Free Arts NYC to Hold Art From the Heart Gallery Exhibition at El Museo del Barrio

Jun 14, 2010, 15:21 ET from Free Arts NYC

5:00 Doors Open

5:30 Performance by Story Pirates and Award Presentation

6:30 – 7:30 Reception

Event to feature 300 works from participants and raise awareness about afterschool programs

NEW YORK, June 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Free Arts NYC will hold its annual Art from the Heart Gallery Exhibition at El Museo del Barrio on Tuesday evening, June 15, 2010. The event will feature a performance by Story Pirates at 5:30 followed by a brief awards ceremony and at 6:30, the crowd will move into the lobby to view the exhibition that will showcase 300 works by Free Arts NYC's arts-based mentoring program participants. Free Arts NYC will honor the following public officials with "Afterschool Hero" awards for their commitment to supporting high-quality afterschool programs: New York City Council Member Inez E. Dickens, New York City Council Member Annabel Palma, and New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. The reception will bring children, parents, and community stakeholders together to celebrate afterschool programs that unleash children's creativity and character.

A free performance by the Story Pirates, a children's theater troupe and Free Arts cultural enrichment partner, will include a series of short plays written by children in the Weekly Mentor Program. The event is the second in a series of advocacy and community events Free Arts is hosting to foster awareness and celebrate afterschool programs. "More than 400,000 NYC children are shut out of afterschool programs because supply does not meet the demand. It is imperative that we find a way to raise awareness and expand access to high-quality afterschool programs," said Liz Hopfan, Executive Director and founder of Free Arts NYC. Liz is one of 19 Afterschool Alliance Ambassadors around the country working to bring the importance of afterschool programs to the forefront of legislative and community agendas. El Museo del Barrio is demonstrating its support of Free Arts NYC by extending the exhibition through August 22, 2010.

Free Arts NYC is a premier non-profit organization that provides under-served children and families in the New York City area with a unique combination of educational arts and mentoring programs to help them foster greater self-confidence and resiliency. Founded in 1998, Free Arts NYC has provided over 25,000 individuals in the New York City area with programs that aim to empower disadvantaged youth by helping to increase the capacity to learn and to self-express. The organization offers hundreds of afterschool and weekend arts programs in collaboration with over 30 schools and social service agencies.

El Museo del Barrio, New York's leading Latino cultural institution, welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic and cultural landscape of the Caribbean and Latin America. The richness of Latino cultures is represented in El Museo's wide-ranging collections and exhibitions, complemented by performing arts events, cultural celebrations, and educational programs. A dynamic artistic, cultural, and community gathering place, El Museo is a center of cultural pride on New York's Museum Mile.