INTERVIEW: V Y P H A M - I N N E R C I T Y A R T S
For our pop up we're partnering with the amazing organization Inner City Arts as our non-profit partner. Inner City Arts, based in DTLA brings a variety of art education to a multitude of students in the LA area. During the month we'll be taking donations and will donate a portion of our profits to the non-profit. Read on to learn more about this amazing initiative in a little chat we had with Vy Pham, their director of communication.
Tell us about Inner-City Arts. What is it? What is your involvement?
Inner-City Arts is an arts education provider for Los Angeles’ most underserved youth, located in Downtown Los Angeles in the heart of Skid Row. The arts have the power to transform lives and we believe that in order to positively affect our future, we must first start with equitable access to arts education for the children and teens of our city. Each year, Inner-City Arts serves more than 6,000 students through our unique in-school day program for K-8 kids, special arts workshops for middle and high school students, creativity training for educators, administrators and community leaders, and community engagement events through our Rosenthal Theater. Our beautiful campus holds eight visual and performing arts studios where students are encouraged to take risks, learn new modes of self-expression, build self-confidence and develop 21-century skills such as collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. I am the Associate Director of Communications at Inner-City Arts and have the privilege of sharing our mission, vision and the stories coming out of our organization with our supporters.
How do you feel an art education contributes to the growth and well being of your students?
Engagement in the arts is so important to the development of young people for all of the reasons I mentioned earlier. The creative process helps its participants unearth a sense of self. The arts are not only important to the emotional development of students, they also have great effect on academic outcomes, helping to close the achievement gap. Studies have shown that low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are more likely to graduate high school and twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.
What kind of community are you building?
We’re interested in building a community of supporters, art lovers and advocates who believe in the power of the creative process to transform the lives of young people and our city.
Why Los Angeles?
Los Angeles is a great city where art, music, fashion, culture and creative businesses are abundant. And yet, the arts have a slim presence in our schools. A report released by the Los Angeles Times in 2015 showed that out of more than 700 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, only 35 schools received a top rating in providing arts education services to their students. That’s 5%! I feel that if more of those who live and work in this city knew about this stat, there would be more support for arts education. In order to keep LA great, the onus is on us as Angelenos to ensure that kids and teens in this city have equal access to artistic experiences during a time in their growth when they need it the most.
What was the last thing that made you laugh?
Honestly, it must have been watching four students in the Creativity Lab try to figure out how to center a suspended donut onto a target without using any verbal communication and the suspense! https://www.instagram.com/p/BTZgpEjFPsB/?taken-by=innercityarts
What are you in support of?
We are in support of equal access to quality arts education for our youth.