Current Grantees

Artistic Noise

Mission: Artistic Noise is an arts and entrepreneurship program for juvenile justice involved youth. The program provides participants with the opportunity to use the visual arts to process and document their experiences, while also developing valuable life and job skills. Artistic Noise works with young people while they are in detention facilities and when they return home; this approach offers continuity and stability for youth grappling with the effects of trauma and personal upheaval.

Program Focus: Funding would support the Art, Entrepreneurship and Curatorial Program. The program is offered to teens who have participated in other Artistic Noise programs as well as court involved youth referred through partner organizations. As youth grow in their art and demonstrate a desire to develop employment skills and competencies, this program offers a unique opportunity for teens to work collaboratively with their peers to curate art shows and market and sell their original artwork and products they have designed. In this advanced studio setting the visual arts act as a vehicle for youth to examine the world in which they live and imagine their responsibilities and actions within that world.

Art Therapy Project

Mission: The Art Therapy Project is dedicated to helping trauma survivors through the creative process. Centered around challenges of Family, Violence and Health, we are the only nonprofit in New York dedicated solely to providing guided art therapy to those seeking hope and support. We go beyond traditional talk therapy. Our clients and art therapists work together to turn negative energy positive.

Program Focus: The Art Therapy Project works with children and adolescents struggling with a range of challenges resulting from family, peer, school and other societal pressures. The Youth Program provides group art therapy services at no cost to marginalized populations in the New York City area who have experienced trauma including youth in foster care, justice-involved and many growing up in underserved communities. The art therapy groups provide these young people with a safe place to express their emotions, to process their experiences, and to develop healthier ways to manage their anger and live in the real world. The Art Therapy Project runs both co-ed and single-sex groups and also facilitates programs focused on prevention and leadership.

Art Start 

Mission: The mission of Art Start is to nurture the voices, hearts, and minds of New York City’s marginalized youth for the purpose of personal development through consistent, creative workshops inside homeless shelters, alternative to incarceration programs, and partnering youth agencies.

Program Focus: Art Start’s Homeless Youth Outreach Programming (HYOP) offers creative art workshops up to 4-nights a week within homeless shelters and group foster homes throughout NYC to youth ages 5 to 21-years-old. HYOP’s overarching goal is to positively transform and enrich the lives of homeless youth during a time of fear, turbulence, and uncertainty. Program activities are year-round, diverse, and range from visual art, dance, music, performance, theatre, and creative writing. Teaching artists facilitate the 1-hour workshops and are supported by several long-term, trained, and committed volunteers from the NYC creative industry. HYOP workshops are designed so that the student to teacher ratio does not exceed 2:1. This ensures that youth receive careful attention and allows the opportunity for participants to form meaningful relationships with one another and Art Start representatives.

Artists Striving To End Poverty

Mission: ASTEP connects performing and visual artists with underserved youth to awaken their imaginations, foster critical thinking, and help them break the cycle of poverty

Program Focus: Funding would support the International Rescue Committee’s Refugee Youth Summer Academy (RYSA). The program works to facilitate immigrant/refugee youth’s social and cultural adjustment to the academic environment by creating and nurturing a community of learning. ASTEP designs, implements and oversees RYSA’s creative arts classes, which focus on visual art, dance, music and storytelling for immigrant/refugee youth aged 5-19 years old.

Educational Video Center

Mission: The Educational Video Center is a non-profit youth media organization dedicated to teaching documentary video as a means to develop the artistic, critical literacy, and career skills of young people, while nurturing their idealism and commitment to social change. Founded in 1984, EVC has evolved from a single video workshop for teenagers from Manhattan’s Lower East Side to become an internationally acclaimed leader in youth media education. EVC’s teaching methodology brings together the powerful traditions of student-centered progressive education and independent community documentary.

Program Focus: Funding would support Youth Media Arts programs. These intensive arts offerings are socially relevant and learner-centered and are progressively scaffolded for skill-building and complexity through documentary and digital design-based tracks. The two components are the Youth Documentary Workshops and the New Media Arts Apprenticeship. During the Youth Documentary Workshops teenagers learn to tell compelling and artful stories using professional digital video technology to collaboratively plan, visualize, shoot, edit and publicly screen ad documentary about a community and youth-related issue of their choice. The New Media Arts Apprenticeship is a two-part apprenticeship that combines community-based pedagogy with digital animation and graphic design skills for teens to ‘remix’ a previously produced EVC film and create an interactive documentary website.

Global Action Project

Mission: Global Action Project provides creative media-arts programming for underserved youth throughout New York City. GAP’s mission is to work with youth most affected by injustice to build the knowledge, tools, and relationships they need to create media for community power, cultural expression, and political change. Through an intensive arts process, young people learn new creative and critical thinking skills, develop leadership, and create powerful videos that are used to inform, inspire and educate diverse audiences across GAP’s communities.

Program Focus: The Urban Voices Media Arts program uses media production, analysis, and outreach. Through this program youth learn to think critically, tell their stories, and form powerful relationships with peers and adults committed to their growth. They develop as leaders by using their media to engage with and shape the world they live in. Urban Voices: 1.) provides youth with the tools, skills and venues they need to express themselves; 2.) involves them in engaging, educational activities; and 3.) promotes artistic and leadership development in support of community change. Covering a range of technical, analytic and creative skills, Urban Voices provides an intensive and sustained study of media, opportunities for leadership and self-expression, as well as access to public forums and meaningful connections to communities engaged in advocacy. Each project is facilitated by two professional educators trained in GAP’s curriculum, which on draws on the documentary tradition, and is designed to engage youth in a rigorous inquiry and research process towards the production of a collaborative video.

Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy

Mission:To support the creative, educational, and vocational development of youth of African descent in Brooklyn, NY. Through an interdisciplinary study of culturally-specific arts training, personal development family engagement, and college preparation instruction, youth are immersed in the Ifetayo pedagogy that goes beyond the common model of occasional arts classes. To create transformative change in youth, Ifetayo leverages arts learning to increase self-awareness, inspire civic engagement, and provider a platform for self and collective expression.

Program Focus: The Arts Education Program is a school based (in and afterschool) program serving youth from pre-K to 12th grade. This year Ifetayo id collaborating with 20 schools in Brooklyn and Queens to provide arts and cultural services which include dance (hip hop, African and modern), music (African drum, guitar, music production), theater, martial arts (capoeira and tae kwon do) and youth development (college counseling, financial education, goal planning and activities to promote positive peer interactions).

Jazz House Kids

Mission: Jazz House Kids is a Montclair, NJ-based grassroots organization that has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s preeminent arts education and performance organizations. The mission is to transform lives by helping students gain an “artistic edge” using jazz as an exciting teaching tool to build a foundation based on music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship.

Program Focus: For two weeks each August, the Jazz House Summer Workshop immerses students in the art of jazz performance and helps them become well-rounded musicians through workshops, ensemble performances and jam sessions with professional musicians.

Kids Creative

Mission: The mission of Kids Creative is to use the arts as a tool for instilling today’s youth with personal qualities and skills vital to becoming the next generation’s leaders through exploring the creative instincts as individuals and as part of a group.

Program Focus: Funding will support The Kids Creative Summer camp. A grant would particularly allow students who have taken part in the Variety-funded After School Program at PS102 in East Harlem to attend the Summer Camp. The Summer Camp brings children ages 4-14 from diverse backgrounds together to imagine, write, produce and perform original musical plays. The Camp focuses on the process as well as the product and the children have ownership every step of the way. Campers collaborate with each other and teaching artists in a safe environment to create their play.

Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY)

Mission: Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY) is a bi-county (Nassau and Suffolk) not-for-profit organization providing education, advocacy, and social support services to Long Island’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth and young adults. LIGALY is the only agency on Long Island whose mission and services are dedicated to serving GLBT youth.

Program Focus: Variety’s grant to LIGALY will support Stand Up/Speak Out, a project of its new Youth Arts for Social Change program. Youth Arts for Social Change harnesses youth interest in arts through a weekly two-hour program that combines visual and performance arts activities, builds leadership skills, and connects the arts to social justice through the creation and production of projects that address topics of interest to LGBT youth and their allies.

MarbleJam Kids

Mission: MarbleJam Kids was established by mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders who identified a need not being met by their excellent yet rigid specialized school programs. MJKids focuses on what is missing in the daily regimen of these programs. The integral curriculums of mainstream educational programs do not provide music, nor art. MJKids programs provide opportunities in the arts to individuals with ASD’s and are designed to exercise communication and social skills with peers outside of structured school settings, in a responsible and supportive environment.

Program Focus: The Peer Vision Film Club is a program that was originally created in 2010 for participants of the summer camp program Joey Travolta Short Film Camp. The program is an inclusion program, welcoming both typical peers and those with special needs diagnosis. It has grown to include monthly social club meetings for pre-teens and teen aged children. The meetings include a social dinner hour, followed by film and acting instructional group interaction. The purpose of the Film Club is to extend the social relationships created during the summer Film Camp experience, and offer instructional classes to children who have similar interests. Using the art of film-making is a way to build social relationships during a collaborative project. During acting classes, dramatic arts teaching artists involve the participants in improve/acting exercises. The skits acted out draw upon their current social topics, struggles, interests and strengths. Participants explore conflicts, emotions, relationships, situations, and resolutions in a comfortable and safe environment. During the film classes, participants explore the art of film-making including aspects such as writing, acting, camera filming, lighting techniques, and editing under the direction of a filmmaker teaching artist.

Mark Degarmo & Dancers

Mission: Mark DeGarmo & Dancers is a not-for-profit organization committed to education and the arts, intercultural inquiry, and creativity. They achieve their mission by education underserved NYC communities, and especially children, about the roles of dance and the arts in society; promoting intercultural inquiry and communication; and creating, performing and disseminating original dances and artistic and scholarly work.

Program Focus: Funding would support their Partnerships in Literacy Through Dance Creativity. This is an interdisciplinary program that integrates the art of dance with themes and topics from other disciplines, such as, social studies, language arts, math, science, technology, physical education, and the arts—music, theater, and visual arts. The curriculum is designed to use kinesthetic learning methods to develop dance and creativity skills while engaging learners with themes they are studying outside of dance class.

Multicultural Music Group, Inc.

Mission: The Multicultural Music Group, Inc. is an arts education organization that focuses on the use of global history, music performance and aesthetic reflection as a combined tool to promote music proficiency, inter/intra personal skills, cultural understanding and social justice awareness.

Program Focus: The MMG Symphonic Youth Program provides direct multicultural music instruction to 1,500 public school students annually and approximately 2,000 students through concerts, panel presentations and internet connections. The Symphonic Youth Program provides instrumental and vocal instruction to students in grades 6th-12th in 10 public schools of Washington Heights, Harlem, Staten Island and the South Bronx. The SYP also bridges the professional component of the MMG with the students’ instruction by involving them every year in research with scholars and a professional composer who depicts a major historical event of his/her culture through the use of instrumental/vocal music. By engaging students in the study of historic events of different cultures, MMG seeks to instill respect for cultural difference and thereby promote global understanding and cultural awareness not only through research but also by experiencing the historical event through music.

Resiliency Center of Newtown

To provide long-term healing to individuals, families and children impacted by the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, to build a nurturing community to help families manage the effects of trauma and grief in positive ways, and to offer mental health services, support groups, mentoring, community engagement, and educational seminars and workshops in a safe and comfortable environment.

Program Focus: VThe art therapy program at RCN provides immediate assistance by developing an understanding and appropriate plan of action from children in crisis. Therapists provide case management to help children reconcile trauma through creative expression with the goal of reducing anxiety and stress while increasing self-esteem and self-awareness.

Sundog Theatre

Mission: Sundog Theatre is a not-for-profit performing arts organization that provides contemporary and original theatre and educational programming. Their mission is to create positive change and enlightenment through the power of live performance and the arts.

Program Focus: Funding would support the 3-D Literacy Program. This is an interactive program designed to help students with literacy challenges improve their ability read, write, learn, and communicate. It integrates theatre games, literacy concepts and writing into Common Core curriculum. It is designed to increase comprehension and vocabulary, build confidence, and expand creativity. The all-encompassing modality of theatre teaches leadership, confidence, peer interaction/collaboration, listening, future job skills, and teamwork.

Together in Dance

Mission: Together in Dance is a dance and musical theater education organization that partners with school communities across NYC and provides students the opportunity to engage in the important process of teaching through and about each respective form while building community, teaching collaboration and tapping into each child’s creative voice. Through dance and musical theater, youth use their creativity and work collaboratively to connect to the world around them.

Program Focus: Musical Theater Residencies explore the social studies curriculum themes such as immigration, colonization, civil rights, and American History, from fourth grade through middle school Students work with a musical director and choreographer to develop skills in theater, choreography, singing, and play writing. Broadway musicals are used as source material for student learning, and to inspire a lyric-writing component of the work.


The Possibility Project

Mission: The Possibility Project uses the performing arts to bring teenagers together to transform the negative forces in their lives and communities into positive action. The Possibility Project envisions a city where young people are valued, respected, and play a leading role in creating vibrant communities.

Program Focus: Funding will support the 2015 Foster Care program. In the Foster Care program TPP will engage a group of teenagers to take part in an intensive, ten-month long, youth-led program that will use a range of the performing arts- acting, improvisation, movement, dance, voice, singing, playwriting- to address the complex conflicts they face living in foster care and raise a much-needed voice communicating the reality of the foster care system.


Voices Unbroken

Mission: Voices Unbroken is a Bronx-based non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing under-heard members of the community- primarily youth, ages 12-24, with the tools and opportunity for creative self-expression. Through high quality creative writing workshops in juvenile justice facilities, group homes, residential treatment facilities, jails, and various other alternative and transitional settings, Voices Unbroken nurtures the inherent need in all people to tell their stories and be heard.

Program Focus: Voices Beyond Bars – writing workshops taking place in jails and juvenile justice facilities; Speaking Our Voices – workshops in restrictive residential setting primarily serving young people who are in foster care or residential drug treatment; and Voices Ink – yearly anthologies from participants across programs

Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls

Mission: Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls is a non-profit music and mentoring program that empowers girls and women through music education, volunteerism, and activities that foster self-respect, leadership skills, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.

Program Focus: The Arts & Activism program is an opportunity for teens to learn about the powerful combination of music and social justice, develop practical journalism and new technology skills and most importantly, have fun. Teen women from moderate to low-income backgrounds gain valuable experience participating in DJ workshops, as well as building a podcast segment from beginning to end. Field trips to NYC-area cultural events, museums and community gatherings expand their social and cultural awareness while broadening their educational and career aspirations.

Young Urban Christians & Artists, Inc. (YUCA

Mission: To identify, equip and nurture young artists with the skills necessary to succeed in expanding and expressing their creativity. YUCA believes it is from this process of re-education and support that its’ students will become charismatic leaders committed to the vision of addressing the needs of their community. YUCA’s mission is to strengthen student’s confidence and competency in the visual arts by exploring their innate artistic gifts through the use of new technologies.

Program Focus: Funding would support the YUCA Arts Certificate Program, a certificate-based arts education program which incorporates traditional graphic design theory with modern computer graphics training. The program is provided year-round, in three semesters. After each semester students participate in a culminating event to exhibit their work and engage the community.

Value-Added Grantees

Variety New York provides more than grants to grassroots organizations. Variety provides a comprehensive, value-added set of resources that include technical assistance, evaluation, partnerships and collective infrastructure.

52nd Street Project.

Mission: The 52nd Street Project is a community-based arts organization that brings together kids from the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood in Manhattan with theatre professional to create original theater offered free to the general public.

Daniel’s Music Foundation

Mission: Founded in 2006 DMF provides free music programs to individuals with developmental and physical disabilities in the NYC area. Their mission is to provide a comfortable, educational and social environment in which members can enjoy, learn and practice the joy of music together.

Drama Club

Mission: Drama Club provides theater programming to incarcerated youths as a means of developing empathy, promoting academic growth and empowering the individual through self-expression.

Haiti Cultural Exchange

Mission: Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX) fosters a permanent presence for Haitian Arts &Culture in New York through the development, presentation and promotion of the cultural expression of the Haitian people.

Hetrick-Martin Institute, Inc.

Mission: Hetrick-Martin Institute is the nation’s oldest and largest leader in replicable lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth-serving programs. HMI targets youth who tend to be disconnected from formal social support systems and are economically disadvantaged and offers them a holistic, safe environment with year-round wrap-around services at no cost. HMI provides arts and culture programs, career readiness workshops, supplementary education, and mental and physical health services during the school day and after school to youth ages 12-24.

Intake Organization, Inc.

Mission: INTAKE (Instrumentally Native Taking on the Classics)is a youth development and arts organization with a mission to improve the quality of life for underserved children largely from immigrant families, by providing access to quality classical music education through the use of native instruments that represent the community’s diverse cultural backgrounds.

Josephine Herrick Project

Mission: The Josephine Herrick Project is a nonprofit that enlists photographic community volunteers to educate students who have not had the opportunity to learn the communicative power of photography. Through partnerships with local organizations, JHProject’s completely free programs inspire children, teens, adults and seniors with the visual language of photography, enhancing their abilities to transform communities through artistic vision.

Music Conservatory of Westchester

Mission: To provide quality music education for all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

The Door

Mission: The Door’s mission is to empower young people to reach their potential by providing comprehensive youth development services in a diverse and caring environment. Since 1972, The Door has helped a diverse and rapidly growing population of disconnected youth in New York City gain the tools they need to become successful, in school, work and in life. While we pride ourselves on offering all of our services under one roof, The Door is also focused on impacting the lives of young people throughout the city – and the world – and, as such, has served as a model for other, similar organizations locally, nationally and internationally. As the needs of New York City youth continue to shift and change, we work hard to shift our services in response.

The Laundromat Project

Mission: To provide quality music education for all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Union City Music Project

Mission: Union City Music Project is a bilingual educational organization that uses music as a vehicle for social change for low-income, predominantly Latino children in Hudson County, NJ through low-cost afterschool orchestral and vocal instruction and regular performances.



  1. […] to you by WorldWide Records, the event has partnered with Variety the Children’s Charity of New York, to which a portion of the profits from ticket sales will go. Additionally, performances by Michael […]


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