Junior and Summer Art Institute

Summer Art Institute

The Art Effect’s Summer Art Institute (SAI) is a summer art intensive program for youth ages 14-19 designed to help students develop ideas and build skills in the visual and digital arts. The Art Effect’s Summer Art Institute takes high school-aged artists on a deep dive into their chosen medium while building on a foundational knowledge of techniques, elements, and principles of fine or digital art while creating a strong portfolio. High school students interested in pursuing a degree in the arts will meet with college representatives and receive portfolio critiques each session.

Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
Dutchess Community College – Allyn Washington Center for Art & Science, 37 Gallery Circle, Poughkeepsie


Digital Arts & Illustration track is recommended for high school students who are interested in exploring and refining skills in animation, digital painting, narrative creation, concept design, and illustration. Students in this track will take classes including Digital Illustration, Mixed Media Animation, and Human Figure. Students will elevate their artistic knowledge, technical skills, and unique artistic style this summer by learning the power of mark-making, color theory, narrative creation, character design, animation, and contemporary artistic technology. Students will master their skills using various technology including iPads, and professional programs such as Procreate, Adobe Suite, and beyond!

Session 1: 7/8-7/26
Session 2: 7/29-8/16

Junior Art Institute

The Art Effect’s Junior Art Institute takes young artists (ages 11-14) on a deep dive into their chosen medium while building a foundational knowledge of techniques, elements, and principles of fine or digital art.
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm.
Dutchess Community College – Allyn Washington Center for Art & Science, 37 Gallery Circle, Poughkeepsie.

Fine Arts students this summer will explore drawing, painting, introductory figure drawing, and stop-motion animation! This intensive art course teaches students the various concepts of 2D and 3D art while showing them the many possibilities and outcomes these techniques and materials can offer. This Junior Art Institute track is perfect for students serious about fine art and developing their skill set.

Digital Arts Track
The Junior Art Institute’s Digital Arts track will include instruction in digital arts and illustration, stop-motion animation, and experimental printmaking. Students will learn fine art skills such as value, color theory, composition, and 3D modeling to create original, digital artworks. Learn how fine art elements enhance character designs and narratives! This track is great for students interested in animation, character design, and illustration.

Skills and Techniques

The artwork students produce in the most advanced majors exhibit principles of art, and personal conceptual themes that colleges seek in students applying for arts programs. The foundations majors help define students’ creative direction in preparation for more advanced visual arts instruction. Mediums and techniques may include:

  • Drawing with graphite, charcoal, pastels, pencils, ink
  • Painting with tempera, watercolor, acrylic, oil
  • Sculpture, clay, assemblage, cardboard, paper mache, styrofoam, mixed media, collage
  • Photography, videography, filmmaking, animation
  • Digital painting, media art, sound design, production, editing
  • Composition, color theory, color schemes, proportion, figurative, character design, figure drawing, self-portrait, still life,  landscape, balance, value, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm, unity, variety, form, texture
  • Portfolio development, professionalism, studio practice, critique, mentorship, career, vision

The Institute provides one-on-one mentoring throughout the year to support students’ college applications and helps students secure merit-based scholarships to art schools and colleges. Our students have been awarded over $56 million in scholarships to the nation’s finest art schools across the nation. Learn more about the Art Institute here.


Instructors are professional visual and media artists who mentor students through projects, encouraging students to build their skills while becoming well-rounded and diversified in the visual and digital arts. They include illustrators, photographers, and exhibiting visual artists. 

Become a member of the Art Institute to enjoy exclusive benefits while supporting The Art Effect’s mission to empower young people to develop their creative voice, shape their futures, and bring about positive social change through visual and media arts. As a member, you will save an additional 5% on classes and Summer Arts Camps, get in early with VIP entry to meet with top arts colleges at Hudson Valley Regional Portfolio Day, and receive early access to registration for year-round art courses. Call 845.471.7477 or click here to join today!

Trolley Barn Gallery

The Art Effect’s curatorial training program at the Trolley Barn Gallery is composed of youth who make high level exhibition curation decisions and are mentored by experts in the field. The Youth Curatorial Team takes place over two semester-long sessions in the Fall and the Spring. Youth earn a stipend as the leaders of international juried exhibitions at the Trolley Barn Gallery, and are responsible for every aspect of exhibition curation, including theme generation, artwork selection, art handling, exhibition installation, and interpretation. The Youth Curatorial Team works closely with curators from across the country in a series of after school sessions, weekend workshops, and a variety of gallery and community events. Youth learn about project management, develop public speaking skills through gallery presentations and artist talks, and establish professional connections with international artists, curators, and arts professionals to bring impressive exhibitions of high-caliber artwork to Poughkeepsie.

Sessions run in the Spring (January-May) and Fall (September – December). Applications for the Trolley Barn Gallery Squad are accepted in November (for the Spring) and August (for the Fall).


Trolley Barn Gallery Squad program trains youth as leaders who catalyze the community through the arts and re-energize downtown Poughkeepsie. Together alongside established art professionals, youth present impactful exhibitions that engage the wider community and acquaint youth with all aspects of the curatorial process including; Museum & Gallery Administration; Project Management; Art Exhibition Curation & Interpretation; Art Handling; Exhibition Design & Installation; Public Speaking; Virtual Exhibition Design; Workshops with curators, artists, and museum professionals.

Guest Curators and Partners

Trolley Barn Gallery Team youth work with professional curators from galleries across the county including;


After laying vacant for many years, The Poughkeepsie Trolley Barn in 2015 found itself in the middle of a transformative wave rushing across the City, breathing a new life of art into the area. Re-activating the iconic Poughkeepsie Trolley Barn through an innovative approach to youth empowerment through the arts gave The Art Effect a unique opportunity to put youth in the driver seat of this incredible space. 

In January of 2019, The Art Effect welcomed the community for it’s first ever Art After Dark exhibition at The Trolley Barn Gallery. The first true youth-led exhibition took place September 2020 with Teen Visions and finally in 2021, as a pilot youth museum studies program, The Trolley Barn Gallery launched its new international juried exhibition series inviting youth to take a leading role in the planning of Home Sick and future exhibition, empowering them to engage community members and visitors in transformative arts experiences that they curate. 

In March of 2021, bringing together the largest arts organization with the oldest arts

organization in Dutchess County, Barrett Art Center affiliated with The Art Effect. The affiliation opened doors of new opportunities, a higher level of expertise, and maintained the knowledge, direction, and engagement that Barrett brings to the community through The Art Effect’s new curatorial initiative. Learn more about the affiliation HERE.
The first cohorts of youth in the curatorial program established connections with curators from the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College; the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

Teachers and Program Staff

Joanna Frang is the Trolley Barn Gallery Director and has served arts and cultural nonprofits at a variety of curatorial, education, and management levels, including museum exhibitions, education, collections management and American history and art history. A native of Michigan, Frang earned her B.A. from Haverford College and holds a Masters of Arts from the University of Delaware and the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture as a Lois F. McNeil Fellow.  She completed her doctoral work in American Civilization at Brandeis University as a Rose and Irving Crown Fellow, with a focus on the built environment and the cultural worlds of American Grand Tourists in the Early Republic. She has been funded as a residential Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum & the National Portrait Gallery by the Terra Foundation for America Art, with additional residential fellowship appointments in the U.S. and Great Britain from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies and the Samuel Kress Foundation.  Frang has served in a variety of leadership roles at the Thomas Cole National Historic SiteIS183 Art School of the BerkshiresThe Mount (Edith Wharton Restoration), and Historic New England

Gigi (Gabrielle) Grace is a multidisciplinary visual artist from upstate New York. She graduated from State University at New Paltz with a Bachelors of Fine Art, in 2018, and has been in 30+ shows in the New York area and internationally, since graduating. In 2019, Gigi had the opportunity to be a part of an artist residency in Nanchang, China, sponsored by the Hua Quan Village and Long Island University professor, Seung Lee. She has a love for curation and art museum culture, working as a museum educator at Skidmore college, with the Tang Teaching Museum, post graduation. She then moved back to Ulster County, to work in Poughkeepsie, NY through the Empire Program. Through The Art Effect, Gigi has had the opportunity to teach k-12 art, direct a digital youth hub with MADLab students, and instruct Art Institute programs. She is currently the Trolley Barn Gallery Exhibitions and Communications assistant, and hopes to bring a unique and creative perspective to the Trolley Barn Youth Curatorial team she helps lead. In her free time she enjoys illustrating, digital collage, playing music, and teaching Hatha yoga.

This program is partially funded by monies received from the New York State Council on the Arts.

Arts for Justice

In response to movements such as Black Lives Matter and social justice reform, and events such as Indigenous People’s Day, The Art Effect provides FREE, open studios for all ages to come together for a greater good through the arts that allows individuals to process emotions, express opinions, and build community through drawing, painting, photography, film, and more. Check the events calendar for pop-up Arts For Justice events.

Activities and Artmaking

Arts for Justice past events have included:

Power of Art
A pop up Gallery Exhibition in the Carol Wolfe Gallery featuring local art created by Black, Indigenous, and Artists of Color. 

Memorial of the Fallen
In this community collaboration, use imagery, symbols, and artistic fonts to write inspirational messages to those we have lost to police brutality and have your voices be heard while we fill every empty space on this powerful mini mural.

Pumpkin Painting
Paint a pumpkin however you’d like: Halloween, Autumn, Justice, etc. to take with you and decorate your home.

Outdoor Chalk Murals
Bring your passion beyond the borders of a canvas or camera frame. Use chalk to decorate The Art Effect’s parking lot with powerful quotes, symbols, and imagery.

Art Speaks Louder
Whether you are illustrating an emotional scene or creating your own Black Lives Matter poster, use color pencil, marker, watercolor, ink, and/or oil pastels to make your creative voice heard.

Focus on Justice
Use the power of an image to create your own bold snapshots through stand-alone photos or even a whole series designed to tell the story YOU want. Have a photo taken of you with your Black Lives Matter artwork or striking your most powerful pose.

“In the artmaking process there’s freedom to make choices, play, and an opportunity to let go; it provides a sense of control, something seldom felt by incarcerated individuals. Those who may not initially show bold passion can turn out to be the most invested in doing well and exploring the arts. We saw youth reluctant to paint finally bring themselves to hold a brush and become absolutely entranced by color mixing and controlling the strokes.” – Sharon Alexander, Creative Arts Therapist

Programs provided by this agency are partially funded by monies received from the New York State Council on the Arts,

Arts for Healing

Expressive Arts | Art Therapy

Arts for Healing: Expressive Arts is an art-based therapeutic program available to organizations and community groups offering physical, emotional and psychological care and support services in the Hudson Valley. The Art Effect offers immersive, creative experiences in visual arts to support, maintain and improve overall health, quality of life, emotional and cognitive abilities, interpersonal skills, and personal development for individuals in our community.

These programs aim to serve the needs of individuals living with trauma, disease, or disabilities, who benefit greatly from the therapeutic power of art. Each program is designed to meet the specific needs of the population being served. Programs can be geared towards individual or collaborative works. To learn more, please contact Mary Ellen at maryellen@thearteffect.org or call 845-471-7477.


Programs include activities and instruction in a variety of artistic mediums and topics including:

  • Abstract Song
  • Processing Through Painting
  • Botanical Illustrations
  • Clay Character Sculptures
  • Family/Friends Crest Design
  • Animal Portraiture
  •  Figure Drawing
  • Creating with India Ink
  • Japanese Brush Painting
  • Mask Making
  • Still Life Drawing
  • Collage
  • Paper Marbling and Mindfulness
  • And More. Artistic mediums and activities can be tailored to fit an agency or individual’s particular needs.

Engagement in our Expressive Arts programs provide participants with a form of self-expression, increased self-esteem and sense of control, community involvement, and a dramatically increased feeling of hope. Participants also can experience a decreased sense of isolation and anxiety. Programs can be tailored to the needs of the participants to limit stimulation or provide tactile, external engagement, encourage non-verbal communication, or assist those with limited fine-motor skills.

Arts for Healing programs can also provide soothing and nourishing art-centric activities for those engaged in self-care or trauma-informed care, for those involved in health care or human services.

Arts For Healing: Incarcerated Youth Program

The Art Effect’s commitment to transforming the lives of youth through the arts cultivates and showcases the talents and creative voices of incarcerated young people while intersecting social justice issues. Arts for Justice programming allows individuals to express their voices through visual and media art, photography, and film as a means of changing their own narratives, abolish stigmas, promote empathy, healing, and promote reincarceration.

In addition, Arts for Healing integrates our arts educational work with artist-in-residence programs for incarcerated people, and the community, empowering young people and those of all ages to develop their creative voices and bring about positive social change through the arts and media.

Success Story 

A teen in a local adolescent offender facility in the Arts for Healing, Arts for Justice Program wrote in response to his artwork titled, “Two Sided – A Suspect. A Victim”:

“I’m like the Joker. Joker used to be a nice person who wanted to make people smile and be happy. But people laughed at him so he was mad and started doing bad things. People used to doubt me. A lot of things were going on in my life like losses, suspension and doubting I’m going to make it in life. I started doing bad things like using drugs, fighting, not coming home for days and skipping school. My anger grew because people wouldn’t know or understand why I was angry. And when I explained, it would just make me angrier.”

This young adult decided to return to school and pursue a career in graphic design when they are released in October.

Teaching Artists & Community Partners

Arts for Healing staff are trained art therapists and artists who use specific arts-based activities to support, maintain, and improve overall health, physical, emotional and cognitive functioning, interpersonal skills, personal development, and quality of life. The teaching artists for each program are chosen based on the needs and interests of the population attending the program.

Some of our previous and current Arts for Healing partners include: 


The Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie has utilized the Arts for Healing Program for many years. It is extremely popular among our youth because of the talent, creativity, and flexibility of the art therapists and their remarkable ability to engage our youth. It is a major asset to our trauma-informed treatment program. I recommend this program enthusiastically without reservation. – David A. Crenshaw, Ph.D., ABPP, Clinical Director, Licensed Psychologist, NYS #4376

“The feedback we received from the women who attended was overwhelmingly positive…universal feedback [was that] the program was calming, relaxing and serene.” – Marlene Stager of Support Connection.

“This program is great and I’m so grateful we have it for the youth. They love it and it’s the highlight of their day/week.” – Leah Gooch, Coordinator of Volunteer Services at the Hudson Correctional Facility

“The students were able to address their most painful memory through art as a form of expression and acceptance….Their canvas serves as a daily dose of therapy in order for them to cope & understand their experience through victory and not pity.” – Delsie Howey, C.O.L.O.R.S Program Supervisor

“In an era when ‘being down’ is so accessible, I was totally lifted up- feeling whole again.” Millbrook Library Program participant

“While immersed in the program, I forgot ALL my worries; I had a smile on my face the entire time. And when it was over, I felt very very good about myself, which has been difficult these past months.” Support Connection client/workshop participant 

Programs provided by this agency are partially funded by monies received from Ann and Abe Effron Donor Advised Fund of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, and the New York State Council on the Arts. 

Professional Development

The Art Effect offers professional workshops and training to support capacity-building of libraries, community agencies and in school-based training. Educators gain knowledge and hands-on practice to introduce media and art into standard curricula and empower them to support students. In unique and customizable workshops, teachers learn strategies for bringing the arts into any subject in ways that assist students with literacy skills, technology, media education, social-emotional learning, classroom management, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and expanding their artistic vocabulary elevating work to a higher standard.

The Art Effect teachers lead educators through fun and exciting exercises that allow them to experience being a creator and give them tools to plan out how to bring it back to their own classrooms. The Art Effect uses a multi-media approach to learning including visual art, composition, video, digital painting, music, and other technology. 

For more information and to book a professional development workshop contact MaryEllen@thearteffect.org.

Training options may include:

  • Arts for Literacy: Supporting Reading and Writing Through the Arts
  • Literacy Level-Ups: How to Gamify Your Reading Instruction
  • Making the Most of Your Computer Lab
  • Media Education in Your Classroom
  • Social-Emotional Learning and the Arts
  • Using Arts and Media to Teach Literacy Skills
  • Using Video to promote Your School and Classroom
  • Visual Composition: Deconstructing the Elements
  • Advising, Coaching and Technical Consulting on Equipment

Thank you for sharing such wonderful ideas. It is so evident that [The Art Effect] put so much time in to this workshop and are incredibly knowledgeable on this subject. And thank you for opening our eyes to such useful resources!” – Meredith Inkeles, Wappingers Central School District

“Thank you so much for the time and effort you have put into the professional development. It was extremely concise and well thought out.” – Christine Brooks, Our Lady of Lourdes High School

After School Enrichment

In partnership with school districts throughout the Hudson Valley, The Art Effect provides enriching and empowering arts-based after school programming for elementary, middle and high school students. This extended learning time compliments the New York State Learning Standards for English Language and The Arts by using visual, literary, media, and performing arts that engage students as active, creative learners.

After School Enrichment programs educate youth on how and why art and media are created, and provide access to equipment, supplies, technology, and tools students can utilize to create their own art, media, and theater. The program is designed to meet ambitious goals of improving students’ social-emotional learning, academic achievement, and attendance. The Art Effect’s learner-centered visual and media arts education fosters meaningful opportunities for active engagement, positive learning experiences, and arts-based academic enrichment. Our teaching practices help youth build critical thinking, communication skills, self-expression, and self-esteem, all critical elements to a successful education.

Visit The Art Effect’s classes page for more visual arts classes and workshops.

The Art Effect often collaborates with a consortium of community-based organizations, school administrators, educators, and artists to improve the lives of students and their families when necessary.

Poughkeepsie City School District Programming History

Since 2013, The Art Effect has worked with the Poughkeepsie City School District to provide engaging, high-quality after-school visual and media arts programming, first through the 21st Century grant from 2013 – 2016, then through the Empire State Extended Learning Time grant from 2017 – 2020. Over the years, The Art Effect has served thousands of students in grades 1 – 12 at all four elementary schools, Poughkeepsie Middle and Poughkeepsie City High School.

A few past projects include:

Poughkeepsie Mural Collaboration

Morse Elementary School students in 4th and 5th grade learned about the power of collaboration by brainstorming, planning, and designing mixed media collage murals using materials such as paper, found objects, recycled materials, and markers. Their mural represented parts of Poughkeepsie including; Morse Elementary School, Malcolm X Park, The Bardavon, The Walkway Over The Hudson, and Chuck E Cheese. Incorporating the layers of a cityscape was the key to this project to show a clear understanding of foreground, middleground, and background. 

Wings of Justice

Students at Clinton and Warring Elementary Schools designed large watercolor feathers for a collaborative “Wings of Justice” artwork“ in response to the book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave written by Himself.” 

Incorporating Other Languages

In response to 4th and 5th grade students’ interest in Japanese art, The Art Effect’s teaching artists designed three months of art lessons featuring Japanese artists such as Takashi Murakami, Chiho Aoshima, and Yayoi Kusama. Students learned about the culture, food, and even to speak some of the language!

Other projects have included:

  • Landscape collages
  • Trading cards
  • Monster bookmarks
  • Circular sun woven mandalas 
  • Mixed media paintings 
  • Recycled sculptures
  • Stop-motion animations
  • Crayon/watercolor “stained glass”
  • Painted masks 
  • Ambi Arts Drawings
  • Haiku animations
  • Tree silhouette paintings
  • Music videos 
  • Imagination mobiles 
  • Superhero masks
  • Self-portrait silhouettes
  • Movie trailers 
  • Cityscape collages 
  • Landscape drawings
  • Recycled robots 
  • Free-draw print-making
  • “Make Your Own Color” Sheets
  • Original character animations
  • Journalistic news videos
  • Tessellation patterns
  • Producing songs
  • Original film scripts
  • Audio journalism pieces 
  • Podcasts
  • Kinetic Typographies

To inquire about bringing after-school programming to your school, please contact MaryEllen@thearteffect.org.


Bring The Art Effect teachers right into the classroom and infuse academic learning in any subject with media and visual arts projects. The Art Effect collaborates with faculty and educators on short- and long-term residencies tailored to creatively engage students in diverse subject areas, reinforcing skills and content they are learning in the classroom through media production and artmaking. Our multimedia lesson plans can accommodate for ages, content, format, and length to fit district-specific needs and/or Common Core standards, while keeping students actively and creatively engaged. Residencies can also be conducted in person or virtual.

Skills and Topics

residency programs

Many residencies focus on reinforcing ELA and literacy skills through filmmaking, photography, visual composition, sound design, and editing. Residencies can be tailored to fit a particular teacher’s desired lesson plans and differentiated to accommodate diverse learners. In addition to classroom specific learning, The Art Effect may also partner with a district to offer school-wide assemblies bringing media/arts education into the school setting. After school residencies are also available to meet the district needs.

Program options may include:

  • Animation and stop-motion storytelling
  • Music video creation
  • Cinematic Adaptation
  • Print, radio, or video advertising
  • Multi-media digital composition
  • Digital painting
  • Filmmaking
  • Kinetic typography
  • Podcasting and radio production
  • Zine-making

For more information on digital media and filmmaking programs, visit Spark Studios.

The Big Read

Each year, the Poughkeepsie Public Library District presents The Big Read, often in partnership with the National Endowment of the Arts The NEA Big Read is a national initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, which broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Through the Poughkeepsie Public Library District, The Art Effect hosts a series of library workshops, teacher trainings, and in-school residencies to be delivered as part of the PPLD’s Big Read program offerings. 

“The Big Read collaboration is expanding the learning of our high school students in ways that support their creativity, literacy, and growth of their content knowledge.” Dr Rosser, PCSD Superintendent

Past Partners


“I truly cannot thank you enough! The students were excited and engaged… Overall, I was moved as an educator, as I watched and experienced how much joy this brought to my students.” – Jamie Devlin, Roy C. Ketcham High School English teacher

“This residency allowed me to help students take themes from a text and compose their own digital responses to poems. Thank you!” – Nasarima Foster, Poughkeepsie High School English teacher 

“You have enriched our English program more than you know. I cannot wait to see this program grow for next year.” – Lizette Cintron, Wappingers Central School District Assistant Superintendent

Arts Camps

Dutchess and Ulster Art Camps offer a variety of programs that allow children ages 5-11 to imagine, discover, create, and have fun each summer. Young artists explore fine art, digital media art, and performing arts while strengthening their self-confidence, creative thinking, and art making techniques both individually and in a collaborative setting.

Professional teaching artists work with campers in small groups, using the visual, media, and performing arts to foster self-expression and creativity. Young artists are immersed in colors, lines, shapes, textures, fabrics, clay, video, and sound. Camp sessions are bursting with creative activities for young artists to explore. Campers experience a full day of art and activities including 2-D and 3-D sculptures, painting, drawing, music, animation, performance design, puppetry, free art making, and more.

Daily schedules include opening and closing circle, art instruction,  open studio time, snack, lunch, and outside play.  Accomplishments are celebrated at the final showcase, where each child’s family and friends are invited to see the performances, videos, and an art gallery of work that the children created that week.

2024 Dutchess Arts Camp – Poughkeepsie

Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm
Oakwood Friends School 22 Spackenkill Rd, Poughkeepsie
Week 1: July 8 – July 12
Week 2: July 15 – July 19
Week 3: July 22 – July 26
Week 4: July 29 – August 2

2024 Ulster Arts Camp – New Paltz

Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm
SUNY New Paltz – 1 Hawk Dr, New Paltz
Week 1: July 29 – August 2
Week 2: August 5 – August 9

Past guest artists and partners

Anne Tjernlund
Avery Engstrom
Jenna Pyzowski
Mary Haddad
Maya Llanos
Miles Cohen
Morgan Suter
Nia Scott
Paper Heart Puppets
Paul Solomon
The Samuel orsky Museum, SUNY New Paltz
The Vanaver Caravan
Zach Reid
ZOI Productions

    Become a member of the Art Institute to enjoy exclusive benefits while supporting The Art Effect’s mission to empower young people to develop their creative voice, shape their futures, and bring about positive social change through visual and media arts. As a member, you will save an additional 5% on classes and Summer Arts Camps, get in early with VIP entry to meet with top arts colleges at Hudson Valley Regional Portfolio Day, and receive early access to registration for year-round art courses. Call 845.471.7477 or click here to join today!

    Mobile Media Lab


    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 david@thearteffect.org 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.