The POP Art Academy draws a broad line of hope for young people in Philadelphia

the Power of the Art Academy of Painting is doing its part to save our streets.

One Sunday, several kids, who had never met, gathered over brushes and good vibes in West Philadelphia.

For three years, Vanessa Young and her partner have offered children from difficult neighborhoods a place to come and create.

“Teisha and I are using our skills,” Young said. “Her with therapy and wellness and me with my talent for art and just connecting with kids to show them different career paths. While a lot of kids know they can be artists, l one of these young black boys could be the next Virgil Abloh and become a billionaire just because of their artistic talents.”

Nykira Murray, 12, said she felt like a free spirit when she had a paintbrush in her hand. She focuses on her masterpieces and that helps quell the violence of the outside world.

“I just lost a cousin of mine to gun violence,” Murray explained. “It helps me a lot to make sure everything is okay. It teaches me that even if you live near the streets, you don’t always have to grow up on the streets or adopt the lifestyle of it. .”

Young helped a student go even further than just the canvas. Aaron Burke, 10, started his own clothing brand called Aaron Athletic Apparel.

“It’s really for my love of sports and I want people to have a healthy lifestyle,” Burke remarked. “Really, just buy hoodies that don’t cost $60 to $100.”

Aiden Darcisse is a 14-year-old councilor who says it’s important to have spaces like this in the city’s red zones.

“I try to tell parents that their children can come here and feel safe,” Darcisse said. “They can have friends and create positive energy around them.”

The perfect moment for Vanessa is to see the children’s faces turn into smiles and their confidence turn into power.

“They are taught coping skills, conflict resolution skills, alternative ways of making money so that they don’t have to embark on a certain life of crime or violence,” a- she added.

Showing that these children were born with love in their hearts that can turn into something beautiful with the right palette of care.

“Be mighty, be strong and hold your head up high,” Murray said. “You are the most powerful person in the world.”

The POP Art Academy painting a broad line… to save our streets.

They have an art show on Saturday December 4th at 49th and Pentridge. It’s their annual Fundraising with children’s illustrations.

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Mildred D. Field