Artists Striving to End Poverty

Being a struggling artist in big city America is no picnic. I spent several years after graduating college pursuing an acting career in Los Angeles and eating more Top Ramen than anybody ought to. Now that I work in New York, I see, and know so many struggling for a break in the arts, while struggling to pay astronomical rent and cost of living bills. A jar of peanut butter still goes a long way, and is still fresh in my mind as a splurge.

In the face of general adversity, to say nothing of the emotional blow inflicted by studying and dedicating your life to something and being unable to give everything to it, creative people have so much to give. If nobody will hire me from that audition, damnit, I’m not going to sit at home. ASTEP, Artists Striving to End Poverty, is a non-profit founded by Mary-Mitchell Campbell after her time volunteering with Mother Teresa’s missionary in India. Se came home committed to making a change in the world, and her fellow arts pals and students at Juilliard, where she was on staff, decided to use the arts as a tool to help impoverished children flourish. Artists and teachers from a wide array of disciplines including drama, dance, visual art, instrumental music, playwriting, vocal arts, film, and poetry volunteer in arts camps in India, Africa, New York, and Florida. I would have leapt at an opportunity to get involved like this.

Here is the down and dirty focus, in case you are in a place where you can reach out to be larger than you are, and play the game huge. Share your creativity beyond the dream of a national commercial.

ASTEP has developed and refined a curriculum model that positively impacts the lives of young participants beyond their time in the program. By incorporating learning standards drawn from the National Endowment for The Arts, The Kennedy Center, and other accredited establishments, ASTEP trains its volunteers to deliver programming grounded in arts education that scaffolds and integrates other relevant learning objectives like academics, life skills, and HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness. Using art as a catalyst for change, ASTEP has provided these children with a voice, awakened their dreams, and given them the essential life skills, dedication to teamwork, self expression, communication, and confidence to believe in a future beyond poverty.

One response to this post.

  1. […] Artists Striving to End Poverty « Change by Doing […]


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