ArtReach empowers and connects people through the practice of visual arts.
ArtReach achieves this mission by providing mobile and studio access to under-served Chicagoans of all ages. Through mobile community programs, in-school residencies, afterschool programs and field trips, ArtReach extends access to high quality arts tools, professionals, and spaces throughout the city. In our firehouse community art studio, we provide a safe space for diverse individuals to develop art skills as well as studio management or teaching experience.
All Chicagoans, regardless of background or identity, have access to diverse, high quality art professionals, tools, and spaces in order to build confident, creative, empowered communities.
- All people need creative outlets. This is especially true for communities that are traditionally under-served and under-resourced.
- Art promotes empathy by helping us imagine ourselves in and as others. As such, art instruction involves attention to issues of social justice. We are committed to amplifying the creative voices of diverse populations with attention to difference related to poverty, age, ability, mental health, legal status, gender, racial and ethnic identity, language, and more.
- Art endures over centuries as an artifact of our humanity and cultures. Art-making is universal, but is not universally supported or recognized. Everyone should have access to high quality tools and resources to add to our creative history.
- People are not defined by their challenges or limitations. Art-making equalizes us.
- Art-making is valuable in its own right, although it can build confidence generally and improve other facets of life.
- Art programming should focus on asking questions, or inquiry, rather than solely on the product or process.
- Creating a safe space for collaborative art-making can build the confidence amongst its participants that leads to a sense of belonging, pride, and, eventually, ownership, leadership, and responsibility.
- Art as a practice demonstrates that failure is one part of human growth and encourages creative problem solving.
- Art-making expands our capacity for joy.
- Teaching and learning are mutual and reciprocal processes. Teachers also learn from their students, and students also teach their instructors.