Summit, NJ: This fall, The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will begin a new arts education program in collaboration with York Street Project. York Street Project is currently celebrating 25 years of breaking the cycle of poverty by simultaneously providing housing, education, and childhood development with counseling and life-skills training to more than 300 economically-disadvantaged women and children each year.

“These women are thirsty for creativity,” says York Street Development Director, Deborah Hurley, “everyone deserves access and exposure to the arts, especially these women who are struggling through a very difficult period in their lives. We are very excited that both the Art Center and York Street Project have discovered this collaboration through our amazing volunteers.”

Certified Art Instructor, Kirsten Angel, will lead eight students from York Street Project. The program will include gallery tours of current exhibitions and students will create a piece of artwork related to the exhibition. The entire program will culminate in an exhibition of the students’ work at the Art Center this spring. The first program sessions will be held on October 9, 16 and 23 at the Art Center and plan to continue with more session dates in March and May of next year.

To make a gift to support this program or other outreach opportunities that bring art to the underserved, call Cynthia McChesney, Director of Development at 908.273.9121, email or visit us online at To learn more about York Street Project, visit their website at or contact: Deborah Hurley, Development Director at 201.451.8225.

About the York Street Project

The mission of York Street Project is to weave innovative programs that shelter, feed, educate and promote the healing and independence of persons in need, especially women and their children. This mission is acted out in four interrelated and coordinated yet separate programs: Kenmare High School, an accredited, alternative high school; The Nurturing Place, childhood development and day care for children aged 4 months to 6 years; St. Joseph's Home and St. Mary's Residence, providing safe, affordable housing and communal living services for women and their children in transition.

About The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

For more than 80 years, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has been exclusively dedicated to viewing, making and learning about contemporary art. Recognized as a leading non-profit arts organization, the Art Center’s renowned studio school, acclaimed exhibitions, and educational outreach initiatives serve thousands of youth, families, seniors and people with special needs every year in the tri-state region.