When it comes to arts education, children in public schools across the country still are not exposed to enough creative opportunities, according to longtime activist, actress and Urban Arts Partnership co-founder Rosie Perez.
For the past 25 years, Perez has been working alongside Urban Art’s teachers and board members to create more arts education opportunities for students in low-income communities in New York City and Los Angeles. “I’ve always said what separates a privileged child from an underprivileged child is opportunity,” Perez said in an interview with NBC Latino.
According to UAP’s website, its mission is to advance the intellectual, social and artistic development of under served public school students through arts-integrated education programs.
UAP has a 100 percent high school graduation rate. According to a spokesperson for the organization, the partnership helps nearly 15,000 students each year.
Perez said it is because of community organizations and the love of her aunt Ana Domingo Otero and Sister Margaret Frances that she became a success.
“The arts opened me up, it really did. I was a ward of the state… so I grew up in Bushwick, and they were Title 1 schools, and we did not have a lot,” said Perez. “But we had a lot more art programs than there are today, sadly to say.”
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