Young New Yorkers was accepted as one of the few inaugural organizations to provide arts programing to NeON Arts communities that are home to large numbers of people on probation.

Young New Yorkers has specially designed an arts curriculum to the Brownsville NeON community addressing the issue of gun violence. The program entitled - Transforming Futures: Exploring Empowering Responses to Gun Violence through Art and Design Thinking - will use photography, film, illustration, and design to tell local stories followed by a final public exhibition of artwork developed during the program later this spring.

NeON Arts is a program of the NYC Department of Probation in partnership with Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute.

Funding provided by the Open Society Foundation through a grant to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City in support of the NYC Young Men's Initiative.

Thank you to all those that made this opportunity possible!

Here is the official press release:

NYC Dept. of Probation Contact: Ryan Dodge | Tel: 212-788-4631 | E-mail:

Carnegie Hall Contact: Samantha Nemeth | Tel: 212-903-9753 | E-mail:


New Initiative Connects Local Artists and Arts Organizations with Probation Clients Throughout New York City, Creating Programming Available To The Whole Community

NeON Arts Programming Offered in Spring 2014 Includes Music, Theater, Dance, Poetry, Visual Art, and Digital Media in Seven Community-Based NeON Locations

(March 10, 2014; NEW YORK, NY)—The New York City Department of Probation (DOP), in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, today announced the names of eleven New York City organizations to be awarded grants supporting arts programming as part of DOP’s new citywide NeON Arts initiative.

Building on DOP’s successful efforts to increase public safety by engaging probation clients in the arts, NeON Arts is a public/private initiative that funds local arts projects in seven communities that are home to significant numbers of probation clients. NeON Arts connects community-based artists and local arts organizations to probation clients who report to Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) locations, as well as community members. Through the NeON Arts program, which is currently funded for two years of work, artists, clients, and community members will collaborate on projects in a variety of disciplines, including dance, music, theater, visual art, poetry, and digital media. In addition to creating meaningful art projects that will benefit their local community, participants will learn important new skills and develop positive peer relationships.

The seven NeON neighborhoods are Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn), Brownsville (Brooklyn), East New York (Brooklyn), Harlem (Manhattan), South Jamaica (Queens), Staten Island, and the South Bronx.

The eleven organizations selected to create programming for the first round of the NeON Arts initiative, which lasts through June 30, 2014, are:

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant: The Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions and Xmental

  • Brownsville: Young New Yorkers East New York: ARTs East New York

  • Harlem: Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Roundabout Theatre Company, and Voices UnBroken

  • South Bronx: Free Verse, Music Beyond Measure, and Voices UnBroken

  • South Jamaica: Life Light Street Productions

  • Staten Island: The Animation Project

“Congratulations to the eleven organizations receiving inaugural NeON Arts grants!” said NYC Department of Probation Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi. “Recent studies have proven what many of us have long taken as an article of faith: the arts can help people in the justice system turn their lives around. NeON Arts is advancing our larger, agency-wide goal of connecting probation clients to advocates and allies in their home communities.”

An integral part of the development of NeON Arts has been hands-on participation by local community members. The arts organizations participating in the first round of the initiative were selected by local NeON stakeholder groups, which are comprised of probation clients, DOP staff, and local business and cultural leaders.

Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute—an ongoing arts partner of the NYC Department of Probation— serves as an intermediary organization, providing support and facilitation for NeON Arts.


NeON Arts is a program of the NYC Department of Probation in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.

NeON Arts funding is provided by the Open Society Foundations through a grant to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to support New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI).

The NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) transforms lives by connecting young men of color with the tools they need to succeed. YMI views each young man as a valuable asset to his family, his community and his city. It invests in our common future by providing Black and Latino young men with innovative programs, services and policy solutions focused on education, employment, health and justice. By focusing New York City’s resources in a smart and strategic way, this unprecedented public-private partnership has created a global model for helping young men to reach their goals, break the poverty cycle and build stronger communities. To learn more about YMI, visit:


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