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Opera Star Michael Fabiano Launches ARTSMART's Online Art Auction To Support Under-Resourced Youth This Month 

Featuring exquisite fine art and experiences collected from around the world, to bring awareness to the nonprofit's impact and raise critical funds.

Michael Fabiano, co-founder and international opera starArtSmart announces its first ever Online Art Auction, featuring exquisite fine art and experiences collected from around the world, to bring awareness to the nonprofit's impact and raise critical funds.

The auction will go live November 29 and close December 15, 2022. It will be accessible online at artsmart.org/auction from desktop or mobile device. All proceeds will go to support ArtSmart's mission to transform the lives of youth in under-resourced communities across the United States through tuition-free music lessons and mentorship by paid, professional artists.

The auction will serve as a major fundraiser to further ArtSmart's impact in the seven major US cities it currently operates in- New York, Newark, Jersey City, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle. The auction will raise awareness of the organization's efforts and support the expansion of ArtSmart into additional cities.

"Artists, benefactors, and museums, who have donated auction items, are passionate about ArtSmart's mission. Music saves lives. I am proud of the work we are doing," stated co-founder and international opera star Michael Fabiano.

Artists from London to Los Angeles have donated works of art to support ArtSmart's mission. Patrons will enjoy carefully curated fine art, sculpture, photography, and music memorabilia. Sneak peeks of the auction items will be revealed throughout the coming months. Among the items are works by such prominent artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Steve Winter, and Ran Ortner. The auction will feature local artists from each of the seven major cities ArtSmart works in. Artists in London, where co-founder Michael Fabiano enjoys a considerable fan base, have donated works.

The auction will not stop at the visual arts. Experience packages include a rare opportunity to fly with co-founder Michael Fabiano, an international opera star by night and licensed pilot by day (if you don't believe it, see for yourself here). A bid of $25,000 will get you a date with Mr. Fabiano at a Michelin star restaurant and more. Opera singer Michael Fabiano in cockpit (Photo by James Weber)

ArtSmart's work is transformative. Since its founding in 2016, ArtSmart has had two goals- to empower students, who would not otherwise have access, with high-quality musical training and career-building mentorship, and to empower emerging artists with financial stability and quality work. ArtSmart mentors, who are professionally-trained musicians, receive competitive compensation for their work as artist mentors. Since its founding, over $1.4 million has been paid to mentoring artists.

ArtSmart's data shows:

92% of students attended Title 1 Schools, where 40% of students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch88% of students identified as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color 55% were from an English Language Learning background43% identified as LGTBQ+92% of ArtSmart students plan to attend college, compared to just 71% of high school students nationwide (U.S. Teens Survey, Feb. 20, 2019. Pew Research Center)70% of students said their experience in ArtSmart impacted their future goals52% of graduates went on to study the arts at a higher education institution

ArtSmart believes every young artist deserves a healthy and consistent relationship with an experienced adult artist who can guide them to master their craft, grow socially and emotionally, and channel their passion into professional opportunities. Moreover, ArtSmart engages with school communities by producing inspirational performances that promote and sustain a culture of artistic expression in schools.

In addition to ending the cycle of poverty through music mentorship, ArtSmart's vision has evolved to make the mental health of its students a priority. The mental health of American youth is worsening, and young People of Color are disproportionately experiencing depression, isolation, and loneliness and negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (Point-in-Time Survey, Sep. 8, 2021. National Council for Mental Wellbeing). ArtSmart empowers youth to connect and express themselves through arts mentorship. 80% of students say that participating in ArtSmart improved their mental health.

"I definitely went through a lot [during the pandemic]. ArtSmart was my therapy. It just cleared my mind after doing a lesson." - Daejah, ArtSmart student

The mission of ArtSmart, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is to transform the lives of youth in under-resourced communities across the US through tuition-free music lessons and mentorship by paid, professional artists. ArtSmart's vision is to provide youth with a path out of poverty and to end the mental health crisis. Through weekly one-to-one sessions over a full school year, ArtSmart students receive world class instruction and training from professional musicians. Using an evidenced based curriculum, our mentors work with their students to set goals, learn music, develop a healthy self-esteem and ultimately, chart a course for the rest of their lives.

ArtSmart was co-founded in 2015 by international opera singers Michael Fabiano and John Viscardi after a long analysis of the United States education system, role models, technology and the economic state of affairs for artists living and working in the United States. ArtSmart was born out of these central ideas: to create an organization that gives students in underserved communities an opportunity to pursue their dreams and grow as human beings, while supporting actively working artists to accomplish their own professional goals.

ArtSmart launched its pilot program at Newark's East Side High School in September 2016. The first program of its kind, ArtSmart has provided 25,000 tuition free lessons to more than 750 students across the United States, while mentors were compensated a competitive rate for their time and focus. The foundation serves communities in and around New York City, Newark, Jersey City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle.

Of Michael Fabiano's debut as Lensky in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin at the Royal Opera, The Sunday Times in London wrote: "I can't think of a Lensky at Covent Garden who has held the audience so spellbound in 40 years of Onegin-going... a glorious debut." The recipient of the 2014 Beverly Sills Artist Award and the 2014 Richard Tucker Award, Fabiano is the first singer to win both awards in the same year, and is considered one of the greatest tenors in the world today.

Fabiano has performed at most of the world's major opera houses, and performed with numerous international orchestras and in recitals throughout the US and Europe. Upcoming in the 2022-2023 season, Fabiano will perform the role of Cavarodssi in Tosca at The Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Gran Theatre del Liceu in Spain, and the Wiener Staatsoper in Austria. In November, he will perform at the 2022 Richard Tucker Gala in the David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. In the spring, Fabiano will perform the role of Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur at The Sydney Opera House and Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at San Francisco Opera.



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