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Creative Action Institute

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Environment

Mission: Creative Action Institute works at the intersection of creativity and social change. We build the capacity of leaders and organizations for innovation, collaboration and resilience to advance conservation, health and human rights globally.

Target demographics: social and environmental organization advance their missions.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 1300 individuals representing 98 organizations participated in CAI programs. 1 million lives were positively impacted through training and outreach efforts.

Geographic areas served: Central America, East Africa, West Africa, U.S.

Programs: creative capacity building, collaboration skills, effective messaging, and community outreach project support.

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

1

Donor

Rating: 4

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.

Board Member

Rating: 4

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Martine P.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.



Donor

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

5

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have volunteered with ArtCorps, helping edit some of their written materials used for training and marketing. This organization does a huge amount with very little! It has a tiny staff and yet is able to mobilize artists to assist in latin american community development projects. It seems like it is poised for growth internally and in turn, will be able to grow its effectiveness in the field.

13

Board Member

Rating: 5

I grew up in Guatemala and worked in so many rural communities. When I first learned about AmeriCorps I was able to relate its work with my previous experiences, interacting with poor communities and facing their daily challenges. I wanted to support ArtCorps work and I joined its board and its Programs Committee. I hade the opportunity to visit one of the artist and interact with the field staff. It is really inspiring to see how through the art Central American communities get the international suppport to keep their amazing work promoting democracy and social justice.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Few organizations devote their time and resources to promote social change through the arts. ArtCorps is doing just that. As a friend of mine pointed out, "the arts don't need to be translated." It is good to see that an ArtCorps is using the arts to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an intern at ArtCorps' Ipswich office. As an artist and recent graduate from college, ArtCorps has given me the opportunity to learn about the unique approach that the organization takes towards promoting social change in Latin America.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was an intern with ArtCorps for over seven months, working intimately with the projects-side of ArtCorps and even had the privilege of visiting several ArtCorps partners and projects in Guatemala. I was continually impressed by both the dedication of the staff and the mission of ArtCorps itself. Over the course of the internship and after I saw the amazing work that the artist-volunteers were doing, I came to really embrace the ArtCorps mission--that of using art for community building and the mobilization of youth through art. Although the impact is gradual and hard to measure over a short span of time, I definitely believe that ArtCorps is successfully inspiring communities across Central America to be more self-sufficient and aware of their environmental footprint!

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member, I am witness to the dedication and enormous amount of work that goes in to the success of ArtCorps which reaches out to hundreds of people in under served communities in Central America. The work accomplished through art as a communicator in Social Action, Public Health and Environmental issues is impressive.

7

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer for ArtCorps in the first years of the organization's work. The ArtCorps model is unique in its ability to levarage the power of the arts to transform struggling communities. My experience living in Guatemala for two years as an ArtCorps artist was transformative for me as an artist and activist and transformative for many of the Mayan girls that my program supported. I am currently the Executive Director of a small non-profit that promotes youth development through the arts for low-income, "at-risk" youth. I credit ArtCorps for giving me the opportunity as a young artist to apply my skills and for helping to get me where I am today.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member, for several years, after starting as a consultant on governance. I am impressed with how much they get done on a relatively small budget, and how committed to the mission the staff and board members are.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I support ArtCorps because I believe that art is a uniquely powerful way to communicate social messages. Artcorps is a dynamic young organization, driven by a team of passionate and extremely knowledgeable people. As Chair of the Marketing & Development Committee, I am helping ArtCorps develop an online presence strategy that will help the organization raise awareness about its unique mission and the impact that it has had in the communities that have worked with Artcorps artists.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

ArtCorps recruits, trains and sends volunteer artists to Latin America to work with other non-profit organizations in using art to promote social change. I have worked with ArtCorps for 8 years. Its programs have contributed greatly to the on-going operations for dozens of socially active organizations in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. In my experience ArtCorps is a unique organization. No other organization that I am aware of follows this approach for facilitating strong connections between development organizations and the local communities where they focus their efforts.