Deb Gordon’s guest was Dr. Thomas Howard, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Harbor, a Harlem based non-profit founded in 1937 as a camp by Tony Duke which has grown to become a leader in performing arts education.
Dr. Howard discussed The Harbor’s unique model of providing pre-school, afterschool and in-school arts education, and the transformative effect it has had on the nearly 1000 youth and families they serve each year.
“The research on performing arts really talks about how arts can be used as a tool for youth development – developing the mind of children, developing social skills in students, and really teaching kids how to think critically and creatively,” said Dr. Howard.
“Those skills that they learn in the performing arts are transferable to other disciplines, and the research shows that, that indeed happens, kids really go into law, medicine, business, education – some go into the arts, but most do not.”
Spotlighted Boys & Girls Harbor’s annual Salute to Achievement Benefit on September 26 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. This year’s honoree is Sean “Diddy” Combs, media mogul and philanthropist who recently launched a new charter school in Harlem, in collaboration with Boys and Girls Harbor.
“Sean has shown a passion for education, and so we wanted to congratulate him, encourage him, honor him and support him for his endeavors in the field of education, and we are so fortunate that he said ‘yes’ to being our honoree for Salute 2016,” said Howard.
A highlight of the event is when students from Boy & Girls Harbor perform at the venerable theater, and this year are accompanying Andra Day as she sings her inspirational hit ‘Rise-Up’. Other notable attendees will include event co-chairs, Lyor Cohen and Naomi Campbell.
All proceeds and sponsorships benefit the children and families of Boys & Girls Harbor.
Boys and Girls Harbor is always seeking community members to help support and advance their mission to empower the young people they serve to become productive participants in society.
“We cannot do this work alone,” said Howard. “It’s an expensive work, and it’s important that we continue to raise awareness and raise revenue to support the work. We’re interested in your time, your treasure, your talent.”