Last year at this time I shared with you that in 2015 Variety the Children’s Charity of New York would do everything possible to continue our fight against the creativity crisis and ensure more young people have access to transformative arts programs. I am pleased to report, thanks to your generosity, Variety New York has been able to increase our impact by more than 24% and is serving over 20,000 children this year! Not only have we been able to support more arts programs and more young people, but we have also been able to add new programs and resources to ensure the organizations with which we partner can reach more young people than ever before.
While all of this is exciting, there is still much work to be done and we need your help to do it. In the most recent publication on the state of arts education in New York City schools more than half of middle and high school students report not participating in arts classes. This is particularly alarming given the study from the National Endowment for the Arts which states low income youth with little to no arts access are five times more likely to drop out of high school. Outside of school, only 33% of individuals report attending or participating in arts events, despite nearly 70% wanting to attend. Compounding these problems, public funding for the arts has decreased 30% over the past 20 years making access to the arts and all of its benefits harder and harder to realize.
Variety New York understands that the arts means much more than fostering artistic talent or providing fun experiences for youth. We know the arts are one of the best vehicles to get youth ready to succeed in school, their community, their career and their future. As a result of supporters, volunteers, grantees, youth and partners with HEART we have had a banner year making the arts a reality for many children. To learn more about our year please read our annual report here.
I invite you to join our efforts and invest in the heart of our communities by transforming the life of a child today!
Best wishes during this holiday season,