Mission & Focus


Using non-traditional school times, provide professional artists for youth-at-risk students (and, as appropriate, their families) to explore diverse art forms in a creative hands-on quality experience to enhance self-awareness and self-esteem.

Youth Programs

The Progressive Policy Institute based in Washington, DC issued a 2004 report on the importance of quality after school programs, which found: “Afternoon is a dangerous time for American teenagers…afterschool hours—from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.—are the peak period for experimentation with drugs, alcohol cigarettes, and sex, “  Of those between the age of 12 and 17 in Hawaii, the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy found in 2001, that 9.72% had alcohol or illicit drug dependence or abuse; the figure rises alarmingly to 17.68% for those aged 18-25.  Maui and Hawaii counties have the highest state rates needing substance abuse treatment.

Dr. Grossmann had the opportunity to be briefed by staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health agencies, when he served as a Fellow for then Secretary of Health, Donna Shalala (1995-1996).  He made a commitment–given the importance of after school programs to improve such negative teenage trends and statistics–to form a nonprofit upon his return to Hawaii.  He has found that youth respond to programs that bring quality art supplies and professional artists to where the youth-at-risk live and learn.  Art programs can be especially vital to minority teens or those who are not interested in sports.  When youth-at-risk students are identified, as having a strong desire to continue their art proficiency, an Afterschool Art scholarship has been provide.

Social Justice &  Art: A Palette for Humanity

With endless news broadcasts, the listener/reader is bombarded with mostly bad news.  Natural disasters leave huge humanitarian calamities in their wake; international tensions seem to be settled more by a rush to warfare than diplomacy.  Domestic policies dealing with critical social policies, such as, hunger and homelessness worsen with a stagnated economy.  Many of these problems seem intractable.

Yet, most feel strongly about the issues and understand the need for a renewed focus on problem-solving, better governance, enhanced social justice, and leaving the planet a better place.  To achieve a higher level of social justice, for example, a shared worldview is needed that incorporates ways to re-humanize, heal, explore new ways, and embrace diversity.  Clearly, art has and can be a catalyst for finding meaningful solutions to authentic social problems.  Exploring issues is one way students can better envision their futures and see where they “fit” into the world.