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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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