Since Access Art’s founding in 2000, our programs have supported the artistic, emotional, and cognitive development of over 1000 students by providing them with a safe space to explore their creativity, positive adult role models, empowering activities, valuable opportunities for leadership, and alternatives to high risk behavior. Each year youth build on the comprehensive art skills they learn, deepen the connection to their own creative process, enhance their ability to affect their communities, and finally gain skills to become teaching assistants, mentors and entrepreneurs.
“Through the medium of photography, Youthlight helps young people gain confidence in expressing themselves and in trusting their instincts – skills that help them combat negative influences in their lives.”
— Adair Margo, Chairman of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
Access Art was founded in 2000 by community artist and Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) Professor Tony Shore and community mural artist Shawn James. After completing a Master of Fine Arts Degree at Yale University School of Art in 1997 Mr. Shore was inspired and compelled to return to the Morrell Park community where he grew up to work with at-risk youth in partnership with Mr. James. Access Art is now located in the old Enoch Pratt Library where Mr. Shore spent many after school hours drawing during his adolescence. In 2008 Access Art merged with The Youthlight Project, an award winning and highly regarded after school program in the City, in order to better serve youth in Southwest Baltimore.
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
Youth Served: Access Art has directly served over 1000 youth.
Murals & Media: Youth have created 14 large scale murals and produced 8 public service billboard campaigns tackling issues in their community generating over 240,000 media hits.
Artwork Exhibited and Sold: Youth have sold over $6,000 worth of artwork. Youth have been in numerous exhibitions including at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum, Graduations: 85% of Access Art students 18 and over have graduated high school or earned a GED.
Scholarships: Students have received college scholarships totaling $11,000 based on art portfolios and work produced in the Access Art programs.
Self Worth: 85% youth in our programs consistently report that their self worth, sense of hope, and creativity has grown due to our programs.
Job Skills: One of our former students has gone on to become a Americorp Community Arts Member and is now a full instructor for Access Art. Others have been hired by local non-profits for their photography skills.
School Attendance: Youth enrolled in Access Art programs consistently attend their regular school day more often than their non-enrolled peers.