Art Start connects New York City’s artists and creatively-minded professionals with underserved children to make masterpieces. Over 25 years, Art Start’s enlisted over 11,000 Mentor artists to help deliver our nationally recognized model of arts-education.

Mentoring for Art Start is more then just community service — it’s life enhancing for all involved. Paired up with young people whose dreams far surpass their immediate circumstances, artwork is just one of the magical results. Your ideas, your time, your expertise and your willingness to make a relationship with a child or a teen, even if just for one night a week, will open up their minds to seeking opportunity and plowing towards their goals — not to mention how it will open up your own artistry and creativity.


Art Start Volunteers have many ways to contribute to our mission, but the main one is to be a Workshop Mentor in the Homeless Youth Outreach program:

  1. Commit to a full “session" (3 months), one night per week, with no more than TWO absences.

  2. Have a background or interest in the arts and a willingness to help lead a project based on your interests.

  3. Have experience working with groups of children or teens, either in a classroom setting, summer camp, daycare, or large family.

  4. Have a positive, open mind, and believe that anything is possible with vision and commitment.

  5. Attend a one-on-one interview, undergo $60 GoPass finger print and background check, and undergo a mentor artist orientation for 2-3 hours on your designated mentor weeknight during the week directly preceding the start date of your session (see below Schedule)


Art Start workshops take place on weeknight evenings, between the hours of 4-9pm.  Most workshops are 1.5 hours long and the starting time depends on the program.  Art Start workshops are located in Bushwick Brooklyn, South Bronx, and Harlem. Workshops include visual arts, music, dance, theatre, photography, gardening, and music recording. Youth range in age from 5-21.

Get to know our Mentors.

Meet just a few of the many mentors who bring joy & creativity to our workshops.