Announcing The Artist Volunteer Center

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Announcing the Artist Volunteer Center, a New York-based Nonprofit Arts Organization & Presenting 'The 100 Hour AV Challenge'

A New York-based nonprofit focused on art and volunteerism has recently been established to inspire socially-conscious artistic endeavors. The Artist Volunteer Center (The AV Center) will debut a launch event in New York on October 29, 2013 to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. This launch event will begin the ‘100 Hour AV Challenge’ starting with a day of service to benefit the Henry Street Settlement, followed by a meet and greet celebration at the Abrons Arts Center.

The 100 Hour AV Challenge invites artists to volunteer one hundred hours between October 29 and April 29, 2014 with a number of organizations who have partnered with the AV Center. Among the diverse and growing list are New York Cares, Partnership for Parks, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC.

Meg Moloney, Senior Director of Programs at New York Cares said, “New York Cares is excited to partner with the Artist Volunteer Center. We have seen firsthand how both art and volunteerism can transform communities. We look forward to having our volunteers work on the 100 Hour Challenge and other initiatives.”

In return for volunteering, artists will earn cultural currency, which they can exchange for access to open-call and juried artist opportunities from partnering galleries, residencies, and art organizations.

Founded by artist and social activist Jason A. Maas, The AV Center supports the creation of artistic endeavors inspired by volunteerism. Socially-conscious projects will be championed by allowing artists to apply for funding to develop and present new work. An artist residency program, collaborative workspace, and an exhibition venue at The AV Center (set to open in 2014) will provide motivated, encouraging environments where artists can immerse themselves in individual and collaborative volunteer-inspired artistic endeavors.

Commenting on the new organization, Mr. Maas said, “The AV Center will be a destination for those seeking a forum to witness, present and participate in artwork that is derived from direct engagement with socially conscious issues.” He continued, “Certainly our roots are in New York City, but our goal is for the organization to exact a global footprint, aiding and revitalizing communities through community service by artists, here and abroad.”

The AV Center is fiscally sponsored by Brooklyn Arts Council. The AV Center’s Advisory Board is in formation and currently includes Joyce Frost, Principal, Riverside Risk Advisors LLC; Chair, Board of Trustees, Bronx Charter School for Excellence; Secretary, Board of Directors, New York Cares; Travis Laughlin, Art Education Director at the Joan Mitchell Foundation; Kristian Nammack, activist, independent curator, and art industry consultant; Jay Paavonpera, artist, and Public Relations Manager at Christian Dior Couture USA; and Gregg Petan, artist. The AV Center will continue to cultivate the Advisory Board, seeking leaders with experience in volunteer, non-profit, and arts related fields.

Speaking on behalf of the Advisory Board, Mr. Nammack said, “We want to encourage artists to develop a consistent relationship with volunteerism and the communities they are serving by engaging in ongoing volunteer activities that require prolonged involvement. We look at volunteerism as mutual aid and not charity. Both parties benefit as equal partners in the personal relationships they forge.”

In addition, The AV Center also seeks to initiate the Student Artist Volunteer Experience (SAVE) Program, the goal of which will be to connect children 6 to 18 years with age-appropriate volunteer projects in their community. SAVE program volunteer projects will be supported by AV Center classroom-based learning workshops, incorporating targeted, project-specific, arts-based lesson plans. Plans to officially roll out SAVE programming will begin in 2014.

“Volunteering is one of the most meaningful human experiences. Artists have the remarkable gift to take their experiences and share them. Therefore, it is critical to the development of culture that we, first, help artists become volunteers, and, second, allow their voices to be heard,” said Mr. Maas.

Together with its partners, The AV Center looks forward to creating a lasting, positive imprint in the New York community and beyond. To learn more about The AV Center and The 100 Hour AV Challenge, visit http://www.avcenter.org.

THE ARTIST VOLUNTEER CENTER PRESS CONTACTS:

Jason A. Maas
Founder & Director
jason(at)avcenter(dot)org
(631) 495-7321

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