A bright national spotlight shines on Bella Vista’s own Fleisher Art Memorial today.
This afternoon, Fleisher will receive a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award at the White House, along with 11 other organizations whose extraordinary programs help foster creativity and development in young people in underserved communities.
Every year more than 2,000 young people participate in Fleisher’s tuition-free youth art programs and classes. Students from ages 5-18 can explore creative expression through more than 100 art classes offered through the Saturday Young People’s Programs. Fleisher’s Teen Lounge invites older students (13-18) to drop in after school to create artwork with the help of professional artist mentors. Fleisher also brings art to Southeast Philadelphia social service organizations and schools with its Community Partnerships in the Arts program.
Fleisher Art Memorial began in 1898 as the Graphic Sketch Club, offering free art classes to low-income youth. Its mission is grounded in Samuel S. Fleisher’s belief that every individual deserves creative outlets, regardless of their station in life. Today that spirit is alive and well at the Fleisher Art Memorial, and has earned the organization national recognition.
Joining Matt Braun, Fleisher’s executive director, in Washington D.C. today to accept the award is Zulmarie Nazario, a 16 year-old Teen Lounge student. Nazario says when she’s making art at Fleisher she feels free. Here’s she is describing her experience at Fleisher’s Teen Lounge:
Fleisher is celebrating their big news with a party in celebration of youth art at their campus today. I’ll be there to raise a cupcake in your honor. So this week’s Bravo* goes to Fleisher for fostering community and young people’s creativity in Southeast Philadelphia for more than 100 years.
*Bravo is an Eyes on the Street feature that takes a moment to applaud the people and places making Philadelphia great.
- Fleisher Art Memorial and one of its students get ready for a White House honor, The Inquirer [November 2, 2011]
- Philadelphia’s Fleisher Art Memorial in national spotlight for work with kids, NewsWorks [November 2, 2011]