Ever since I was in the fourth grade when I learned that art was actually a “thing”, I just wanted more and more of it. I wanted to consume so much of it that my skin would turn as colorful as the box of Crayola color pencils I carried around and until paint brushes were all that I dreamed about. I was in my room when my sister came and told me about the email she received about an organization that wanted to to help teens get more involved with art. After I read what the organization was about, I had already started falling love with it. I knew that it was a great opportunity for me to get even closer to the arts. So I put in the application and never questioned doing that since.
I’ve always admired my decision to apply because it lead to so many other great opportunities such as working with other brilliant and fantastic teens, meeting new people, and understanding more about the artist, not just the artwork. Meeting artists has been one of my most memorable moments with STAMP. I was lucky enough to have worked with the Institute of Contemporary Art (located at 36th and Sansom), because not only did I meet new great artists, but I’ve learned so much from them and formed a great bond with their staff. STAMP has especially helped with developing my own personal voice and having it heard. I used to be a very shy guy, I’m still working on it today, but working with STAMP has helped me crack open my shell so much from writing blog posts to being on screen for so many people to watch.
I consider myself to be very lucky to have been given the opportunity to get involved within the arts and culture of Philadelphia. Once you see how much Philly surrounds the arts, you will start to see the city from a brighter perspective and learn to love and appreciate it even more. And I would encourage anyone, especially teens, to really find out and learn about what Philly has to offer and to take advantage of each and every opportunity that it has to give you.