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SVA Students Volunteer to Help Beautify a New York City Park

Members of the International Student Office’s Cultural Partner Program spent the first weekends of spring completing their latest community service project, a series of murals at Stuyvesant Cove Park, not far from the college’s recently opened East 24th Street residence. Initiated by International Student Advisor Regina Degnan, the students pitched the mural proposal to the park’s directors, landlord and the local community board over spring break. "The energy and reception of the idea was all positive,” said Degnan. After further consultation and preparation, the group has since spent the past two Saturdays painting 12 panels depicting native wildflowers, plant life and fish along the East River between 18th and 23rd streets.

“As artists, we are able to utilize our skills to do our part for the Stuyvesant Town community,” said current BFA Animation student Mei Yee Tan. “Being able to help beautify the park is an awesome opportunity for us to think creatively and to further improve our artistic skills.”

The ISO Cultural Partner Program was founded in 2015 by Yoko Anderson, International Student Advisor, and is co-managed with Degnan. It is intended to provide SVA students, domestic and international, with opportunities to learn through cross-cultural understanding, community service and leadership development. Students attend a monthly discussion series on social and cultural issues, participate in cultural field trips, and are required to engage in two community service projects each year, including one of their own design. Past projects include pet adoption, composting and art lesson initiatives, and the group is currently working on an environment awareness workshop for elementary school children.

Students will be presenting their community service projects on Wednesday, April 26 from 6:30-8:00pm, open to the SVA community. Students can apply to join the Cultural Partner Program for the academic year each fall. For more information, click here.

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