ArtCorps

Rating: 4.8 stars   20 reviews

Issues:

Location: 240 County Road Ipswich MA 01938 USA

Mission: ArtCorps is a leader in using art to promote social justice in Central America. ArtCorps forms strategic partnerships with grassroots development organizations in order to improve their capacity to educate, empower and mobilize communities around critical issues that threaten their livelihood. During a three-year partnership, ArtCorps places Artists trained in Art for Social Action in communities served by the organizations. In collaboration with the NGO and community groups, the Artists use murals, theater, storytelling, music, puppetry and other creative facilitation techniques to inspire and educate people to participate in improving their communities. At the same time, the Artists train partner organizations to integrate arts-based tools into their education and outreach programs.
Geographic areas served: Central America

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

ArtCorps has pumped new vitality into on the one hand my desire to help people in other countries like Guatemala and on the other my love of art. And then married them in my role as board member advancing ArtCorps programs. I have visited ArtCorps artists and projects in Antigua, Totonicapan and Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and been impressed with the participation and enthusiasm. This winter I plan to visit more projects in other countries and complete my scuba certification too.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more board members and volunteers to develop the resources to form and strengthen relationships with other non-profits, arts groups and community development/education groups; document the beneficial effects of using art to get people going to accomplish social change, and show the results to the major funding groups to get their help to spread ArtCorps' work more broadly.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I believe that art speaks to us and motivates us in such unique and powerful ways. I am impassioned by ArtCorps' mission to promote sustainable social change by using art as a primary means of communication and inspiration. ArtCorps plays a vital role in cultivating agents of change in communities, and I am proud to support its efforts.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My experience with Art Corps began in the Summer of 2011 when I was asked to join their Event Committee for the fall 2011 Raising Spirits fundraiser. I was more than happy to do so as I really believe in their mission of social justice, environmental education, and community building through art. Art Corps has been on my radar for quite sometime and I would love to continue our partnership through my position at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. The one piece of advice I have to help strengthen the organization is to get your name out there more! I talk you up all the time to people on the North Shore and few have heard of you! And some signage on County Road/around your location would be very helpful in finding your offices.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Art as a form of communication opens doors and hearts much wider than other more standard ways. This organizations reaches people in their own communities to see the environment as the precious resource that it is. By focusing on the youth of the community, the message is sure to be spread and to be incorporated into their lives for the long term.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Listened to the experience of artists in the field

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none that I can think of

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 4 stars  

I strongly believe in community service and dedicate time each week to volunteer. As a professional artist I seek opportunities to use my experience and passion for the arts.

I became involved with ArtCorps intrigued by the potential of using art for social justice. I started by helping to interview the artists applying to spend a year working in Central America. Through the interview process I got to know the staff. I was impressed by the professionalism of the administration and their sensitivity to the work required by the mission. I was also pleased to see the quality of the artist applicants that volunteered a year of their lives to provide impoverished communities with a new vision for solutions to everyday problems.

I have now had the chance to participate for three years in support of ArtCorps and I am more convinced than ever that art is a valuable tool for social change. As a new Board Member, I have the opportunity to see just how hard the ArtCorps Administration works to make the most out of the funds that support the fieldwork. Their dedication and professionalism is inspiring. The staff continues to refine the process to get artists into communities where they are needed while making the most out of a lean budget. Most impressive to me however, is the creative determination to find new sources of revenue that has prompted the staffs efforts to sell their methodology to other organizations working towards the same results. I believe that it is important for an non-profit to work like a profit driven company in order to make the most out of every donation. ArtCorps is doing good and doing it very well!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have not personally experienced the results of this organization though I have heard from artists who have returned from the field.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to make changes to ArtCorps I would add more Board Members with fiduciary experience. I also agree with the staff that a new full-time Development position is required.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I joined Artcorps initial advisory comittee in support of a compelling vision that art and artists are too often overlooked as a resource to mobilize and accelerate social change. This observation was based on my 20+ years working on environmental and social development issues in Central America where too often change agents can be too technical and talk at people they seek to change rather than fostering empowerment and self-reliance. I have seen how self-discovery and self-expression through art can inspire entire communities and especially youth.

While I recently stepped off the board of directors after 10 years of volunteer service, I remain impressed how this small non-profit is changing the world by placing fantastic artists with disadvantaged communities to change the world with art, one village at a time.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been able to talk with the artists who volunteered and Central American non-profit organizations that have hosted Artcorps volunteers and remain impressed by the accounts of Artcorps impact and empowerment at the grassroots community level.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get them an endowment so they could worry less about fund raising and focus more on their commitment to continual improvement while expanding their geographic scope. They also need more board members with passion, expertise and an ability to access money.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Years ago, as the director of an international grant giving Foundation, I was looking for the missing link that would enable local non-profits to better involve their communities and consequently be more effective in their social or environmental work.
During an African trip, I saw women designing beautiful batik cloths that described methods for controlling malaria. They went to the market with a health promoter who explained each image to a riveted crowd. Shortly after, I attended a village play about HIV . Full house! And lots of questions! I decided right then that art was the link I was looking for. Not an earth shattering idea really, but why was this successful technique not being used more systematically.?

Artcorps is now that missing art link. It is a successful organization led by a passionate staff since 2006, enabling development organizations in Central America to have a sustained impact on their communities, even or rather especially after the artists have left.

In the end, the question: is : does it work? the organizations seem to think so . Artcorps has more demand that it can fulfill.
The staff is dedicated, passionate... and underpaid.



I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I made many trips to host organzations before and after they had an artist in residence. Before, the villagers even did not know there was an entity set up to help them. After a couple of months of the artist working mostly with women and children, everbody was eager to either at worse, listen, and at best, ge tinvolved.. (ex: villagers controlled their fires in the mountains after a children poster campaign around "don't kill our forests ")

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Definitely add more staff, expand worldwide. Havin more artists musicians, expand the concept of artist to magicians, circus performers, cartoonists.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

Work

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Hiring a development officer, develop a workshop curriculum

What is its top priority in the long run?

Spreading the concept of art for change at different levels, in the field and providing training workshops.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

Great organization. Using art and artists to help NGO's get their message across is an effective tool for change. Keep up the fantastic work!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Reports back from the artists in the field

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand their range.

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Rating: 5 stars  

ArtCorps in incredible!
I just returned from 3 years working with them in Latin America. It has been one of the most transformative experiences of my life this far, and I am so grateful for the creativity and passion they bring to their work with underserved communities in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. I highly recommend learning more about them or signing up to work with them for a year. You may end up staying for 3 and falling in love with their mission and the work! Regardless, you would be sure to learn and grow so much and gain new perspectives about our world!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the new skills that I have developed during my time with them, the satisfaction of empowering women and other locals to find their voices through creativity and gaining new perspective about our world.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue to help them grow and impact lives by continuing to send artists and find local artists to support their mission.

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I had the utmost pleasure of accompanying Artcorps on one of their journeys to Guatemala.The experience had a huge impact on my beliefs in Artcorps and their passion for communicating through art. it confirmed my continued efforts to share in the driven passion for Social Justice. I am now looking forward to retirement with hopes that I can spend more time dedicated to Artcorps in Guatelmala and become a volunteer

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Guetamala

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

add more staff and volunteers

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

to see the faces of the children when the volunteer arrived to their community for social activity

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

terrific ...dedicated and motivated

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach so many more communities and children ...amybe we can dream for social justice and understanding in south america

Ways to make it better...

i could have spent more time there!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funds

One thing I'd also say is that...

it was a life changing experience

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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