On The Record With Jami Taback
by Danielle Mastropiero
Oct 16, 2008 | 2572 views | 0 0 comments | 72 72 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Long Island transplant Jami Taback is a woman on a mission: to bring art to as many at risk youths as she can connect with.

Taback, an art historian and artist who has taken up residence in Kew Gardens, has always believed in making art accessible.

Earlier in her career, Taback launched a business whisking suburbanites into New York City to introduce them to the visual arts.

The business grew from a handful of clientele to busloads of 300 Long Islanders at a time eager to experience the vibrant art scene.

Four years ago, everything changed when a man who lived in her building told her about the plight of inner city youth.

“All of a sudden my interests turned from working with the advantaged to working with the disadvantaged, and I couldn’t stop thinking about these kids,” she said.

Since that time, she has brought printmaking and painting to diverse communities in cities like Yonkers and Newark, NJ.

She said she hopes to reach out to schools in Queens next.

Her programs serve students ranging from ages 8 to 21, and are custom-tailored to the schools she works in.

“As long as they can hold an instrument and express themselves, they’re perfect,” she says of the children. “Some of them are living on the edge and I worry about them. I find that they are really hungry for the attention and the opportunity.”

She said the children, who often come from schools that have drastically, if not altogether cut, their art programs, enjoy profound benefits from her services.

“Sometimes it’s just to engage the kids in something creative, to think about things differently, to meet an artist, but sometimes it sparks an interest and they find out that they’re an artist too,” said Taback.

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