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Volunteering Opportunities for Creatives in NYC

We’ve noticed a growing interest within New York’s creative community to stand up, speak out, and resist some of the new White House Administration’s policies. Many people are looking for an outlet through which they can channel their passions and make an impact on the lives and causes affected by these policies. We think finding an activity that inspires and empowers you is a great starting point in determining the best way to contribute to the greater good.

Because there’s more at stake, I feel motivated and inspired to take action now more than ever. At Radish Lab, our work revolves around helping nonprofits refine their messaging, create clear action plans, and build ground-up strategies. In our personal lives, we try to hold ourselves accountable to supporting our local communities in both Brooklyn and Berlin.

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The influence of art on society has the potential to be channelled into action, and making an impact to better yourself and community can start with volunteering your time, energy, or creativity. If you’re local to NYC, here are some groups we love that are making a difference and are always looking for volunteers:

  • GROUNDSWELL NYC: Groundswell is known for their mural-making projects painted by underrepresented groups. Volunteer opportunities: Making art, events help, internships, office help, and other opportunities.
  • CITY ARTS: CITYarts involves both youth and professional artists in making public art, which includes murals and mosaics. Volunteer opportunities: Restoring, creating, or re-doing public art.
  • ARTS GOWANUS: Arts Gowanus is a not-for-profit organization that works to support and promote local artists and a sustainable arts community. Volunteer opportunities: Greeters, events help, fundraising, and social media.
  • THE LAUNDROMAT PROJECT: The Laundromat Project brings socially relevant and engaged arts programs to laundromats and other community areas. They are committed to a sustaining investment in communities of color and those living on modest incomes. Volunteer opportunities: Help with events, teacher’s aids at art workshops, and helping staff at The LP office.
  • YOUNG AUDIENCES NEW YORK: Young Audiences New York’s programs bring the arts to children, youth, and families throughout New York City. Volunteer opportunities: Team mentors, staff and artists to host a workshop, host a group of children to shadow you at work, and help Young Audiences advance projects.
  • MUSEUM OF IMPACT: The Museum of Impact influences the self, society, art, and activism. They partner with local communities, artists, and institutions to create experiences that bring about inspiring movements of the people. Volunteer opportunities: Museum administration assistance and exhibition development.
  • ARTS IN BUSHWICK: Arts in Bushwick provides an outlet for creative minds in the community and works towards a sustainable neighborhood through arts programming, creative accessibility, and community organizing. Volunteer opportunities: Writers, event volunteers, media help, community outreach, and other opportunities.
  • NEW YORK FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS: NYFA is an independent organization that strives to empower and and engage artists with many resources and job listings. While NYFA’s website does not list any specific volunteer opportunities, it does serve as a great resource for the state’s thriving creative community.

We hope that this list may inspire you to look for an outlet that will motivate you to give back, whether through one of these programs or in another way. These are capricious times we’re living in, and there are plenty of organizations that could use your help. As Dr. King put it:

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

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