The Pixel: Urban Arts Newsletter – February
The Color Ball is unlike any gala you’ve attended. Dynamic, powerful, high-energy, colorful and stacked with powerbrokers from tech, finance, art, and media. Dress code? Color is a must! A bright green ball gown, a Zelda costume, or your favorite Hawaiian shirt—they’ve all graced the red carpet in years past. Celebrated illustrator Timothy Goodman will be drawing on the walls, groundbreaking performer Big Freedia will bring down the house at the end of the night, and our honoree Microsoft will take the stage with some big news. But that’s all just the icing on the cake at the 2023 Color Ball.
What really makes the night sparkle are the incredible stories of inspiration and success from Urban Arts’ students. The words they share about their pride of place and purpose drive home the organization’s mission – to help young people defy the odds and define their futures. This is why the theme of the 2023 Color Ball is “OPEN WORLD” – infinite possibilities, unlimited access, and of course a fun wink to our amazingly supportive community of gamers and developers. #iykyk
Last year, we raised nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in a single night to inspire high school students from low-income communities to harness their creativity, access technology and generate lifelong success. Come open worlds with us on March 8th at the Urban Arts Color Ball. Don’t miss out on the most colorful night of the year!
Elyse Dreyer, Board Chair
YOU’RE INVITED Microsoft is our honoree at this year’s Color Ball, with special guest and Color Baller Big Freedia. Our annual gala brings together powerbrokers from tech, media, and entertainment with inspired students from Urban Arts. We’re celebrating Open World, a digital space with real-world applications. Go out for good and secure your ticket today!
March 8th, 2023 | 6:00 – 11pm ET
The Ziegfeld Ballroom, 141 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019
For more information, contact Genevieve King at email@example.com
Meet The Staff: Joelle Blackstock
Joelle Blackstock is Urban Arts’ Student Success Manager. She’s the key to all of our college access and planning. “It’s not just me, though,” says Joelle. “The sense of community starts as soon as a student enters our program. Financial insecurity is a massive barrier for our students, but so is everything else that contributes to their anxiety about the future. It could be their home lives, the pressure for them to be the first in their families to attend college. It could be their responsibility to other family members or personal situations. It makes the college process so much more overwhelming. So having a sense of community instilled in our programming from day one allows them to be open and lean on us as much as they need to.”
Spaghetti Standoff at City College in Harlem
Fifty curious students, teachers, and principals showed up at City College in Harlem Saturday morning to attend the Game Design Master Class & College Tour presented by Urban Arts and The City College of New York. Urban Arts, Harlem Gallery of Science, and CCNY are building Gaming Pathways—encouraging students to engage in the first-ever, four-year, public-option Digital Game Design Degree. This degree, normally found in elite private schools, will serve the students of New York City, graduate them with little to no debt, and launch them into a local tech economy valued at $2 Billion in economic output.
Pizza, a Nintendo Switch raffle, and a clear, well-defined public route to a career in NYC’s gaming and game-adjacent industries were shared.
Postcard From San Francisco
It’s not every day you get the chance to travel to San Francisco with incredible Urban Arts alumni to visit Unity Technologies HQ and participate in a MasterClass with Unity CEO, John Riccitiello. John’s talk focused on entrepreneurship and building and leading teams. I was struck by how John leads by listening, and by his belief that while it is ultimately the CEO’s job to make the final decision, those decisions are better informed when you have more voices at the table. We also engaged with Unity team members at a career panel. Our alums presented their career aspirations and got insightful feedback on strategies for success. Ever committed to educational programming, these East Coast youth also got to enjoy their first In-N-Out Burgers. Thank you very much to Unity and John.
PHILIP COURTNEY, CEO URBAN ARTS
Highlights From Mentoring Month…
Visit A Classroom
During the pandemic, we maintained a 84% student attendance rate. How? Our success was due to our highly-engaging education model, our student-centered curricula, and our deeply invested faculty—plus brand new connective technologies. We are now operating in a hybrid capacity and can host guests online or in person at our Flatiron Learning Lab. Please click below to schedule a visit.