May 19, 2021

Groundswell's Art Education Programs Receive Transformative Grant From The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation

It was recently announced that Groundswell will receive a 3-year, $300,000 grant from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation to support School-Based programming across the five boroughs of New York City. Groundswell is incredibly excited to deepen the impact of it’s programming in public schools in the years to come.


We are proud to support Groundswell's School-Based Art Residencies and to champion their artistic model centered in social justice and equity. Over the years of our partnership, Groundswell programs have grown in strength and reach, successfully enriching communities across New York City through powerful murals rooted in the hopes and dreams envisioned by young people. We congratulate Groundswell for 25 years of service to the New York Community!

— Alessandra Carnielli, Executive Director of The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation


Groundswell’s School-Based programs create access to challenging, standards-based visual and digital arts learning experiences for 15-20 schools each year throughout New York City. Whether through the fabrication of community murals or the creation of independent portfolios of artwork, participants in Groundswell’s School-Based programs receive engaging creative skill development, seeding a next generation of artists and change-makers.


With a shared vision for powerful arts experiences within the classroom, Groundswell and The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation have built a long partnership and friendship over the years. This grant will enable Groundswell to deepen programming through multi-year relationships with schools, regardless of the schools’ funding capacities. 


Taking part in this program has allowed my students' imaginations to escape the confines of quarantines and social distancing. Expressing their creativity has permitted them to tap into the freedoms existing in our memories and in the hopes of memories yet to be made. My students are so happy and look forward to their sessions.

— Anabel Ortiz, I.S. 254 Public School Teacher


The deepening of the investment into art and art education programs comes at a time where, on average, NYC public schools are only about to dedicate 1 Visual Art Teacher per 61 students. Unfortunately, in some areas of the city, that number jumps to 115 students or even 160 students per 1 Visual Art Teacher. Groundswell focuses over 70% of School Based programming in city council districts with higher need, ensuring that all students have access to high quality, social-justice based arts programming.


"We are thrilled to receive this grant from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation has demonstrated a deep commitment to ensuring that New York City Public School students receive a rich and rigorous art education. Groundswell is proud to continue our partnership in such a deep and impactful way" Groundswell Executive Director, Robyne Walker Murphy said of the grant.