In 2010, ALEGRIA was founded by Shay Grabowski, an artist in New York City. When she first met the La Sagrada Familia orphanage community in Peru, she was profoundly impacted by the children's strength and resilence, despite how much trauma they have experienced in their short lives. She experienced firsthand how art was such a crucial tool for children to transcend circumstances. ALEGRIA was birthed out of her experience of creating art with these talented children.
"Joy is the best word I can use to describe the experience of seeing the children discover and flourish creatively."
Shay and Erika Martinez, a psychologist and close friend of Shay's in Lima, dreamed together of how their communities could support the orphanage through the arts. A vibrant community of artists and supporters of the arts emerged in both New York City and Lima.
We received our 501(c)3 status from the IRS in May of 2011. In the past 2 years, led by a team of volunteers, ALEGRIA has mobilized Peruvian and NYC artists to teach art workshops, and we have rallied our communities to support needs in the orphanage.
What began as a grassroots effort of communities has grown into a movement invested in seeing the trajectory of youth's lives changed through the arts. We are currently creating capacity to support additional youth in need, and strengthening ALEGRIA as a partner of these communities. We are humbled and grateful to all who continue to join us in this journey.
A FILM BY LOOSE LUGGAGE
Created by Adam Sjoberg
Executive Producer Shay Grabowski
Translation Rachel Graves