn techniques of camera, light, sound, and editing; develop creative   storytelling skills; and gain an understanding of media.  Johnny graduated with a BFA in film production from Wright State University in Ohio. He produced an award-winning documentary entitled African American, that explores the cultural relationship between native Africans and African Americans. Mr. Ramos taught a film production course at Colonel White High School for the Arts for seven years and also worked as a scenic designer for Red Productions designing commercials for Proctor & Gamble. For the past three years, Mr. Ramos's duties as Assistant Director, PRO-TV, have taken him around the country working with at-risk youth teaching video production and photography. www.dctvny.org

Tim Rollins from Studio K.O.S.
After receiving a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and pursuing graduate studies in art education and philosophy at New York University, Tim Rollins began teaching art for special education middle school students in a South Bronx public school.  In 1984, he launched the Art and Knowledge Workshop in the Bronx together with a group of at-risk students who called themselves K.O.S. (Kids of Survival).  The group has exhibited extensively worldwide at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1988); the DIA Art Foundation, New York (1989); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1990); the ICA Boston (1994); de Young Museum, San Francisco (2000); the Tate Gallery, London (2004); the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2006); P.S. 1 MoMA (2006); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007); and AMP, Athens (2008) among others. K.OS. is represented in prestigious public and private collections,  and  a retrospective of the group’s 20-year career opened at multiple venues in 2009.  www.lehmannmaupin.com/#/artists/tim-rollins-and-kos/

Jason Yoon, Executive Director, New Urban Arts
Jason Yoon joined New Urban Arts as its Executive Director in February 2008. New Urban Arts is an interdisciplinary arts studio for high school students and emerging artists in Providence, Rhode Island. Its mission is to build a vital community that empowers young people to develop a creative practice they can sustain throughout their lives. New Urban Arts provides studio, exhibition space, and mentoring for young artists who explore the visual, performing, and literary arts through yearlong free out-of-school programs. In Jason’s time as Executive Director, the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities recognized New Urban Arts in 2009 as one of the nation's 50 best youth arts programs through a Coming Up Taller Award--the nation’s highest honor for the field of out-of-school time arts and humanities programs. The United States Department of Education also selected New Urban Arts as just one of 20 high school after-school programs to be included in a national study of best practices to be completed in 2010. Prior to New Urban Arts, Jason served as the Director of Finance and Operations at the DreamYard Project, a Bronx non-profit provider of arts education programs. He also founded and directed 7ARTS, a youth arts program for teenagers based in the Queens Museum of Art and worked as the Development Coordinator at the award-winning Explore Charter School. Jason has an MPA in public and nonprofit management from NYU Wagner's Graduate School of Public Service where he was a Carl Long Dean's Fellow, and earned a BFA in painting and art history from the Rhode Island School of Design. While at the Rhode Island School of Design, Jason worked as an Artist Mentor in New Urban Arts' after-school program.  www.newurbanarts.org




ELNYA is Emerging Leaders of New York Arts. We are a New York City-based networking and professional development group that explores new ideas, best practices and challenges in the field of arts management. Our membership includes an evolving group of arts administrators in our 20s and 30s who empower ourselves with hands-on leadership opportunities and programming that elevates our field.

ELNYA’s activities vary from casual networking happy hours to content-based panel conversations and peer-to-peer dialogues that we call “Creative Conversations.”  ELNYA also hosts a book club that reads professional and leadership development titles, and this website through which we discuss issues relevant to young arts administrators, announce events, and share relevant opportunities from other organizations.