The Gold Coast Arts Center received a $17,500 grant for its Arts-in-Education outreach programs and a myriad of scholarships from the TD Charitable Foundation, arts center representatives told the Great Neck News on Friday.
Regina Gil, the founder and executive director of the Gold Coast Arts Center, said the money will help the non-profit continue to send teachers out to bring the arts to children who otherwise might not get to experience them in budget-crunched school districts.
“The Gold Coast Arts Center school for the arts is a multi-layered entity,” Gil said. “It’s the reason I founded the arts center and for me, it’s a baby and labor of love, because for me it is about bringing arts education into the life of every child.”
Among some of the programming has been after-school classes, artist residencies and assembly programs like “Movement through Math,” “Digital Arts, and Activism,” “History through Hip Hop” and “Financial Literacy with Film/Music.”
“Arts outreach is a very dry description of what is a mission of complete love and caring that happens with arts teachers,” Gil later said.
Gil said the money will also help support scholarships, which help children take classes at the Gold Coast Arts Center.
Scholarship funds in 2017 allowed 22 students from Queens and Long Island to take classes in areas like 3D art, chess, robotics, ceramics, music, ballet, drawing and theatre.
One story that stood out to her was of an artistically talented young boy whose mother was a housekeeper and father bagged groceries. With the help of scholarships, he took classes with the center for ten years before getting his graduate degree and teaching a group of children in the Bronx, Gil said.
“People don’t realize how important this could be in the life of a child,” Gil said.
Ultimately, Gil said, she’s grateful to TD Bank and its board of philanthropy for its support.
“TD is honored to support an organization that offers young people a chance to experience different art forms and develop creative thought that will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” said Anthony Esernio, a market president for TD Bank. “Gold Coast is enabling students to learn fun and invaluable skills and we’re happy to play a small part in this effort.”