Anne Grauso, a local filmmaker, has been volunteering at Inner-City Arts for more than three years. We asked her to share her perspective as a regular volunteer on our campus. She writes about why she supports our organization as a volunteer and donor.
My name is Anne Grauso. I hail from New York City. Ever since I was a girl scout, I have been taught by the women in my community that people need to support the folks around them, and that’s what makes our world a better place. This perspective has always given me a sense of purpose, balance, love and joy. I strongly believe in the ‘medicine’ of doing good, of love, and of giving.
As I entered adulthood, and later became a wife and a mother, I found myself in board rooms and in gala chair positions for museums, schools, ballets, and hospitals, but have always done my best to maintain a hands-on approach to my charitable life. It has always brought me great joy to enrich the lives of others directly.
I later moved to Los Angeles after my divorce to finally pursue my passion of filmmaking. I feel very lucky to be here. Over three years ago, while hosting a BBQ, a friend asked me about my extensive NYC charity work and asked if I was doing anything in Los Angeles. She mentioned an incredible campus that she had just toured — an art center in downtown LA for underprivileged children. I implored her to email me the information the next day. She did, and the rest is history!
At Inner City Arts, you just cannot believe your eyes. You cannot believe that people have come together to create such an artistic haven for kids who receive little to no creative instruction outside of these walls. When the children arrive through these very secure gates, they immediately relax and smile. They light up and are excited to be here; and we are excited to welcome them! From the moment these kids arrive to the moment they leave, they are happy, creative, stimulated, safe and optimistic.
Inner-City Arts is a place of hope. And that is what makes it a treasured place in today’s world, which can often be rife with cynicism. I thoroughly enjoy every moment I am on this campus and also marvel at the skills of the teaching artists that I assist. The staff here at Inner-City Arts is made up of some of the nicest, most caring people that I have met here in Los Angeles.
That is why I not only volunteer at Inner City Arts, both in the classroom and at events, year after year, but it is also why I support this organization with any funding I can manage, and mentor a few teenage girls interested in filmmaking. As a creative professional, I also fervently support Inner-City Arts’ efforts to prepare older students who have dreams of college and careers in design, film, dance, music, etc. Their voices are important to the world and they need mentors and guidance.
I proudly support Inner-City Arts’ mission of transforming the lives of young people through the arts. I believe they accomplish that, and more, every single day. It is my privilege to help them do it. I encourage other members of our community to support in the same way.