Publicolor: Drenching At-Risk Schools in Color

Annual fundraising events are usually dreary, rubber-chicken affairs. Not so with Publicolor, one of our very favorite charities whose Stir, Splatter + Roll event is slated for Wed. April 11 at 6pm. How often do contributors convene at an at-risk school (this year it’s Martin Luther King, Jr., High School, just behind Lincoln Center), don a Tyvek suit and drench a gym or library in brilliant new coat of color, star designers and public-school students working hard side-by-side?

Publicolor’s mission is one we totally support: they target neglected schools full of at-risk students and repaint the entire school using corporate volunteers, students and teachers from the school itself. The school’s look is dramatically transformed for the better, as is that of the surrounding community. Publicolor’s simple act of reclaiming neglected-looking spaces makes students and teachers feel safer, affirms community pride, and teaches students a marketable job skill.

Before and after schools of a Publicolor school

Those benefits are only the most obvious ones. Intangibly, students involved in Publicolor projects are twice as likely than their peers to move on to advanced education. That initial project opens the door for more long-term interactions with mentors via Publicolor’s related programs. The net effect: Publicolor lifts students out of poverty by giving them an actionable glimpse in a broader world of opportunities, including those afforded by good design.

If all that’s not enough to tip the scales, you might dig the prospect of painting and rubbing paint-spattered shoulders with design luminaries including Nicole Miller, Maira Kalman, Ed Schlossberg Jonathan Marvel + Rob Rogers, Jeffrey Banks, Vicente Wolf, Michele Oka Doner, Stephen Doyle, and Gael Towey, Creative Director at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You’ll also enjoy a fantastic light installation by Leni Schwendiger. (Print’s Color Conference featured Ruth Lande Shuman of Publicolor, Leni and Gael as speakers – so it’s a smash repeat performance of our favorite color-folks.)

Invest in New York City public schools, their kids, and in the power of color. Event participation starts at $500, but no donation is too small. Give generously to Publicolor – and we hope to see you on April 11!


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