SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Hughie Stone Fish loves Central New York. He proved it a couple years ago when he produced the music video, “Welcome to Syracuse.” The opening lyrics give you an idea of his sense of humor.
Hughie played in several bands in high school at Jamesville-DeWitt. And he’s grateful that he always had the support he needed to succeed.
“Being able to have places that I could perform and I could play bad music,” he says. “And sometimes play good music and have audiences there to support me allowed me to see a life in the arts, and so we’re trying to provide that same opportunity for kids in Syracuse.”
It worked for Hughie. He won a Daytime Emmy after moving to Los Angeles and was a finalist on NBC’s comedy competition show “Bring the Funny” with the popular comedy band Lewberger. Now, he and his brother, Avery Stone Fish, want to give back to the hometown that nurtured their love of the arts as kids.
Avery said, “What we’re really trying to do is bring this transformative virtual arts education to the under-resourced communities in Syracuse who maybe don’t have access to amazing comedy educators.”
They’ve founded TAPS, The Arts Project Syracuse. They are partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Syracuse and the YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County to provide fully-funded virtual arts enrichment from their base in Los Angeles to kids back home. They are working with top comedians and educators, providing instruction in courses like sketch comedy, improvisation, and acting. And to get it all paid for, the Stone Fish brothers are partnering with another Central New Yorker in L.A., Keeley Scarlata from Clinton. She has experience in the non-profit sector with several charities and is helping to fund the project.
“We both found our love for Syracuse,” says Scarlata. “And decided it’s time for us to found something of our own that we can really make our own decisions here and decide where all the money is going.”
Hughie, Aver,y and Keeley are committed to bringing the young people of Central New York access to the best Arts Enrichment they can, and they hope that someday, some of those creative minds will make their way to a national audience.