Free Arts NYC

June 9, 2011 │ New York

CSR Americas hosted a "Free Arts Day" at 60 Wall Street in collaboration with nonprofit partner Free Arts NYC.

From a top-floor space surrounded by views of downtown Manhattan, forty children from the Department of Homeless Services were invited for a day of art-making and informal mentoring alongside employee volunteers.  The children created projects along a theme of "Art of the City," making animal puppets inspired by the Central Park Zoo animals, molding clay into monuments, creating miniature gardens based on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and constructing bridges with toothpicks.

Leslie Slover, COO of CIB Americas and a Free Arts NYC board member, kicked off the day by welcoming the 38 Deutsche volunteers. Held on a public school holiday, the day provided the elementary school-aged children from the Bronx and Brooklyn with a constructive activity for an otherwise unstructured day. Children and volunteers were matched up in 1:1 or 2:1 “buddy” pairings.

This was the first-ever Free Arts Day at Deutsche Bank’s office and the largest such event that Free Arts NYC had organized to date. Typically, Free Arts Days are daylong festivals held on Saturdays at community centers and schools. Employees noted that the weekday timing and on-site location of the event made it more convenient for them to volunteer. They enjoyed connecting with their buddies around the art projects and meeting other employees within the Bank. “Definitely the best day I have had at [the Bank] yet,” said one. The children were also excited for the chance to spend the day in a corporate building and to interact with caring adults.

The day concluded with a show-and-tell where volunteers helped their buddies present their favorite projects to their peers. Jeff Mayer, Head of CIB North America, visited to ask the children about their work. Talking with Mayer gave the children an opportunity to articulate why they were proud of certain art pieces. One volunteer observed that her “buddy,” “had a smile on his face and told [her] how nice it was that people were proud of him.”

Together, Deutsche Bank volunteers and Free Arts NYC worked to give the children individual attention and support throughout the day, ensuring that the day was not only creative and fun, but also encouraging.

Free Arts NYC provides underserved children and families with art-based mentoring programs. Over 300 Deutsche volunteers participate in Free Arts program annually. For more information, please click here.

Deutsche Bank's Jeff Mayer visits with one of the children from Free Arts NYC enlarge

Deutsche Bank's Jeff Mayer visits with one of the children from Free Arts NYC

Deutsche Bank's Jeff Mayer visits with one of the children from Free Arts NYC


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Last Update: March 12, 2012
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