Local non-profit wants to expand art programs to underserved communities

Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Art and culture are important to a lot of people in Eastern North Carolina. Recently, there are more initiatives being put in place to expand the art scene to communities in Greenville. 

HeARToscope is a non-profit organization focused on bringing art to places like West and South Greenville. Deborah Sheppard is the founder and executive director. She said she felt like she needed to do something when she noticed a lot of art in areas like uptown Greenville but the West and South side barely has any. 

The non-profit’s goal is to use art as a tool for social change and to bring art culture to these communities that she feels are often overlooked. This is accomplished through the organization’s free art and mentorship programs where children are provided free meals and learn about things like film photography, painting, graphic design and more. 

Sheppard wants to see more of the community working together to make youth programs like this more accessible to all areas of Greenville. 

“When you have programs, look at the demographics, if it looks like there are certain kids or certain communities that are being excluded,” she said. “We must be intentional about making sure that we can revamp some of these programs, whether it’s adjusting budgets or doing whatever it is that we need to do to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to be included.”

HeARToscope is hosting its first pop-up art show on Saturday from noon-4 p.m. It will be located at the vacant lot adjacent to the Little Willie Center and across from the Gold Post Cafe, on the corner of Vance and 5th Street. 

“There will be music, kids activities, free food. We will have East Carolina Italian ice out here and also the Kebab Kings food truck, and we will serve the first 100 people who come in and register,” Sheppard said. 

For more information on HeARToscope’s programming and events, you can contact Deborah Sheppard at info@heartoscope.org You can also visit the non-profit’s website at HeARToscope. 

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