The Kirlin Foundation is proud to be a founding investor in Arts Corps. Here is a great example of clear vision, strategic and inventive efficiency, and excellent leadership. In a remarkably short time, this organization has proven to be an effective, successful, and passionate contributor to our community. Please read on, and visit their website. Better yet, find a way to support this important work, and see what it does for your heart.
“I feel calm, I have more friends, I dream in color. I learned that I am calm at my imagined house.” –Arts Corps student
Arts Corps is a Seattle-based non-profit youth development organization that provides free access to quality arts programs and fosters creativity among youth participants, grades K-12.
Founded in 2000, Arts Corps partners with schools and community centers in Seattle and King County to teach classes in visual art, poetry, dance, music and photography. Arts Corps works primarily with underserved students and has grown to become the largest arts education non-profit in King County. During the 2007-2008 school year, Arts Corps served 2705 students in 221 classes at 41 different sites around the Seattle area. The classes are taught by professional teaching artists who are both talented in their artistic practice and skilled at developing the creative faculties of their students.
Arts Corps believes that arts education is an important means for young people to develop their creative talents and individual interests, and centers its work on a basic vision: a world where everyone has the freedom to imagine and the courage to be. With declining access to arts education in the public schools, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color, Arts Corps works to provide learning experiences in the arts to all students. Research has found that students who benefit from opportunities for arts education have significantly better educational outcomes. The arts:
- teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships
- teach children that problems can have more than one solution
- celebrate multiple perspectives
- teach children that, in complex forms of problem solving, purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity
- teach students that small differences can have large effects.
Such outcomes strengthen students in all aspects of their lives, are the essential traits of leadership, and more broadly contribute to the social and emotional development of a child.
Arts Corps has received recognition locally and nationally as an innovator in the arts education field. In 2006, the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning identified Arts Corps as a model of best practices in after-school arts education. Arts Corps also spearheaded the Seattle Arts Education Consortium, a coalition of seven local arts education organizations that studied and reported on best practices in the evaluation of arts classes and in teaching artist professional development.
Arts Corps serves a critical need, providing much-needed arts education opportunities for underserved youth not only to enrich their lives, but also to give them avenues for creative expression, individual development and empowerment. Arts Corps invites you to join in this vision and to witness the power of this work. For more information, please visit their website www.artscorps.org.