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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Art in Action

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Arts Education, Visual Arts

Mission: Art in Action enriches children’s education through innovative visual arts programs.

Results: Art in Action enriches children’s lives through art. More than 180 schools now offer Art in Action in more than 1600 classrooms to more than 44,000 students. Each year Art in Action trains participating schools’ teachers, docents, and volunteers to teach the curriculum. Each year public libraries display over 700 outstanding works of student art.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 44,000 students and more than 2,500 educators and parents.

Geographic areas served: Worldwide

Programs: The Art in Action Program is a sequential visual arts curriculum, offering a high-quality learning experience for all elementary and middle school students. Art in Action fills a demand for discipline-based and sequential art education curricula in public and private K-12 schools. Aligned with National and California visual arts academic standards, the Program brings art to more than 44,000 students. Art in Action emphasizes the importance of teacher training and support to ensure the ease and accessibility of teaching art.

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I found Art In Action I was so impressed. I personally love art and am sad that art is no longer in our schools. Then I found Art In Action and volunteered to help their organization. They were so warm and friendly and organized. Their halls were lined with just amazing art and the programs they put together were amazing. Not only good, but really off the shelf so that students can get great art education and the volunteers and teachers work is made easier.

1 Patrick B.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I head up the volunteers for our kid's elementary school class art curriculum. I teach and assist.
We all love the well- thought out lessons and the ready-assembled art materials and kits to teach the lessons. Lessons are deeply rooted in the Masters and teach the kids real art as well as creative thinking.

Amit M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am working with the Art in Action board as a part of the Non-profit Leadership Board program at The Wharton School of Business for the past 9 months. I have been very impressed with the passion the Board Members possess when it comes to Art and its impact on children. I walk away very excited after every board meeting.
I am also very impressed with how organized and strategic the Board of Directors for Art in Action are. They have a clear mission, strategic plan and are marching on their way to meeting the goals of the non-profit organization. I wish them the very best in their endeavor.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started out as an Art in Action docent, then a school coordinator and finally a Board member of Art in Action. I have seen the power that the wonderful art history lessons and art instructions have had in the classroom and in the lives of my own children. As school budgets become tight, and art programs are reduced, programs like Art in Action can keep vital art instruction alive in the schools. I happen to have two very creative, artistic daughters, and Art in Action opened the world of art history for them...a world that they continued to pursue in college.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Art in Action provides a unique art education experience. Its masters based program combines a love of art history with excellent hands on activities and classical art training. The staff, board, volunteers, and supporters are passionate about the arts and the value the arts hold in education.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

California Schools provide a completely barebones curriculum not including art education. When I found that Art in Action provides an excellent and appropriate art education in the classroom I hastened to become involved. Art in Action trains volunteers to use their highly appropriate and professional materials to open the world of possibility through understanding art. These classes are grade level appropriate and are a hands- on experience as well as having an intellectual component. The children are completely engaged and a vitality is obvious in the classrooms. The non-profit Art in Action not only provides this essential experience for children, but it raises the funds necessary to provide this experience. Art in Action currently reaches 27,000 students and is growing each year.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined Art in Action as a board advisor through Stanford Graduate School of Business' Board Fellows program in 2009. I have found the team to be as professional and development-oriented as they are warm and passionate. In my work in business line development and competitive landscape assessment, I found Judy Sleeth, Torben Gronning and Elizabeth Grover to be driven by a relentless desire to expand, grow, and learn as an organization-- just the values that they instill in children through their product.

Art in Action's mission is a critical one, and one with which I have a deep personal connection. From an early age, art has been an important part of my identity. Early on, art was a stage for bonding with my parents, but developed into a source of harmony and balance in my life. While my path has woven through cross-country college treks, international travel, a stint on Wall Street and now time in graduate school, art has been a constant. As my journey shaped my identity, art provided me the chance to be an active participant in this process, shaping my own values and creativity through projects and passions. I have no doubt that I would not be who I am today without art, and more importantly without the people in my life (teachers, parents, classmates) that pushed me to carry art with me as a companion throughout my journey.

Art in Action plays precisely this role in young students' lives. It sparks a fire that will burn quietly for some, and brilliantly for others, but will no doubt shape the way that the next generation of leaders views and interacts with the world. Art in Action's mission and it's efforts are a gift that they give to children, as well as to our society (both the local community and world at large). I am thankful to have been connected early on with those who sparked my love of art, and even more thankful to have found such a professional and passionate group of people at Art in Action to pass the torch to the next generation.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My students and I love love love this program! Truly, what an amazing gift this has been to our little community! I received the Art in Action grant this year, which means access to online lessons with interactive videos as well as a box of supplies. The program includes artists from around the world in a yearlong theme of "Perspectives in Art." I was initially intimidated by the technology component, but have found it to be very user friendly and an incredibly useful teaching tool. Never have I felt so competent in incorporating technology into my curriculum. My class has studied Van Gogh, Ghirlandaio, and Miro, and African textiles to name a few. The children are so engaged and inspired to express themselves with Art in Action.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a volunteer docent for the Art in Action program as my children were attending the local public elementary school over the past 12 years. The design of the art program was age appropriate, provided a great variety of projects for the children, was easy to teach to the students and offered a wonderful opportunity for the children to engage in a truly creative outlet. This is an art program where it is usually funded by the local PTA or Parent Club. It has been a terrific addition to the students curriculum in an area where art is always the first to be eliminated by the members of the school board.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have taught Art in Action at my children's school for six years. The curriuculum is so easy to use, whether using the book or online lessons. Anyone can teach it.

I am also an artist. I am teaching kids art concepts I didn't learn until college! Why not have a working art vocabulary and be able to execute concepts early?

How have my kids have benefited? My kids can express themselves visually. They have been taught art as part of school since Kindergarten and it continues. They can complete book reports and do projects with skill.

Our society is very visual. Art and design permeate our lives and we aren't even aware of it sometimes. Having the art history component as part of the lessons brings an awareness of how to see. The kids learn to look at art and talk about their perceptions, sometimes it is different than the child next to them. It opens a discussion and gets them thinking.

My favorite part of teaching Art in Action is watching the kids grow over the years.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Art in Action provides vital high quality art education programs to K-12 children. The art lessons are integrated into school curriculum requirements and provide both art history/education and the important experiential learning component. Kids who participate in these programs create art that shines. I am honored to be participating with Art in Action to help expand awareness of their programs to all communities. The Art in Action members have embraced my suggestions and worked hard to ensure that their customers are being heard.

Teri S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

"I was looking for how to begin an art project for my middle school students. I have not done artist-based projects with them before. The most important attributes are the PLAYALL analysis of the art and the videos for the project. Students like making projects with new media, new techniques, and in an engaging way. I like that there is a curriculum, and that it is standards-based and skill-building."
Teri Scott
Art Teacher
Woodside Priory School

Advisor

Rating: 5

I had heard for years that Art in Action was a great program, but because I don’t have children, I never looked into why so many people were raving about it. Now, I know!

I’ve just started a year-long fellowship at Art in Action and have examined the Art in Action curriculum. The lessons are very thorough yet easy to teach. Each one begins with an analysis of a masterpiece including the style, the artist, and the principles of art. After this discussion, each student creates their own masterpiece in the same style using similar materials.

Every lesson builds on the last and spirals up the grade levels going into higher levels of difficulty and in greater depth. What a wonderful way to learn about art, history, and culture. And it’s a brilliantly safe environment in which to learn critical thinking skills including analysis, evaluation, and creativity.

I wish I had had this curriculum when I was in school!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Art in Action is an extremely well researched and well designed program that follows a progressive and curriculum linked exploration of art history and art theory. Students get a broad exposure to various mediums and hands on art projects that are well scaled to their development and limited class time. All the lessons are well tested and are obviously honed and perfected to work well and be extremely accessible to kids and parents. I've been involved as a docent for 5 years at various schools. Students love the program, parents get an immense amount of satisfaction at being in the classroom teaching and supporting something that kids respond to and teachers love coordinating the projects to social studies or language arts. The program is growing yet retains the intense passion of the founders and early staff members.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a docent I have witnessed first-hand the power of this program. The discussion of each masterpiece triggers creative conversation, which then inspires their individual art projects. Each lesson is an eye-opener for both myself and the students.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Art in Action does an amazing thing through its leverage. It doesn't just teach kids about art, it teaches whole communities to teach their children about art. And in so doing it raises the level of creativity and civilized thinking. The organization does this economically and efficiently.

10

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was one of the first Art in Action students over 25 years ago and now own a graphic design firm. I truly believe it was the strong foundation that AiA gave me as a child that sparked my creativity and taught me not only art fundamentals but life-long skills that have benefited me in so many ways! They are now reaching out to home schools nationwide and I'm so glad that every child will have the opportunity to create, explore & discover!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed using this program for several years as my 3 kids have been lucky enough to have Art in Action since Kindergarten, so they know lots of artists and how to use a variety of art materials. The new online lessons are fabulous. They help me prepare to teach a lesson, and the kids love to watch the videos also. There are so many resources. The teacher uses them to extend the lesson to include creative writing, social studies connections, and even math. The 5th grade curriculum is my favorite so far because the kids learn history through art.

17

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son goes to a school with the Art in Action program. It is an incredible program and we are fortunate to have it in our schools. It is a great mix of creativity and expression rooted in the historical and contemporary masters. Kids explore and learn about many media. If you can figure out how to bring this program to your school you will not be sorry - it helps fill and ever-widening gap as arts programs in schools are continuously cut.

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a well run organization that brings quality art programs to children in elementary and middle schools. Students love having art classes in school. They like looking at art, learning about artists, and making art. Teachers like the program because it's easy to teach and they feel confident about teaching.