Youth in Groundswell programs develop and hone their skills in four key areas—Creativity; Collaboration; Critical Thinking and Compassion. In school-year and summer programs, they master skills in art making to: communicate ideas; work effectively with others to accomplish common goals; make informed decisions though researching, analyzing, discussing, and finding solutions to problems; and to build awareness of and empathy for others.

Summer Programs

  • Summer Leadership Institute (SLI): A summer job-training program for up to 100 youth. Six teams of youth spend seven weeks working with artists and community-based organizations, learning job skills and creating public art for their neighborhoods. (click here)

  • Making Hi'story (MH): Based on Groundswell's Voices Her'd Visionaries, this is a program for young men who have demonstrated exemplary committment to Groundswell and the potential for leadership. The program piloted in 2007 and will launch again in 2012, adding a seventh project to the Summer Leadership Institute. (click here)


Afterschool Programs

  • Teen Empowerment Mural Apprenticeship (TEMA): An after-school program, modeled on a traditional apprenticeship, in which teens create public art for community-based organizations. Two TEMA groups meet weekly throughout the school year. (click here)

  • Voices Her’d Visionaries (VHV): A program for young women who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to Groundswell and potential for leadership. During the school-year, participants examine issues facing women and girls and choose a topic for a large-scale summer public art project in our SLI program. (click here)

  • Portfolio Development: Groundswell high-school students interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree work with artists to develop a complete portfolio for their applications and apply for scholarships. (click here)


Programs for Court-Involved Youth

  • TurnStyle: Youth arrested for minor offences fulfill their community service requirements working with Groundswell staff and artists. This program runs in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation’s Red Hook Community Justice Center and the Greenpoint Youth Court.

  • Segue: Youth who have graduated from the TurnStyle program learn the skills that are necessary for participation in Groundswell’s after-school and summer public art-making programs.

  • East River Academy: Incarcerated youth collaborate with Groundswell artists to create murals for the Riker’s Island jail. (click here)


In the Community & Schools

  • StreetWise: Hunts Point. With support from the Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund, Groundswell partners with The Majora Carter Group to engage youth, artists, and other community members in the identification of transportation-related concerns in the South Bronx and recommendation of design, signage, and policy solutions with the NYC Department of Transportation. (click here)

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  • Community Mural Action Program (CMAP). Schools and community groups contract with Groundswell to develop public art projects that reflect their mission. CMAP projects often meet at a partner organization’s site and are sometimes part of the school day. (click here)

  • Arts in Education. Groundswell is partnering with local public schools to integrate visual arts into the academic curriculum. (click here)