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Access Art provides students 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.



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's home base 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.



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.


Youth have sold over $7,000 worth of artwork. Youth have been in numerous exhibitions including at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum.


85% of Access Art students 18 and over have graduated high school or earned a GED. 


Students have received college scholarships totaling $11,000 based on art portfolios and work produced in the Access Art programs.

School Attendance

Youth enrolled in Access Art programs consistently attend their regular school day more often than their non-enrolled peers.

Job Skills

One of our former students is now a full instructor for Access Art. Others have been hired by local non-profits for their photography skills.

Self Worth

85% youth in our programs consistently report that their self worth, sense of hope, and creativity has grown due to our programs.


Betty Lee & Dudley P. Digges Memorial Fund

Helen P. Denit


Eddie & Sylvia Brown Foundation

Morrell Park

Elementary Middle School

Wildwood Elementary Middle Community School

Tides Foundation



Commodore John Rodgers

Elementary Middle School

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