Diversity Arts aims to support underserved youth and communities by providing safe environments, guidance and materials for creative self-discovery, expression and sociocultural interaction.
Diversity Arts was founded by studio artist John Gascot in 2016. The project began as a one-off workshop geared toward LGBTQ Youth. This was Gascot's response to being targeted, in his own home, via hate mail by a neighbor. He and his husband received an anonymous letter containing homophobic slurs and detailing the couple's daily household activities. Its sole purpose; to instill fear and shame.
John refused to accept his neighbor's intimidation tactics and immediately set to create something positive and productive out of the situation. He made the incident public via social media and local news to let the letter's author know that their act of bigotry had the opposite of its intended effect. Gascot feels passionate about empowering disenfranchised youth and groups with self-esteem so that they are equipped to deal with such situations should they arise.
After the first workshop, John began working with homeless and at-risk youth. Bit by bit demand for the workshops and activities increased and he created a nonprofit in order to fund the work through grants and donations. Workshops and activities are currently offered in-studio, at schools and community centers but he envisions a Diversity Arts Center in the future. The center would hold ongoing art and youth development programming taught by a staff of educators and facilitators and host exhibits by artists from disenfranchised diverse communities who have overcome adversity to reach their professional artistic goals.
Art is powerful.
Art is empowering.