Community Outreach

SI, with the support of our membership, has a long history of community outreach through our education and scholarship programs.

The SI/Parks Middle School Drawing Academies for NYC at-risk youth ages 9-13 currently serves 50 students in our Winter/Spring Academies and 60 students in our Summer Academy. Students are provided with a backpack full of art supplies, and each of these free programs are offered during school vacations and taught by accomplished SI artists. During the summer sessions, students travel to different cultural sites in NYC to learn drawing techniques on location from professional illustrators and comic artists.

Our portrait drawing sessions at local VA Hospitals serves as a way for Society of Illustrators members to use their skills as artists to help our country.The tradition of drawing portraits of our wounded warriors dates back to World War II, and has continued to present day.

The Art Academy for Incarcerated Youth on Rikers Island program provides up to 10 young men per week, ages 16-17, with high-quality arts programming focused on visual storytelling taught in 2-hour sessions by professional illustrators and educators. 

The High School Career Exploration & Portfolio Building Workshops serves 200 students from NYC schools and includes our expanding collaboration with both the School Art League and Exploring the Arts Foundation. SI offers free fall/spring one-day sessions on Saturdays and school vacations. The curriculum is aligned with the NYS Learning Standards and NYC Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Visual Arts.  It is delivered via a 9 am-4 pm intensive interactive framework and taught by renowned artists to broaden students’ understanding of illustration art genres and career options.  Students are given presentations by the teaching artists, encouraged to ask questions, engage in small-group drawing assignments and critiques, and discuss their work with their teachers to learn how to build competitive portfolios for college applications. They are given art supplies, textbooks and graphic novels to take home with them. 

As the oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the art of illustration and comic art in America, SI is able to continue these programs through the support of our Members, as well as generous donations from the public and private donors. To help us continue these incredible programs, please consider a tax-deductible donation.