Art and Social Action


As editor of the Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe, I learn about a lot of ways that art is being used for the sake of goodness. This week I am writing about an organization that is using art to change lives, one person at a time. They are called Life Pieces to Masterpieces (LPTM).

LPTM is a non-profit, arts-based, comprehensive youth development organization, serving boys and young men ages 3 to 21 living in low-income and public housing east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC. Their program includes art, poetry, and photography that expresses the life experiences of the participants.

The mission of this award-winning organization is to provide opportunities to discover and activate the innate and creative abilities of the members to change life challenges into possibilities. And their outcomes are measurable and impressive. Their website cites these statistics:

* Over 90% of LPTM participants have not become involved in the juvenile justice system or fathered children

* Approximately 90% have shown improved behavior at home and in school

* 75% have significantly increased their overall GPA

* LPTM Apprentices have created over 1000 pieces of art over the past 11 years, exhibited locally, nationally and internationally, including The World Bank, Children’s Hospital, the Smithsonian, and charitable foundations throughout Washington, DC. and FIDDEM in Paris, France

LPTM’s continuing goal is to nurture, embrace, encourage, and elevate African American boys and young men. Daily participation in LPTM’s artistic, academic, spiritual, and mentoring activities help turn the many challenges in the lives of these boys into opportunities for success, self-reliance, and resiliency.

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