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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

ArtReach

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education

Mission: Art Is Education: The ArtReach Mission ArtReach believes that all children, regardless of zip code or socioeconomic status, benefit from the opportunity to practice creative thinking and creative doing. We exist to increase access to visual arts education by connecting students at K-8 schools throughout San Diego County with practicing artists. We focus on providing free workshops to students at schools that meet need criteria and have no or scant visual arts education resources.

Results: By July 2014, ArtReach worked with almost 10,000 students via our Free Workshop Program and almost 9000 students via our Fee-Based Program. We continue to focus on fundraising to support our Free Workshop Program and we have been awarded grants by Qualcomm, the Ramona Community Foundation, Target Foundation and more. We area also very privileged to have the support of dozens of visual artists and many local galleries. While we work to increase capacity, we continue to maintain high standards for our sequential, standards-based curriculum and we work with teachers and participate in professional development with San Diego County Office of Education Visual Performing Arts Department to insure that our workshops are relevant and engaging.

Target demographics: ArtReach works with students in grades K-12 throughout San Diego County. Free programs target Title I schools that have no existing art resources and no funds to provide them.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 10,000 students learn art skills and create art

Geographic areas served: All of San Diego County

Programs: Free Workshop Program-- ArtReach provides free, multi-session art workshops to K- 6 throughout San Diego County. This program is supported by grant writing, and multiple fund raising events. Fee-Based Workshops -- ArtReach also works in K-12 schools with the ability to pay for programs. All schools receive sequential, standards-based lessons with a focus on creating original art. Festivals -- ArtReach offers free family art activities at community events

Community Stories

46 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

ArtReach was a valuable addition to our first grade classroom! Our students participated in well planned out lessons using a variety of mediums. The students enjoyed learning about perspective, the color wheel, and how to draw self portraits. As an educator I learned by observation how to teach these lessons to other classes in the future. It was a wonderful experience for our students.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for ArtReach at several different schools as an assistant teacher. I have worked on a variety of other volunteer programs and I have even run volunteer programs but ArtReach is by far my favorite non-profit. It is so fun to see the children when they are introduced to the projects, to see their creativity being encouraged, and then to see the results.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Mrs. Sarah from Art Reach is a caring and organized teacher who is passionate about her art. Her enthusiasm for art sake has spilled over and overflowed into my students. They are truly engaged and engrossed in their work. Nobody ever needs to use the restroom during art class...Nope, not even a mouse.

The tools are simple: crayons, chalks, paint, paper; however, the techniques are challenging. Students created translucent bubbles that seemed to float off the paper. We created sunsets and learned about proportions by drawing horizontal lines in threes. We created black and white stripes of animals like tigers as we learned about light and dark colors. The parents especially loved their children acrylic canvas which we displayed in Open House. The students' artwork are forever priceless in their parents eyes.

Thank you for allowing funding Art Reach and allowing Art Reach to come to Foster Elementary. Students and teachers alike have learned so much. Thank you for making this possible. We hope to see Ms. Sarah back next year. Again, thank you for enriching the lives of our students with color and joy.

I wrote an email earlier on this site and added 4 photos. Somehow it did not go through. I will try again. I have sent some pictures to Mrs. Sarah as well. We appreciate your support of Foster Elementary. We hope to see ArtReach come again next year.

Ever Grateful,
Mrs. Linda Lee
Foster Elementary School (SDUSD)

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a teacher in the Cajon Valley Union School District for 20 years. During my teaching career, I have witnessed the harsh reality of the decline in funding for programs such as art. Art in schools has had little, if any, funding. Madison Avenue Elementary School, where I currently teach, is a Title 1 school and the majority of our students have very little experience with art. For the last two years we have had the incredible great fortune to have Sarah Holbach, from ArtReach, come to our school to teach art lessons to the entire first grade population.

ArtReach’s program has provided an invaluable experience for our first graders. The ArtReach program provides a consistent instructional art program with weekly lessons over a ten-week period. Although art is taught in school, it is not with this regularity or rigor. The regularity of instruction is what promotes student growth in artistic ability and confidence. Additionally, the ArtReach teachers use materials that are not readily supplied at elementary schools, thereby allowing students to learn new techniques and medium.

ArtReach teachers teach art from the artist’s perspective. Teachers are well-meaning and we do our best to teach art, but the vast majority of us do not have degrees or work experience in the arts. The ArtReach teachers meet students as artists, not as struggling students, behavior problems, or underachievers. This fresh perspective gives students a new opportunity to meet someone’s high expectations; it also gives students a new opportunity for success.

Madison’s first graders beam with pride when they show their friends and family’s the art that they created. It is for these reasons that I strongly support ArtReach and I hope that many more students at Madison will have the opportunity to learn to love art with the teachers of ArtReach. Madison loves ArtReach!

Holly Gledhill

3 DoveSoup

Donor

Rating: 5

ArtReach bridges the gap between what local schools can provide and what our students need. Art is invaluable part of the learning process, and students given the opportunity to experience Art, develop a greater ability to solve problems and formulate new ideas. Everyone at ArtReach is devoted to fuller and happier education for children.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Artreach has been providing much needed fine arts instruction and fun projects to our students for the past few years. The students love the projects and always learn new appreciation for various art techniques and styles. They provide wonderful lesson plans for the teachers to see in advance. The students are engaged and on-task. We enjoy this program so much that when we received a grant for arts education we bought more Artreach sessions for our students!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Sadhana Bhatt. I am a First Grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School in North Park, San Diego. Having ArtReach at our school is a personal experience for me. My young students--who are popping with imagination--are thoroughly engaged and expertly guided to create works of art at each session! It is important for me to know that the teachers are practicing artists themselves. Their creativity and expertise shows and is infectious!
ArtReach makes the "A" in our STEAM Magnet Program. In my mind, they are a truly Great Nonprofits organization.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Lynn Minor and I am a teacher at Jefferson Elementary in North Park. Our school is 100% free and reduced lunch, Title One, and the majority of our students are second language learners. Last year, we were fortunate to have ArtReach teach four workshop classes to each of the third , fourth, and fifth graders. They loved it! It wasn't easy for every one. Children were challenged to use their own ideas and trust their choices ( Not an easy task when there is no right or wrong answer. . However, the artist /teacher Ms. Catherine guided them with such clarity , compassion and understanding that each and everyone of them competed all of the projects. Their creations were showcased at our school's Centennial Celebration last year and they truly stole the show!

As a teacher who believes that all children can learn, ArtReach, opens up a wide variety of avenues for students to be successful at school. This is one of the best Non- Profits I have ever known.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ArtReach came and did art lessons for my sons' third grade class several times last year. Not only did my some have a great time, but he created amazing works of art and learned a lot! Big thanks to Ms. Catherine and everyone involved in bringing this opportunity to my son and his schoolmates :)

3 Lori58

Board Member

Rating: 5

I serve on the board of ArtReach and am so proud of the work that we do taking art lessons to kids who need them most. Recently we began providing art workshops at Monarch school for the homeless, and the impact has been tremendous. I firmly believe that we have to get better at teaching innovation and creativity, and ArtReach does just that.

Previous Stories
4

Board Member

Rating: 5

ArtReach takes art to elementary students throughout San Diego County and provides free art lessons to those who have the greatest need. This organization does amazing things. Lessons are taught by professional artists, delivering first-class art. They make the most of every donation and spend very little on overhead. I feel good giving time and money to this organization.

Read more
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Plain and simple: I love ArtReach!

As someone who uses art and design everyday, I know how important it is to keep as much art as possible in the curriculum at local elementary schools. ArtReach has taken that idea and made it an absolute priority.

The entire team at ArtReach is passionate and smart. I've had the pleasure of seeing them working firsthand with students-- all of the kids light up upon their arrival. It's pretty amazing the energy that can be injected into a classroom with a little bit of art.

I own a San Diego-based sunglasses company called Knockaround. Last year we partnered with ArtReach for our new charitable program called Class Acts. The program is cool-- we go into local elementary schools and let 4th and 5th graders design sunglasses. We choose one winning design, and actually have the sunglasses produced. We sell the winning design, and all of the profits go back to ArtReach and the local elementary schools.

ArtReach has been instrumental in helping us set up the program and navigate all of the politics of the local schools. It takes some real saavy to be able to organize and pull off a new program like Class Acts... ArtReach has made it look easy.

Is ArtReach a great non-profit? YES! Yes. Yes.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Despite cuts to school programs, San Diego's kids can have art in school because ArtReach is here. Skilled artist-teachers make it happen right in the classroom with curriculum-based, eye- and mind-opening projects, and all the supplies needed. Supporting ArtReach can help switch on a lot of lights in a lot of kids' heads--kids that would otherwise have no exposure to art and to tapping their own creativity. Making art does more than enrich: it directly affects increased learning and creative thinking. That's what education is about. What a remarkable group this is.

3 Liz_52

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ArtReach is a 'dream come true' for many in the San Diego Area! A nonprofit that gets the job done, ArtReach touches many lives! The quality of instruction and creativity is top notch. Students, teachers,volunteers and staff members all rave about being associated with such a quality group.

3 Rob_36

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a third and fourth grade teacher I had the opportunity to work with ArtReach over the course of 3 years. My students were engaged during the art lessons and I was able to apply what I learned to my classroom art lessons. Before each visit by ArtReach, I was given a lesson plan (including resources) that outlined what my students would experience.

The ArtReach instructors demonstrated a genuine love and excitement for the visual arts. They asked for my feedback on how to improve what they were doing with my students. I highly recommended ArtReach for all grade levels!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My second grade students really looked forward to the different art lessons provided by the very skillful and extremely patient art instructors . Students were able to use their creative skills to produce wonderful art pieces that give them a sense of accomplishment and pride. The students were excited to shared their art portfolios with parents during Open House. The art lessons were beneficial for all. Even my "high flyer" was willing to focus and follow directions. I, too, was inspired to learn some how-to art strategies to use later in my classroom. I am looking forward to another year of ArtReach at Lee Elementary for the next group of 2nd graders to enjoy.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Art Reach is a fabulous organization that provided standards-based and real-world content based arts lessons to our 5th grade classes. The lessons were high-interest, challenging and full of fun! Our students learned an incredible amount about art, Science, math and Language Arts during the lessons provided by Art Reach. I would highly recommend these classes to all school aged-children! What a super experience!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Artreach is amazing! They bring in hands on art lessons taught by actual artists. Our students faces light up when they find out they are going to an Artreach lesson. The work they produce is very creative and it helps students become more reflective and joyful. I am so thankful to this wonderful group for bring art to our students.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The hard work and passion of this organization has benefited many children in our community. Art is a language we can all understand. ArtReach helps inspire creativity and facilitate knowledge of all forms of art. It is unfortunate that our school budgets have been stripped from providing generations of school children the opportunity to learn and study art. ArtReach's efforts to bridge the gap is admirable and necessary. I am proud to volunteer my time helping this organization achieve all of it's goals. My hope is that ArtReach's support grows by leaps in bounds in the coming months and years.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing organization! The schools served are so thankful! Some of the kids have never had an art lesson before ArtReach came in with supplies and an art teacher. This is an aspect of education that is necessary not optional. I have helped raise money for ArtReach and I can tell you, their hearts are in the right place and the money is well spent.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have done some volunteer work for ArtReach and I know that it is a wonderful thing for the schools and students it helps. Unfortunately schools had to drop their art programs because of budget issues and ArtReach fills that gap.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The sincere heart and hard work of ArtReach is truly evident through all of the organization's incredible programs. There is no doubt they are inspiring hope and creating transformational learning opportunities. Sadly, arts in the lives of children has become incredibly undervalued within educational programs. Through providing and encouraging creativity within school environments, ArtReach has become a wonderful saving grace.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering for ArtReach! The work they do and the stories I've heard about how it impacts the kids lives is truly amazing! The programs they run really make differences in the lives of the children they work with and for that I'll continue to volunteer for them!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I love ArtReach. It is a grassroots effort to bring art to underserved schools. Everyone I have met from ArtReach is passionate about this cause. The work produced by the kids is wonderful. In this age of electronic distractions, it is even more imperative for children to create, design, paint, and explore.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Art Reach has some fantastic volunteers! They are all so knowledgeable and friendly. I am confident that this organization is dramatically effecting the lives of many children throughout San Diego in a positive way. This group truly understands the importance of providing creative outlets for children who would otherwise be unexposed to such activities.

3 Jim_82

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering with ArtReach! I've helped them at several ArtWalks and it's a lot of fun creating art with the visitors to KidsWalk while we share the mission of bringing art education programs to public schools.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love ArtReach. The organization takes high quality visual art education into schools that otherwise have no resources for this important element of elementary school curriculum. It has been a privilege to serve as Board President since 2008, and helping the organization grow. We are proud of our achievements and our growth and yet we still have so much to do. Every child in San Diego County should have access to art education and ArtReach's work will not be done until that is achieved. The team at ArtReach is dedicated and hard working and extremely passionate about the mission.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

ArtReach has become a source of joy at Ramona Elementary School. When the students see the artists come in the morning and begin to set up for the lesson, they can hardly contain themselves until it is their turn for an ArtReach lesson. This organization has been coming to our school for almost 3 years. Many of the students at this school face extreme hardships and challenges that most 9 and 10 years olds do not face. ArtReach has provided a creative outlet for these students, and their art is outstanding. They often express their frustrations in their artwork. Other students, who face the normal challenges of a 9 and 10 year old, continue to be creative with their parent's support. Thanks to ArtReach, the arts have returned to Ramona Elementary school.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ArtReach has a special place at Ramona Elementary School. Students at this school have little opportunity to experience the arts. The location of the town and the income of the families makes art experiences. ArtReach came to Ramona and provided the 4th - 6th graders an educational art experience. The superintendent was so impressed that he invited the media to cover the story. Each student took home an art project and there is a culminating art piece displayed in the Computer Lab at our school. Thank you to ArtReach and please come back

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

It has been an honor to support ArtReach through board member activities and brainstorming. The ArtReach team is incredible, always inspired to share art among students throughout San Diego County. The creativity and commitment of our artist teachers, curriculum developers, and executive team are impressive. The expansion of ArtReach's programs and outreach to students has been incredible over the past few years, and new partners continue to join the cause! The feedback from students, parents, teachers, and education professionals has been so positive -- art DOES make a difference in the lives of students! ArtReach is making art happen in San Diego County schools through the support of its funding partners, its volunteers, its board members, and its remarkable leadership team. It does what it says -- ArtREACH!

3

Client Served

Rating: 4

Artreach does exactly as its name implies...it reaches out to students and affords them the opportunity to experience art. (One of the only ways that cash-strapped schools can provide art instruction.) Artreach allows students to express their creativity, to appreciate art, and to "shine" in a new and different way. Thank you Artreach!

3

Client Served

Rating: 4

Vista Grande Elementary is fortunate to have our 3rd - 5th grade students participate in several art reach lessons these past three years. The lessons are age appropriate and creative. The students are absorbed in their art work and look forward to these lessons.

3 Michelle A.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Our school, Innovations Academy Charter, was blessed to have Artreach coordinate a weekly art program for our students on Mondays for the last quarter. Judy and Elizabeth worked with us to configure 4 different classes thoughout the school day to bring art to Kinders - 8 graders. Catherine the art teacher was kind and knowledgeable. Our students really enjoyed her classes and the projects she created. We ended the quarter with a gallery preview and parents and staff were amazed at the great art pieces that were created. We fundraise to bring enrichment classes to our students as we feel this is an important part of our students lives, and Artreach was a very worthwhile program. Your school/club/group would be well-served to work with Artreach.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were all thrilled when ArtReach came to our elementary school in Dec. 2010. Elizabeth Morton worked to organize the arrival of a joyful staff (who were VERY child centered!) to assist/teach children from grades K to 5. Children received instruction in the use of oil pastels then created a block of winter scenery which was displayed for parents to enjoy during our holiday program. Art is a lesson vital to young children and one (too often) overlooked! We are SO appreciative to Artreach and their patrons for their support of children AND the arts!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Art Reach came to our program with wonderful, edaucational and compassion for our preschool. The circle time was informative and fun! The project was geared for our age group and plenty of time was alloted for play. I highly reccomend every school to experience ArtReach!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

ArtReach came to our school and shared their passion with our K - 5th graders. They were friendly and passionate about sharing their art with the students. The end result was art that graced the walls on the second level in our school. We were so pleased with the work we have decided to put the art work together as a quilt and hang it in the library. The students had such fun creating their pieces and the staff had nothing but great things to say about the program. Students do not often have the opportunities for art that they should have in light of the budget crisis. I would recommend this program as so many little spirits were lifted by this experience!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Congratulations to the ARTREACH program for touching the lives of our first graders and their families! The ARTREACH program so kindly and generously came to our school and shared their passion for the arts with our first graders. The professional artists demonstrated, guided and encouraged our budding artist into feeling sucessful and proud of their accomplishments. In times of shrinking budgets, ARTREACH was able to let our students know that their talents and creativity is to be exercised and celebrated. Thanks for being available to those who do without many necessities, including basic art supplies.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I teach first grade at a title one school. Most of my students are military depends with a parent deployed overseas and we do not have an art program at our school I wrote ArtReach and they got back to me immediately with personal attention and a promise to come and teach art to the 120 first graders at my school. Their program exceeded my expectations. A professional art teacher came and taught every first grader in my school. They provided all the materials and two aids to support the learning. The teacher was experienced in teaching elementary children ART. She didn't just do an art project with the children, she taught them how to look at art and the elements of art in a way that was understandable. They used real artist tools for the first time. After our first all day workshop, they received another grant, came back to our site, and provided another all day workshop. They truly LOVE children and want to provide them with experiences that would not normally have access to.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

One of the primary reasons I joined the board of ArtReach was because of the wonderful feedback they receive from those who attend their programs. With budgets being cut year over year the arts programs in schools continue to be eliminated. ArtReach provides an in depth program at a minimal cost. It's filling a vital gap in the balanced education of our children. The kids are so excited and engaged in the program and that enthusiasm continues long after the ArtReach team has left.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a teacher at Garfield Elementary, I was lucky enough to have Art Reach pilot their program in my room. I had the joy of working with them a second time at Gage elementary. Every child in both schools benefited from the experience. We made dream quilts and children shared their dream for their square. One dream that stands out was from a wonderful child with autism who said his dream was that there would be tons of praying mantises so they would eat the mosquitoes and there would be no more Malaria. Children learned about color blending and many used the pastel medium for the first time. The teachers were fantastic with the children. The artists shared their work and gave concise and helpful lessons to make the project a success. In short they learned a lot about art and had a blast. After the project was finished, we were able to hang the amazing dream quilts all over the school and unlike many bulletin boards, children respected them. They had all worked on them collaboratively. I would highly recommend this program to anyone and was fortunate to work with such fine people.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

As principal of Washington Elementary School, located in the heart of Little Italy Downtown San Diego, this has been a wonderful art program for our students. They are scheduled to work with our teachers and students six times per school year and they bring artists and materials each time for a specific purpose. For example, we meet prior to the visits and plan a curiculum aligned with California's Visual and Performing Arts Standards as well as our school's yearly events. Last year our students participated in a "Day of the Dead" or "Dia de los Muertos" project that inspired our parents to participate in making our school library a "museum" of beautiful altars dedicated to famous americans such as George Washington, Dr. Seuss, Walt Disney, Cesar Chavez and Dr. Martin Luther King. The entire school participated in this event. The collaboration between ArtReach and our school is excellent. This is a program for all students, and I beleive that everyone benefitted by participating. I highly recommend this program to all elementary and middle schools. We have a preschool and I would like to include them this school year. Janie Wardlow, Principal

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

ArtReach is an amazing, free program that has come to serve my first grade students over the past few years. My students come from military families that value exposure to all that life has to offer and unfortunately with budget cuts the arts are frequently left out. Thanks ArtReach!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had an amazing experience volunteering with ArtReach and have brought so many friends to experience program. Specifically volunteering at the Art Walks in Little Italy and on the Bay. To watch the children make something and see their creativity expressed brings a smile to my face and theirs. It is so important to continue art in schools and within the community. I am glad to be a part of an organization that believes so.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an active volunteer for ArtReach for nearly two years each time ArtReach participates at ArtWalk. ArtReach's vision to promote art and creativity to children is in a sense a dying artform. With television and video games, there is little left to the imagination. ArtReach gives children a creative outlet to show their talents, individuality, and passion in life. I love working with this organization each year and promoting their cause. When I see the kids draw and create their arts and crafts, the look on their faces on what they've created is priceless. I have so much fun each year and thoroughly enjoy helping the kids design and create their own art. I have to thank my coworker Jim and the GAP Foundation for introducing me to this great organization.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ArtReach is a great program that brings art education programs into public schools that no longer have art. Professional artists with teaching experience engage students in art projects that include quality instruction in theory and technique, and lead them in creating their own masterpiece. Kids need Art!