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The Harlem School Of Art Orchestrates Relief

Tatyana Bellamy-Walker | 7/7/2014, 10:06 a.m.

The Harlem School of Arts had quite a scare last week.

Nine hours before the fiscal year closed the venerable organization was still more than $100,000 away from their $129,195 goal. As the demand for financial aid doubles for the upcoming academic year, Yvette L. Campbell continues the program though the organization still requires financial support.

Established in 1964 by American soprano Dorothy Maynor The Harlem School of Arts, a pioneering cultural institution on 645 St Nicholas Ave. NY, NY offers an affordable art's education program to students of all ages. The institute uses world class trainers and musicians that orchestrate cultural workshops, helping students build confidence, and stimulate creativity.

HSA serves more than 4,000 students across New York, and does not deny a student based on familial income. As the need for financial aid increases the payments are becoming an expense of the organization.

“We got a lot more request for financial aid this year and we honored them regardless of whether we could afford it or not, because it is important to serve our community.” said President and CEO Yvette L. Campbell

Though the Harlem School of Arts has met financial instability in the past, Campbell explains that the non profit organization hopes to gain sponsors that meet the institutes current economic goals.

"Email is a fund raising tool, to get us donors and to get us more money to fill the gap. If we don't fill the gap we lose money from other places, and when we lose money our children suffer” said Campbell

While CEO Yvette Campbell struggles to afford equal educational opportunities for all HSA students Dance Department Director and former dancer with the Alvin and Aily American Dance Theater Aubrey Lynch observes the financial impact in the classroom.

“The arts nurture creativity and allows a child to imagine a world outside of their current circumstances. It breaks my heart when a kid has to drop a class.” said Lynch

According to the 2012 – 2013 Harlem School of Arts annual report it projects that by 2016 the program will require $1 million dollars in need based financial aid to support the students.

“We genuinely care about families, we care about kids. We care about their futures and where their going and participating in their lives outside of the classroom.” said Lynch

Despite financial difficulties youth at the Harlem School of Art agree that their school is not only a place of art but a family as well.

“ I love the Harlem School of art; It really is like a second home to me” said 10 year old violinist, and aspiring Lion King actress DePre Owens from the Dalton School, Manhattan, NY.

The Harlem School of Art has transformed the lives of over ten thousand students. In the Fall of 2014 the Harlem School of Art will host their Annual Benefit Gala. For more information to support HSA contact Dwight Johnson at (212) - 889 – 4689 or log on to their websitewww.hsanyc.org.