For the 20th anniversary of the Side By Side Visual Arts Apprentice program, we asked graduates to tell us what the program meant to them. They sent back pages and pages of testimony. And while each story is different, all of these young men and women agree: this program changes lives. Sharlita is one of those stories.
IN HER OWN WORDS
Community School of the Arts is an organization that cares. Not just about my development as an artist but my development as a person. The School gave me a network of people that cared about what was going on outside of my projects. My teachers were never shy about asking how my life was going and how they could offer support.
Community School of the Arts helped me realize my love for design and influenced my decision to major in architecture. My
fondest memory was working with Clark Stewart as my Side By Side mentor: I felt so honored to be working with a real artist! It made you feel important that he would take the time out to work with you and only you. Another great memory was the moment when I first saw my art on the wall in Bennett Galleries! The whole event was so classy and professional. It’s just a great feeling to be a part of something so special when you are so young; it boosts your self-esteem and confidence like nothing else.
Community School of the Arts and Side By Side were definitely defining moments in my life. Now I mentor a 10-year-old girl in New York who dreams of being an architect. We often go out and sketch together around the city. I want to teach her the things that I learned; you give, and you get so much more back. That’s the great lesson of Side By Side. I look forward to being able someday to give the Community School of the Arts just a portion of what they’ve given to me.
Sharlita Green, Class of 2009; Hampton University, Architecture, 2013; Junior Architect, Mergal Architecture, New York, 2016
Read more about Sharlita and other graduates of the Side-by-Side program here.