Artists Of America

Rating: 4.89 stars   9 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth

Location: 645 West 9th Street, Unit 110-189 Los Angeles CA 90015 USA

Mission: Artists of America provides art classes for Foster Children and At-Risk Youth. We step into the gap created by school budget cuts that eliminated the art (visual, performing and literary) classes in the schools. Children need art education to teach them how to problem solve and think creatively.  Society benefits from workers who can think, read and write...all of which is enhanced by art classes.  Research proves that math and science scores go up when students have art education. Without education in the arts, where are our future thinkers, scientists, and visionaries going to come from?
Results: In 2008, Artists of America gave art classes to over 900 children. The classes included: Dance Cartooning (this is a big hit with boys & girls!) Poetry & Movement Drawing Painting Creative Writing StoryTelling & Learning to Read
Target demographics: The children we help are from low income areas, between the ages of 4-18 years old. We are particularly concerned about the situation of foster children when they “age-out” of the foster care system. Within 1 year of leaving the foster care system, 80% of these young people are: In JAIL HOMELESS or DEAD, Yes, dead. With upwards of 550,000 children in foster care every year, the cost if these statistics in human terms is enormous. It is not just the undeserved pain in the kids’ young hearts—it is the cost to our society in terms of TAX DOLLARS spent in the correctional systems, the money spent trying to repair broken lives, and the sheer economic loss caused by these potentially productive citizens not entering into the workforce. And think about it: what kind of parents will these kids make, if we haven’t shown them love and mentoring? It boggles the mind, and breaks my heart.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,000+
Geographic areas served: California, New Mexico, New York

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Defacing public and private buildings with graffiti is a on-growing problem in the community. Artists of America partnered with the juvenile justice department to teach at-risk youth to paint murals instead. Now those young people can express themselves in a way that is actually appreciated by their neighbors. The program is very successful and I'm glad to have been a part of it!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

i have written stories for this organization, and i hope my example will encourage others to be all that they can be. I am glad to help because it will help someone else.

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

How i can help others be the best they can be.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

I was a voluteer for painting class. The kids were wonderfull and very exited to paint and to take home the paints and brushes to keep practicing. I loved it . Thanks Arists of America for this great job your doing

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

what I enjoy the most was the kids faces when you tell them they can have the art supplies to take home with them

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

The artwork which the students are capable of creating is remarkable. I was astonished to see the great strides made by the students who benefit from the services provided Artists of America. I beleive these services are significant to the children and that they greatly benefit from the services provided to them.

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

the artwork created by the students.

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

seek additional funding in order to expand this program.

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

witnessing the significant impact it has on the children.

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

kind and compassionate about the services provided by the program.

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

provide art classes to so many children who want to learn.

Ways to make it better...

more children were able to participate in these art programs.

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

seeking funding during these economic times.

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

the staff and volunteers working on behalf of this organization are sincerly wonderful people who want to provide more to a child's education such as art programs.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

Bringing art, hope and love to children is a noble cause. Artists of America makes a difference and helps build confidence in children who are constantly told they do not count. Taking time, teaching and opening a new world for a child makes a tremendous difference.

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

help children experience how creative and valuable they are in society.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Artists of America literally gave me a voice: I discovered a talent I didn't realaize I had. Through the encouragment, guidance and direction of Artists of America, my talent is truly emerging. In addition to the joy and satisfaction it has given me personally, I have seen how others react so positively to my art. It's been a wonder to be part of an organization that is so generous and caring. The activities that were generated to provide classes for foster children were amazing. Being part of those efforts through art exhibits, silent auctions and other fundraisers resulted in an outpouring of support for the foster children. I am proud to be part of Artists of America. Judith A. Crosby

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

making a dream come true for foster children.

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

pretty much do the things currently being done now.

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

meeting othersw and working toward a common goal.

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

amazing!

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

change the lives of so many foster children.

Ways to make it better...

I don't really have any input into this.

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

funding.

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

Diedre Burke, president and founder derserves so much credit for her dedication, energy and commitment to this cause.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

My name is Makana. I am 20 years old and I am a student teacher for one of AOA's cartooning classes. I believe that AOA is an amazing organization! I love being able to help teach at risk children that they CAN grow up and be a positive contribution to society. Being able to help these children is important to me. Helping them learn that although they weren't given the best of circumstances to live in they can still be passionate about something and education really is important, what they choose to do with their lives really is important. Each and every one of these children are important. AOA gives me the opportunity to make a difference in some beautiful children's lives.

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

the smiles on the children's faces.

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

try to expand it as far as I could go.

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

being blessed in having the opportunity to make a difference.

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

very caring.

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

save a lot of children from going down the wrong live paths.

Ways to make it better...

I got to volunteer more hours, since I am still a full time student.

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

not enough funds.

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

I have the best hopes for AOA in the future.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

My name is Daniel Graham and I'm a volunteer for Artists of America. At 15 years old, I love the arts, if it's music, dance, theater or painting. That is why I'm proud to be an intern this year, working in AOA's Los Angeles office. My title is Administrative Intern and my job is to gather and organize e-mail addresses for our monthly newsletter. I am also studying the books that were donated by DAVE RAMSEY so I can help students my age develop the art of being financially responsible. There are so many opportunities for volunteers to share their skills while developing their career path. That's why I hope you'll join me and become a volunteer for Artists of America!

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

helping young people find themselves through art.

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

pay everybody.

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

learning about data entry and information technology.

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

very friendly.

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

pay everybody that works for AOA.

Ways to make it better...

it would have been a paid position.

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

no money.

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

I love working for AOA.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

The purpose of Artists of America is to bring art back into the classroom! When schools began to shave costs from their budgets, classes like art, music, dance, theater and story-telling were the first to go. Unfortunately, schools and parents thought these classes were non-essential, but research has discovered that art is important to the young student because: • Early exposure to visual art, music, or drama promotes activity in the brain. • Art helps children understand other subjects much more clearly—from math and science, to language arts and geography. • Art nurtures inventiveness as it engages children in a process that aids in the development of self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation. • Participating in art activities helps children to gain the tools necessary for understanding human experience, adapting to and respecting others' ways of working and thinking, developing creative problem-solving skills, and communicating thoughts and ideas in a variety of ways. • Through exercising their imaginations, the arts help students to make new connections, transcend previous limitations and think "outside of the box". Drawing is one of the most important activities children can do. Drawing not only provides the basis for other creative activities - like painting, sculpture and printmaking - but it also provides a direct link with reading, writing and especially mathematics. The connection between drawing and geometric shapes and measurements simply cannot be denied. And do you know what else? Drawing is the single most accessible form of art available. All you need is a pencil and a sheet of paper. Mel Schoenberger is a volunteer and member of Artists of America. He teaches cartooning. "We begin by drawing triangles, squares, circles, rectangles and other geometric shapes. Then we learn proportion as we begin to connect the shapes into human or animal forms. Expression of emotion, the action of the character and story line is developed. The student learns patience and perseverance, self- discipline and the ability to concentrate." They probably don’t notice that their penmanship and spelling improves while their characters “talk.” Mel emphasises that it’s important that when your child brings his or her art home that you display it … most likely on the refrigerator door. You’re telling your child that you’re proud of them and that encourages the growth of their self-esteem. That makes your child healthier and happier. A Healthy, Happy Child Learns Best! Artists of America works very hard to provide free art classes to foster children and at-risk youth. Their goal is to improve lives ... one child at a time!

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

providing free art classes for foster children and at-risk youth.

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

hire five full time grant writers to secure the funds so AOA can afford a professional staff (web site designer, grahic artists, newsletter writers and editor, data entry and administrative assistant for the President, Diedre Burke.

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

giving troubled children a positive experience.

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

connected through the love of the arts.

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

hire a professional staff, operate its many worthwhile programs and expand to other cities to meet the needs of underseved children across the U.S.

Ways to make it better...

there were more funding for more programs through Artists of America.

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

funding ... funding ... and funding!

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

Artists of America has done a magnificent job despite the lack of funds.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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