Last night, Elizabeth Sutton and Art Start celebrated at the ‘Good Vibes Only’ benefit at Gansevoort Market in support of the nonprofit, which provides arts programs for underprivileged teens affected by homelessness in New York City for the past 25 years.
Performances from Dan Miz, comedienne Felicia Madison and former Art Start youth, The Kids Next Door, kept guests on their feet, dancing and cheering – and some asking for lessons from the talented hip-hop break dancers when they left the stage.
Sutton introduced emcee Phil Sullivan, a formerly homeless model and advocate, and spoke about her inspiration for hosting the benefit:
“A few months ago, I saw a young man dancing on the subway, obviously struggling by the looks of his clothing and torn shoes and I was incredibly touched by his talent and hustle and courage to put on such a great performance, so I reached out, gave him my business card and some cash and told him to keep hustling, which is my motto. I stepped off the train and called my publicist, Natasha at The Know because she also has a non-profit background, and told her that I needed to do something important: find an organization that provides creative therapy for kids in need, and that’s just what we found in Art Start.”
Sutton comes from a philanthropic family, but the Brooklyn-born millennial says that her eyes were opened to the scope of homelessness in New York City, while attending college near Union Square, where the issue is particularly visible. Art Start nurtures the voices, hearts and minds of underserved youth in some of New York City’s loneliest places, through consistent creative workshops inside homeless shelters, alternatives to incarceration programs, and partnering with youth agencies.
Sutton is also currently working with Lenox Health Greenwich Village and will soon complete a mural at the landmark facility housed in the former Maritime Union Building, ahead of their ribbon cutting ceremony on October 25th.