Today’s #BeKind21 message is brought to you by our partners at Situation.
In 2011 I was out to dinner with a friend who is a middle school principal in New York City. He was telling me about his school; it was the highest performing school in its district and one of the poorest congressional districts in the entire country. He was looking for ways to continue the school’s success and reward his students. So I asked if there was anything I could do to help. Knowing my agency worked with live entertainment brands, he asked if I could get a few of his kids access to arts and cultural experiences.
Shortly after this dinner, I discovered that there was a ton of untapped inventory at cultural institutions across NYC (roughly 2 million seats stay empty on Broadway each year). I realized there was an opportunity to empower organizations to use their unused inventory to nurture the cultural capital of students.
Later that year, we sent all of MS 343 to see Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark on Broadway using funds slated for holiday gift baskets for clients and partners. That was also the year that Situation Project, a non-profit organization, was officially born.
Today, Situation Project is on a mission to stimulate and expand the imaginations of students in local communities by increasing their access to arts + culture experiences. We work with New York City public schools, leading arts + culture institutions and corporate partners to provide immersive and educational programming. We also provide organizations information on how to increase awareness in their communities about the benefits of an arts-rich education.
Before Situation Project, the number of kids in our founding school who applied to performing arts schools was about two out of a class of 100. Most students had never even considered the arts to be a possible career field before. By the time the first Situation Project class was ready to graduate, 16 students had applied.
While we were greatly encouraged by this metric, we don’t measure success only in the number of students who decide to pursue the arts professionally. Instead, we look to the number of students who can make informed choices about the role the arts will play in their futures. Later this year, we’ll hit 20,000 experiences, and we’re just getting started.
Your kindness challenge today: I encourage you to take a look around your work places and your communities. What untapped inventory can you, well, tap into? Now is the time to start thinking about the excess you have access to and who needs it more. It’s the kind thing to do.
And if you want to learn more about Situation Project, get in touch.
Founder, Situation Project
President + Founder, Situation
P.S. Invite a friend to join the challenge: bornthisway.foundation/bekind21.