Culture For One offers five direct services that address its mission:
1. cultural excursions
Cultural Excursions bring small groups of children to see works of art, and participate in cultural offerings, including Broadway or off-Broadway productions, musical, dance, visual or performing art offerings, or touring an institution or company involved with arts and culture. To date, Culture For One has taken over 3,800 children on more than 180 different cultural excursions. Examples of shows include: Lion King, Kinky Boots, and Hamilton, as well as performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance, Pilobolus, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, New York City Ballet, Beyonce, and cultural visits to the Met, MoMA, the Apollo and Jazz at Lincoln Center. In addition, we have taken teens for career related visits to such companies as Google, NBC Television Productions, RCA Records/Sony Music and the Hearst Corporation.
2. art scholarships
Arts Scholarships are offered to those who have previously attended cultural excursions. Once a spark has been ignited, we provide children with the means to explore an interest, which may be a key to identifying who they are. Opportunities to study art, music or dance can change a child or teen’s view of their world and future. Like all children, those in foster care deserve the chance to find a passion. One student in particular flourished as she took her very first photography class at the International Center of Photography (ICP). Another student, whose goal is to become an architect, developed important skills during her drawing class, held at the Arts Students League (ASL) in midtown Manhattan. In addition to these examples, we have also provided guitar and dance lessons, as well as additional enrollment at the International Center of Photography for a total of 96 CFO art scholarships.
3. on-site workshops
On-site Workshops are offered at the agency partner’s facilities to supplement cultural excursions and offer access to youth for whom outings to Manhattan are not always an option. By bringing resources, instructors/experts and caring volunteers to these youth, we increase our reach. For example, Culture For One supplements Teen Cooking Classes with monthly guest chef instruction that offers new perspectives and skills to create international cuisine, and prepares healthy, cost-efficient meals. We also offer guest speakers for adolescent Career Prep Workshops to offer insight, skills, and contacts useful for job planning and interviewing. And for younger children, we offer weekly dance/ movement classes and art instruction. We have now produced over 350 creative workshops for youth in our program.
4.Take-Home Art Projects for Tots
Take-Home Art Projects for Tots provide children 2-5 years old with age-appropriate themed take-home activity packages at several points during the year. We work with a pre-school art educator in developing easy, yet stimulating creative activities for the children to take home. The crafts are distributed at Forestdale when foster parents and children attend scheduled meetings at the agency throughout the year. The idea behind this program is to enforce the concept that it’s never too early to expose youth to the arts. Our hope is that these children will grow to appreciate how the arts can nourish and enrich their lives.
5. next steps
Next Steps program is in development