Finding a voice at New Urban Arts

Danielle attended three different high schools over a five-year period. At one of the schools, Danielle felt like she had no ownership or control over her own education. Sensing that none of the adults in her home or school life had her best interests at heart or were even listening, she contemplated dropping out all together.

Then, she found New Urban Arts, a nationally-recognized community arts studio for high school students and artists right here in Providence. New Urban Arts empowers young people like Danielle to develop a creative practice that they can sustain throughout their lives.

Danielle has been a student at New Urban Arts for the past five years. Despite facing a number of academic, social, and emotional challenges during that time, she graduated from high school this year.

“This place became a home, and it quickly became my number one support system,” said Danielle. “New Urban Arts has taught me to not accept places where people don’t provide opportunities for me to make choices or for me to use my voice.”

This fall, she started her freshman year at Rhode Island College.


In 2015-2016, United Way of Rhode Island, with the help of donors, invested $450,000 in out-of-school time programs, including New Urban Arts.

Interested in learning more about New Urban Arts? New Urban Arts is grounded in the belief that all young people, no matter their place in society, should have the opportunity to become more creative and independent thinkers. They have a free, year-round out-of-school program that promotes sustained mentoring relationships between urban high school students and trained artist mentors.