arts bridge students and lecture


ArtsBridge is a multi-year college preparatory program engaging Poughkeepsie youth in the arts to provide them with training, support, and mentorship to help them succeed in higher education. ArtsBridge establishes a pathway for students to higher education through the arts. Youth ages 14-19 gain advanced artistic preparatory and portfolio development skills through the Art Institute as well as college readiness training, and emotional support through individual mentorship with a focus being on college scholarships and matriculation.

ArtsBridge runs two semesters per year where students meet in their cohorts weekly, get one-on-one mentoring, and also attend one Art Institute class of their choice on full scholarship. ArtsBridge often invites guest artists, site visits to local colleges, and more, exposing youth to a variety of college majors and career fields.

Click here to learn more about The Art Institute.

ArtsBridge is a unique program that establishes a pathway for students who may not typically consider college to begin thinking about higher education. Students are mentored on the college selection process, looking for financial and merit-based scholarships, how to write the right personal essay, negotiating financial offers from schools, and SAT prep.

To apply for ArtsBridge, email and schedule an interview!


Arts Bridge was first established in 2019 with a small group of youth as a pilot program and has continued to develop to support youth entering and succeeding in college. Arts Bridge was inspired by Poughkeepsie youth and created as a unique way to sponsor young aspiring artists through The Art Institute. Through the development of the pilot program, student feedback, and youth needs, Arts Bridge has morphed into an exciting program that helps youth gain advanced art skills, alongside life skills and social emotional support that help them succeed in college.

In the last four years:

  • 100% of students complete at least 10 portfolio-worthy works of art. Types of projects ranged from self portraiture to observational work to personal interest projects.
  • 100% of ArtsBridge participants graduate from high school.
  • 100% of those who apply for college will enter a 2- or 4-year institution and receive a college scholarship.

“Arts Bridge really helped me build up my portfolio for college and understand what colleges will best fit me”  
-Katia Estrada              

“I think The Art Effect is really helpful and really teaches a lot of skills, not just from art but also from daily life.”
-Ashley Santos-Perez

ArtsBridge is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, monies received from the New York State Council on the Arts, and from Adams Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee supporting The Art Effect’s exemplary programs.