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YI Visits the Keith Haring Foundation

JUL 25, 2013

YI Summer participants gather for a group shot in the offices of the Keith Haring Foundation, located in Haring’s studio! July 2013. Photograph by Heather Maxson

YI Summer participants gather for a group shot in the offices of the Keith Haring Foundation, located in Haring’s studio! July 2013. Photograph by Heather Maxson

On July 25, Youth Insights teens went to the Keith Haring Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by artist Keith Haring, in 1989, two years before his death. It focuses on helping children in need and people affected by AIDS. I was excited to visit the Foundation, because Keith Haring is one of my favorite artists. I left knowing more about his work and the kind of person he was.

At the foundation, we talked to the people who run the organization. They work to expand and protect Keith Haring’s legacy, art, and ideals. Part of that work involves providing grants to organizations that help children, who were so important to Haring because he saw kids as the future generation who will change the world. Haring was diagnosed with AIDS at a time there weren’t any medications you could take to survive, so the Foundation also supports organizations that are involved in AIDS research and education. 

YI receives Haring buttons as a parting gift from the Foundation, thank you! Photograph by Heather Maxson

YI receives Haring buttons as a parting gift from the Foundation, thank you! Photograph by Heather Maxson

While at the Foundation, we watched a documentary that was created shortly before Haring’s death. It didn’t focus on the fact that his days were limited, but entirely on the work he did and the impact he had on the world. I love how his art can signify so many things. The people or things in Haring’s work don’t have any facial expression, so, in my opinion, anybody who sees his art can find different emotions within it and relate it to themselves. After the trip, I felt more connected to his work and I had more of an understanding of the Keith Haring Foundation itself.

By Tiara, Youth Insights Summer participant