ArtSmart Founders – Michael Fabiano and John Viscardi
ArtSmart Founders – Michael Fabiano and John Viscardi

OUR HISTORY

ArtSmart was born in 2015 by co-founders Michael Fabiano and John Viscardi after long analysis of the US education system, role models, technology and the economic state of affairs for artists living and working in the United States. 

Both entrepreneurs and highly accomplished opera singers, Michael and John understood that focused, one-on-one study between student and teacher is a crucial pathway of development in many artistic disciplines. In the U.S., this type of study is referred to as private lessons. 

They knew that for the majority of students in our country, these lessons are out of reach because of their prohibitively high cost. Every year, millions of passionate students are deprived the chance to cultivate their talent and pursue their dreams since they can’t afford to study with a private teacher, let alone have access to basic music education. 

Curating talent is only one part of the private lesson experience. For Michael and John, their private teachers became much more than voice teachers; they became mentors who guided them through the challenges and obstacles that exist in the artistic world. 

ArtSmart co-founder Michael Fabiano

Every year, millions of passionate students are deprived the chance to cultivate their talent and pursue their dreams because they can’t afford to study with a private teacher, let alone have access to basic music education.

ArtSmart team – John Viscardi and Tom Mulder

As artists, Michael and John had also experienced the challenges of making a living while pursuing their dreams in their early careers. For many young professional artists, working one, two or three side jobs is commonplace. More often than not, these jobs are in an industry unrelated to their area of expertise, exhausting and pull focus at a time when it needs to be developed most. 

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 will have provided over 25,000 mentor sessions by mid year 2020 in 28 schools nationwide. Lessons are free of charge to the student, while mentors are compensated a competitive rate for their time and focus. The foundation serves communities in and around San Francisco, Newark, Jersey City, Philadelphia, New York City and Chicago.