Charity Spotlight: ArtBridge

ArtBridge is the perfect name for this New York based charity. This organization is not only empowering local artists, it is literally transforming dilapidated urban spaces.

Since 2008, ArtBridge has made a huge impact on enlivened urban spaces with art by local artists. These incredible works of art can be found on unique canvases throughout New York City ---including staircases in the Bronx, and NYCHA plazas in Brownsville, to construction fencing throughout the five boroughs. Bronx resident Tonya Brown could not be more grateful for the difference Artbridge has made in her community—“ArtBridge painted huge murals on three staircases in near me [in Morrisania]—it’s amazing that someone, finally, cared about how this neighborhood looks. It’s great for all of us who live here, but especially helps the kids take pride in where they live.”

ArtBridge has focused on outdoor locations that are darkened, dilapidated, or otherwise unusual. New York City currently has a staggering 225 miles of street-level construction scaffolding. This ubiquitous construction eats away at the fabric of these neighborhoods. Since 2008, ArtBridge has transformed this eyesore into a canvas for local, emerging artists. These exhibitions have resulted in incredible exposure for artists, while artfully reinvigorating the urban landscape. 

ArtBridge frequently activates its exhibition sites with placemaking activities such as artist-guided tours, art events and instruction for local youth. The result: artists do not merely beautify their neighborhoods, they are empowered to be community builders. Brooklyn artist Cheryl Bowers had the privilege of exhibiting her work in Brownsville in 2017, "My experience was nothing short of tremendous. It felt like an out of body experience—this was my first HUGE display of my work outdoors. It was a fabulous opportunity for me as a photographer who was fairly fresh into her career.”

Artbridge is a 501c3 that was founded by Rodney Durso. This creative and growing organization is always looking for new artists for upcoming exhibit opportunities along with scaffolding and neighborhoods to place them.  For more information visit www.art-bridge.org

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Saundra Marcel