A Feel Good Day In L.A. - Volunteering For P.S.Arts

Wasim Muklashy Photography_P.S.Arts_Billy Mitchell Elementary School_Lawndale_California

So yesterday was one of those 'feel good' days. As a freelancer, there's nothing worse for your psyche than not being booked and shooting, so when I was presented with the opportunity to volunteer for P.S.Arts at Billy Mitchell Elementary School, a school in Lawndale, a small underserved community in Los Angeles between Inglewood, Gardena and Compton, I jumped on it. P.S.Arts is an organization that was started 25 years ago by legendary jazz-man and the 'A' in A&M Records, "The" Herb Alpert, along with his partner Paul Cummings, to help promote arts in schools.

As we all know, budgets continue to get cut for the arts, especially in public schools, so this is where these guys step in and help bring some programs back to these schools. And just from looking at their faces, It’s so obvious the kids love it. While they organize arts programs in all the different genres of arts, this particular one was a dance program in which kids from Kindergarten up to 3rd grade performed multi-cultural dances they had been practicing all semeseter. They were so happy.

P.S. Arts is a non-profit organization, so as you can imagine, they rely a lot on volunteers to help them with things they need and they’re looking to gather some assets for a marketing campaign for their 25th anniversary, so when Angeleno Artistry passed along this opportunity, I signed up right away. Love doing stuff like this, especially after my experience in Sri Lanka, so figured why not. Below is a gallery of some of my favorite images from that dance recital yesterday, all of which were shot on the Samsung NX1 with a combo of the 16-50 S and the 50-150 S lenses. If you click on any of the images, it'll open up a lightbox to view larger versions.

Side note: School cafeteria lunches still smell EXACTLY the same as I remember them…

If you want to learn more about P.S.Arts, visit PSArts.org. And if you want to help them out as well (they work throughout Southern & Central California), contact me about it, and I'll be more than happy to connect you.

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