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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Children & Youth, Performing Arts Schools, Youth Centers & Clubs

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

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

13

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

11

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!