2020 in review →

The Teen Arts Program provides dynamic opportunities for 65 teens – ages 13-18 – to explore the arts academically and professionally. Teens are paired 1 on 1 with a mentor in a creative profession to guide them through the complicated process of creating a portfolio and applying to specialized art schools. Throughout the program, teens also gain real-world experience through company visits and paid summer internships.


Individualized portfolio development for teens interested in applying to a specialized arts high school and/or college. Over the course of 8 months, teens and mentors work 1 on 1 to research perspective schools, develop a visual arts portfolio, and prepare for the rigorous application, interview, and audition process. 2019 schools include:

  • Brooklyn College
  • Buffalo State
  • Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Gramercy Arts High School
  • High School of Art & Design
  • Laguardia High School of Music & Performing Arts
  • Lower Manhattan Arts Academy
  • Parsons
  • School of Visual Arts
  • The High School Of Fashion Industries


Creative Lab offers teens an introduction to the many facets of the creative industry. Youth and mentor pairs meet monthly, to visit artists’ studios/museums, participate in professional development workshops, and build visual literacy. Teens work to build communication, networking, resume writing, interview and digital literacy skills. Over school breaks, teens visit top creative companies, meet employees, learn about their jobs and the paths they took to get there. 2019 companies include:

  • BFA
  • Catbird
  • Draper James
  • Penguin Random House
  • Phillips Auction House
  • Uniqlo
  • Verizon
  • Viacom/Velocity
  • Warby Parker


High school juniors and seniors earn paid summer internships hosted by creative companies. 2020 summer internships include:

  • Blueprint Media
  • Bustle
  • Curtis Kulig Studio
  • David Zwirner
  • DXA
  • Fort Standard
  • Free Arts NYC
  • Nathan Love
  • Orchard Street Ventures
  • Penguin Random House
  • SteeleCase

“Free Arts means a lot to me, it’s become a part of my life. I love art and I want to pursue a career in art, and Free Arts helped me express myself and learn who I am through what I love.”

– Ricardo, Portfolio Development Program