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Root Division

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Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: Root Division connects creativity and community through a dynamic ecosystem of arts education, exhibitions, and studios. Our mission is to empower artists, promote community service, inspire youth, and enrich the Bay Area through engagement in the visual arts. We provide discounted studio space for emerging artists in exchange for volunteer service in the community.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1000 youth and 8000 adults

Geographic areas served: Bay Area

Programs: Root Division connects creativity and community through a dynamic ecosystem of arts education, exhibitions, and studios. Our mission is to empower artists, promote community service, inspire youth, and enrich the Bay Area through engagement in the visual arts. We provide discounted studio space for emerging artists in exchange for volunteer service in the community. OUR VISION Root Division’s vision is to be a model of creative excellence, sustainability, and collaboration as it empowers emerging artists to amplify art’s positive impact on society. Our four programs connect to form a vibrant artistic ecosystem: Studios Program: We provide discounted work space for emerging artists in exchange for volunteer service in the community. We currently have 22 studios occupied by 28 artists, each of whom contributes 12 hours of community service per month. In addition to centralizing this commitment, the Studios Program acts as a hub for creative activity & conversation that promotes artist interaction & development. Youth Education Program: Connects local students with professional artists who share creativity & skills in a wide variety of media. We provided free classes for 1000+ students in the past year. With few full- or part-time school art teachers, these youth have limited access to arts learning. In our partner programs at schools (elementary: Mission Education Center, Bessie Carmichael, Buena Vista, Cesar Chavez, Sanchez, Bryant; middle: Filipino Education Center; high school: SF International) and community centers (Community Housing Partnership, Larkin Street Youth), we are serving ethnically diverse, bilingual, & economically disadvantaged San Francisco communities. Since many of our partner schools serve neighborhood families, over 85% of the students are Latino, Asian, African-American, mixed race, or mixed ethnicity. Our program has been operating successfully in the schools since Fall 2003, serving students who may otherwise not receive art instruction. We intend to serve over 1000 students in the 2019-20 school year. Over the last 15 years, we have placed 400 artist-teachers in the schools. Together they donated approximately 6500 hours to the youth of our community. Adult Education Program: Root Division's Adult Education Program offers a creative outlet and continuing education. Taught in a friendly and engaging environment by Root Division's own Studio Artists and alums, we offer affordable and innovative classes in subjects from Drawing 101 and Water Based Media to Collage and Oil Painting. Our Professional Development workshops provide valuable career development skills for emerging artists, educators, and curators. Exhibitions & Events Program: Our exhibitions & events provide a venue for innovative work in an engaging, friendly environment. The Second Saturday Exhibition Series are ongoing monthly events that feature an eclectic mix of painting, photography, sculpture, and installation, as well as video, film, & performance. In the past year we showcased the artwork of over 360 artists and hosted over 7,000 visitors.

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i have gone to numerous shows here as well as partaken in some and i think that this group of artistic people is the bees knees. they help the community as well as support local artists and causes. i love all that they do and continue to do and i hope they do more of it forever! i especially love the fact that the artists they showcase are required to give back to the community in return for space there. what a GREAT concept!

9

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned over the summer and would intern there again. I was able to teach an after school program at a middle school through the gallery, as well as learn some of the ropes on running a non-profit art gallery. It provides a great service to the San Francisco arts community, experience for artists (when I had none in teaching or the general art gallery world), cheap studio space, and awesome shows like Taste, and New Growth (students art exhibit). The location and hours are very open to the public and the classes are great!

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Root Division is a place I look for inspiration, listen for the artist's wisdom, feel hope in the creative process of assimilating the challenges of our world today. I am impressed by their diversity, personal touch, generosity to the public, and invitation to cross the routine borders of our minds.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Root Division is very supportive environment for emerging artists, offering studio space and exhibition and teaching opportunities. Also great for audiences as they offer open enrollment classes and frequent public events.

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've known the Root Division folks since the very beginning. They founded the organization with the question, "What do artists need to maintain their practices and contribute to the larger community?" The answer? Artists need reasonably priced studio space, opportunities to exhibit their work and teaching experience. Root Division's model provides these three things to artists. But the real beauty is that the artists also "give back"--through teaching in under-served schools, adult education, and a myriad of events and diverse exhibitions. Root division is true to its mission. It's a great organization.

14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm an intern at Root Division, and what I've been most impressed with is how accessible the staff is, especially given that they're modern and have pretty big openings. And the idea of giving artists cheap studio space in exchange for giving back to the community is a really nice idea. *This review was collected during a site visit to Root Division's 3 Minute Film Festival and entered by GreatNonprofits staff on behalf of the reviewer

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer here because my friend, Rachael, is affiliated with Root Division and I help out with the shows and the openings. I also send friends to take classes. *This review was collected during a site visit to Root Division's 3 Minute Film Festival and entered by GreatNonprofits staff on behalf of the reviewer

13

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've worked a lot with nonprofits and community organizations and communal organizations, so I'm always drawn to them and you get to be a part of something. Plus I just graduated from grad school so I was kind of looking for a community, and Root Division is a good transition. Also, if you have your own studio sometimes you're a little isolated--here there are always people milling around, so there's the opportunity for a lot of interaction. *This review was collected during a site visit to Root Division's 3 Minute Film Festival and entered by GreatNonprofits staff on behalf of the reviewer

14

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just recently graduated and needed to find an artist community and a space to work in. Root Division was a place that provided both. It also provided teaching experience, which I don't think I would have otherwise had. It's been really great, I've learned a lot and met a lot of fellow artists. It's a really good organization that supports both the artists and the community--we teach youth and adults and it's about including the community. *This review was collected during a site visit to Root Division's 3 Minute Film Festival and entered by GreatNonprofits staff on behalf of the reviewer