The DreamYard Project has a patriotic attachment to the Bronx. Two young actors, Jason Duchin and Tim Lord, founded it, twenty-one years ago, to teach public-school kids in grades K through twelve by using the arts. The idea was to recruit teachers from among working artists of Duchin’s and Lord’s acquaintance in New York and match them with schools whose funding for arts education had been cut. Through a few changes, that has been DreamYard’s basic mission from the start. For some years, the teaching program was in several boroughs, but today it’s only in the Bronx, where DreamYard-sponsored artists in forty-five schools teach about ten thousand students.
DreamYard also holds poetry contests between local kids and kids in other countries via Skype, makes posters for political protests, supplies art work for parks and other public spaces, holds acting workshops for adults, helps to paint designs on local apartment-building rooftops in heat-reflecting paint, and runs arts festivals. It believes that art can save the world.
What an amazing story. I wish I could accurately describe the pride I felt reading this. As someone who spent 20+ years growing up in the Bronx, and has written two novels about the borough, my goal in 2016 is to figure out some way to help with DreamYard.