Hearts for Art


University of the Streets’ Hearts for Art initiative is committed to supporting local, dedicated, independent artists. As a non-profit arts and education organization for over 49 years, we find it important to raise the bar over the starving artist concept and assist those who are devoted to high excellence within their talent as a contribution to the quality of life of other people.

In launching Hearts for Art, we have selected two independent artists who have been giving to the community over time and up and coming. University of the Streets empathizes with the difficulties of an artist struggling between having time to duly develop one’s craft and having the financial means to support oneself while creating. We understand how easily these necessities can be compromised by regular employment and living costs and hope that by opening our doors to promising individuals, we can directly show our support to the artists themselves.

Hearts for Art aims to offset the overhead cost of being a musician through tax deductible donations from the community. 25% of every donation goes towards arts and educational and cultural programming for the children here in the Bronx and the rest goes towards supporting the efforts of the artists as entrepreneurs.

University of the Streets is proud to present Dusty Rhodes and Shine Fu.

Dusty RhodesDusty Rhodes is a jazz saxophonist born in Newark, New Jersey. He is a graduate of Arts High School, the alma mater of Woody Shaw, Wayne Shorter, and Sarah Vaughan, to name a few. He has also studied at The New School, Essex County College, and William Paterson University. Dusty has performed with various groups across many genres from big bands to smaller jazz combos to rock and roll, reggae, house music, hip hop, and r&b. He has also performed throughout Japan for several years before running his own production company in South Beach, Miami. There was a turning point where Dusty decided to solely perform and play music on the street. He considers himself an urban griot; mirroring the griot traditions of Senegal and Mali as vehicles of story through song. Traditionally, the griot is a musically skilled storyteller who indulges in a variety of topics in life and death, love and hardship, history and its battles. More often than not, the take-away is a unique, spiritual understanding of healing through music. Dusty’s daily contribution of real music encompasses the remedial aspect of music touching people throughout New York City’s communities and is gauged through continuous support from the likes of Wall Street and Brooklyn Heights. In addition to being a saxophonist, Dusty is a song-writer, producer, and engineer.

We are excited to see that Dusty is committed to our mission at University of the Streets and wish to return our appreciation of the lasting effect of music in people’s lives by encouraging our communities’ personal griot to continue his process of storytelling through song.

Donations will be used to facilitate the production of a four CD set called The Alchemy of Pain and a musical production experience called The Sax and The Siren, as well as buying permits to perform throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.

Shine Fu Shine Fu is a vocalist, song-writer, producer, and engineer born in Los Angeles, California. She is a fine arts graduate of Parsons the New School for Design. Shine began her classical training in music for piano at the age of 3 and violin at the age of 4. She is recognized under the Music Teachers’ Association of California in the advanced level. Shine has taken part in various orchestras as a violinist within her school district and surrounding communities for a span of 9 years. She has also participated in show and gospel choirs. Besides music, Shine is passionate about fine art and design, having been trained at the EXR International Art Center and later on at Parsons.

We have selected Shine because of her high level of commitment to her abilities as a fine artist and her unwavering commitment to being an independent artist outside of the mainstream industry. Many young artists have talent but we feel that Shine, unlike many of her younger counterparts, has developed and defined her craft into a unique voice of her own expression; one that highlights a sultry voice of warmth that carries with it the depth of her wisdom in her lyrics. She is currently working on her independent debut album and a theatrical presentation of her music called The Sax and The Siren.

Our aim is to provide and support Shine Fu with the opportunity to achieve her goals as a young artist with help from the community and individual donors who, like us, believe that this particular artist has a great promise of future achievement. We encourage any contributions in assisting Shine move towards the completion of her highly anticipated projects.

If there are any questions concerning the Hearts for Art program or University of the Streets, please do not hesitate to contact me:

Saadia Salahuddeen, Executive Director
University of the Streets
2381 Belmont Avenue
Bronx. NY 10458
212 254-9300

Again, please keep in mind that any donation amount is tax-deductible and greatly appreciated. Please indicate that your donation is specific to the Hearts for Art program and include the name of the artist(s) you would like to sponsor. On behalf of everyone at University of the Streets, thank you for your time and consideration.