Access Art delivers a youth-centered after school program to address the artistic, emotional, and cognitive development of middle and high school participants. We achieve these goals by providing students with a safe space to create, positive adult role models, empowering activities, leadership development, and alternatives to violence and high risk behavior. Since its inception, more than one hundred fifty youth have gained comprehensive knowledge and skills through the creative process and our arts-based programming aimed at giving participants not only tools like paintbrushes and cameras, but tools to help them in their journey towards success such as social skills, problem solving techniques, and a positive self-image.

Access Art now has two main programming components including Youthlight and Arts Now.

Youthlight is an award-winning and comprehensive forty week after-school photography and media literacy program designed to provide middle and high school youth access to quality, in-depth photography instruction, media literacy education, and leadership development. Youthlight empowers youth to document their lives, explore their creativity, and encourages them to engage as activists and leaders in their neighborhoods through photography and media creation. The participants in Youthlight utilize photography to become their own advocates producing unique images not only of the areas they inhabit, but of the dreams and perceptions that live within them.

Our second component is Art Now, a program utilizing an innovative arts curriculum enabling participants to master tradition art materials as well as engage in various mural projects in Baltimore City where they create designs, paint the murals, and ultimately change their communities through art. Art now enables participants to learn the expressive qualities of art, while investigating their own lives. They learn to translate their unique views and feelings about the world through the visual language of image making while learning valuable art related and vocational skills, gaining self-confidence and self worth, and realizing personal achievement.