POUGHKEEPSIE — The Art Effect has been approved for a $20,000 award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the Art Institute, with a special focus on ArtsBridge, a new program within the Art Institute (piloted for 2 years under the name MAAP). ArtsBridge will engage underserved Poughkeepsie youth in the arts to provide them with training, support, and mentorship to help them succeed in higher education. The Art Effect’s project is among 1,073 projects across America totaling nearly $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from The Art Effect,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “The Art Effect is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year.”

The Art Institute, a year-long portfolio development and college preparatory program, engages more than 200 youth ages 14-19 each year. The Art Effect helps students develop their ideas and master skills in both visual and media arts preparing them for their future college and career paths in the arts.

“Since 2000, our graduates have been offered over $50 million in merit-based scholarships to the nation’s leading colleges, universities, and art schools,” Says Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt, Executive Director. “Students in our most advanced programs created 153 portfolios this year and thanks to the support of our funders, sponsors, and community we have been able to provide $17,899.50 in financial assistance scholarships to low-income students, increasing access to arts education in our community.”

Responding to the need to interrupt the cycle of poverty and educational inequities in Poughkeepsie, ArtsBridge establishes a pathway for students to higher education through the arts. With the generous support of the NEA grant funding and other supporters, ArtsBridge will implement a comprehensive program in 2021. Participants will gain advanced artistic preparatory and portfolio development skills though the Art Institute as well as college readiness training, and emotional support through individual mentorship with a focus being on college scholarships and matriculation. This spring will also feature guest artists, exposing youth to a variety of college and career fields.

While programs at The Art Effect took a significant hit due to the pandemic last year, with lots of time, talent, hard work, and creative thinking we continue to offer high-quality arts and college prep courses for young people throughout the Hudson Valley. Spring and summer classes are planned for in-person instruction beginning this month. More information on upcoming classes can be found here feelthearteffect.org/courses.

For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news. For more information on the Art Institute, visit feelthearteffect.org/excel/the-art-institute and for more information about ArtsBridge, visit feelthearteffect.org/artsbridge or call 845-471-7477.

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