With all of the crazy political and negative news going on lately, it is very refreshing to hear about something positive happening in the world.  On August 3, 2016, I had the pleasure of interviewing the Executive Director Jeremy Del Rio to discuss his organization, called Thrive Collective.  While talking he discussed the amazing art programs now in more than 100 New York City Public Schools. The team was working on their latest mural for the Coney Art Walls. 

The program includes painting murals at various public facilities in New York.  When I met Jeremy and another team member by the name of Sam Wieneski.  Sam serves as Creative Director for Thrive Creative.  Coney Island USA, artist in residence Marie Roberts was also on hand for questions.  Along with a host of other members and volunteers, the goal is to empower students by using their creative skills.  In addition, the goal is to help them learn and envision the creation of their own world and career. 

Thrive Collective mobilizes students, parents, artists, and community stakeholders to partner with public schools for transformational change.  The organization functions both as a matchmaker and direct service provider of arts and mentoring programs that cultivate the character and competencies necessary for students to thrive in today’s world.

The core programs are as follows:  Murals, Music, Media, and Mentoring which provides quality arts education and committed adult mentors in predominantly low-income communities throughout New York City. They enhance awareness campaigns and partnerships we have facilitated citywide.

This year, our Thrive Teaching Artists will work in twenty-five schools, facilitate motivational assemblies and recitals, produce fifteen school murals, and pilot a student film festival. Together with our partners, we will serve over 100 schools in all five boroughs.

Over the past two years the programs have continued to grow and the influence is starting to be seen by other cities in the US.  Although, Thrive is currently in NYC, there is a great possibility to touch students all around the country and maybe even the world. 

The current roster of programs is a truly a definite indication of the continued progress of the organization.  In addition, the affect it has on the current and former participating students is undeniable. Thrive Collective’s name says quite a bit about the goal and that is to help students thrive. 

Published by Judith Davis