ArtSmart Receives New York Life Foundation’s ‘Aim High’ Grant for Teen Mental Health Work

By Afton Wooten

ArtSmart was awarded the “Aim High” grant from the New York Life Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance.

The grant totaling in $15,000 will provide free mental health resources and services to a cohort of eighth-grade students in the New York area. Also, a portion of the money will go to mental health training for ArtSmart Staff.

The organization provides tuition-free music lessons and mentorship to youth in underserved communities throughout the U.S. Since its inception ArtSmart has taught 25,00 music lessons to over 750 students. Many of its students come from minorities, with 92 percent of students attending a Title 1 school, 88 percent being BIPOC, and 43 percent identifying as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Co-Founder and Executive Director Michael Fabiano said, “ArtSmart is not just music education. ArtSmart is a meaningful community. We provide students with life-long skills for independence and success. We’re doing it by changing systemic obstacles to poverty through aggressive musical education combined with strong mentorship. Our student’s mental wellness is part of that success. Thank you NY Life Foundation.”