We are using cookies to give a better service experience. By using our services you agree to use cookies. Read more


Impactful afterschool art program that partners with public libraries to empower kids, one paintbrush at a time

ProjectArt establishes public libraries as enriching local spaces where youth engage in free afterschool visual art classes. We aim to facilitate the development of students’ self esteem, critical thinking skills, and encourage them to form connections with peers and community. Local artists who teach and mentor our students create an environment ripe for success inside and outside the classroom.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.






February 2019
Pittsburgh has a long history of celebrating and cultivating creativity and we are proud to welcome ProjectArt to our education and non-profit networks, a special thanks goes to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and all of the partners involved with ProjectArt for their continued investment and commitment to unleash the power of creativity in every child throughout Pittsburgh and beyond. — William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh

About the innovation

Create, Connect, Thrive

ProjectArt believes in the power of creativity and the potential of every child. We utilize visual arts to amplify the voices of communities often silenced through educational budget cuts and socioeconomic hardship. ProjectArt was founded in New York in 2011 and expanded to Pittsburgh in 2017, providing over 1,000 hours of arts instruction at six public libraries in Pittsburgh over the course of just two years.

ProjectArt is a scalable program that provides free afterschool art classes to students ages 4-18 over the course of the academic school year. Our partnership with the public library systems has allowed ProjectArt to hire local artists to teach 45 students at each library, split into three one-hour classes of 15 students that are broken down by age group (4-7, 8-12, 13-18). Classes are taught on a weekly basis, and culminate in a resident teaching artist and student exhibitions to celebrating the students’ creativity and artistic achievements.

During the last eight years, ProjectArt has provided hundreds of children and teens in under-resourced communities a space to express themselves creatively and overcome social barriers, with the goal to help them grow as thoughtful and empowered adults. Research shows that sustained access to high-quality arts learning opportunities can have an inestimable impact on children’s lives. An essential part of STEAM and 21st-century learning, the long-term positive impact of arts education stretch beyond the classroom to help students thrive. From increased self-esteem and improved social skills to students feeling more connected to their community, ProjectArt’s impact is tangible.

Implementation steps

Do you have a public library?

Does your city have a public library system? One of the first steps for ProjectArt to identifyfuture cities is to identify a public library system in a city that can support the programing.

Identify if your city schools provide art education

Our program is geared towards children that receive little to no arts education at school. Information on the availability of the arts in the local public school system can be found on the school district's website, by contacting the school board, public records, and funding documents. We focus on instilling creative confidence in youth while providing local emerging artists with an opportunity to teach and pass on their knowledge and passion for the arts.

Is there a low-income population?

This information can be gathered by looking into censusdata. For thosein the United States the Census Bureau will have public information avalibleat: https://www.census.gov/data.html

Contact us! Email: info@projectart.org
Once you have gathered the initial data on whether or not your city is a fit for ProjectArt get in contact with our team. We are eager and happy to help those interested in expansioninto new cities. If you need help along the way gathering information on your city, reach out to us and we can help point you in the right direction.

At this stage, ProjectArt will begin working with you on outreach to community leaders, libraries, and schools to gain further insight. This is the stage we begin laying the groundwork and structure to create they system we use in all our cities.

Program Launch!
Congratulations! At this point, ProjectArt will propose a full launch of a new chapter in your city. The program will be incorporated into the local community, library and art scene, as we continue to strivetwords connecting local artist into our growing network of artist-educators in the city's libraries tocontinue the arts education of our students.

Spread of the innovation

loading map...