Canarsie artist Kenny Altidor is speaking out against gun violence. Believing that a community can be united through art, he organized a Community Sip & Paint Against Gun Violence, which was held at I.S. 68 Bildersee, at the corner of Flatlands Avenue and East 82nd Street, on Thursday, June 23rd.
The local artist is using paintbrushes to let children and members of the community know that it’s better to pick up a paintbrush than a gun.
The surge in gun violence across the city drives him to work harder to build a positive relationship between police and the community. “I think it is a wonderful thing to put youth, community, cops and elected officials together to paint and communicate during all this madness. It’s more important than ever for communities to work together to change the perception and actions of their neighborhoods,” Altidor told the Canarsie Courier.
He said we have to make positive change as artists, and community events are always met with positive reactions. “It’s always a positive interaction and I get good vibes from many of the residents when I host an event,” Altidor said. “As artists, our job is to draw attention to issues that are going on in the world. Our job as artists is to make a visual statement. Something people can remember and touch.”
Altidor also works with kids from Canarsie and NYPD officers to organize various community events throughout the neighborhood.