Harriet Ripinsky has lived in Charleston for decades, has a background in book publishing, and has always been tied to and supportive of the arts and after school programs. So, from its inception, Yo Art has been a very worthy cause in Harriet’s eyes.
She explains how she got involved: “My sister and I were volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club in downtown Charleston, and Gene Furchgott, Yo Art’s founder, was asked by Mayor Riley to do some work at Sanders Clyde at the time. He started this photography course with the kids there in this little building on the Eastside.”
The Marie Strobel Community Center, that is. And after, Harriet and her sister, Linda, got Gene to also work with the students at the Boys & Girls Club. And when that ended, Harriet and Linda started to become more involved with Yo Art as it expanded, especially in the schools on Johns Island and Wadamalaw Island that are very near and dear to Harriet’s heart.
Now, for over 10 years, Harriet has donated and been involved with Yo Art.
Yo Art’s mission to bring media arts and technology classes to underserved schools in the Lowcountry really speaks to Harriet, because, she says, “It’s important for students to develop skills so that they can make their way through life without being so far behind.”
“I think Yo Art is important, because it gives Title I students opportunities that they wouldn’t have otherwise.”