“All kids need art and an opportunity to be creative”
It was a pair of sisters that began ArtReach, a non-profit organization that takes practicing artists from San Diego into elementary schools throughout the county. It all started in 2007 when budget cuts decimated arts programs in San Diego schools. “We grew up painting, drawing and doing art all of the time. That was just a part of our life. So, when that happened we thought, ‘there must be something we could do to address the issue of no art in school’” explained ArtReach, Executive Director, Judy Berman Silbert in an interview with Vanguard Culture.
Starting small, they implemented art in two schools their first year, then two more, then four…fast forward to 2014, with 13 schools! And 2015-2016 scaled to 16 schools. “There is a need. There are still so many schools where formalized art instruction is not happening”.
10 days of free programming with a team composed of seven visual artists from the community, they focus on process and have the students create original work. “We really try to focus on kids bringing something original to their piece”.
Talking about numbers, these great efforts, explained Judy, come down to approximately $5 to $7.50 dollars per lesson, per student. And, servicing approximately 3,500 students per year, each 10-day program costs over $5,000 dollars to implement. “These artists are really committed to their own art and the youngsters get to learn that.”
“Our biggest goal is for a school to say ‘Oh my gosh, look at how these students have changed by incorporating art into their day. Let’s get an art teacher on campus.’ We think that kids should be doing art of all kinds every day, if every child had access to an art teacher, that would be great.”
ArtReach also counts on fee-based programs, if a school has a grant, this organization can help them administrate it. And it is not easy for schools to implement grant-based programs because of the busy schedules they keep.
One of their upcoming fundraisers is on Sunday, February 26 with the Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra PLUS, The Shenanigans. “All the ticket sales go back to ArtReach. We hope to reach a goal of $5,000 dollars. The events that we do are all about raising funds that go back to what we call our ‘Access to Art Program’. We really appreciate these two bands coming out of the goodness of their hearts, and supporting, I really love this cross-pollination between art and music. It is going to be really fun”.
There will also be three raffle items:
- An artist proof by Stephanie Clair.
- A poster designed by John, one of the members of The Shenanigans who is also a visual artist
- A GS Minni Taylor Guitar with its traveling case.
To be eligible to win, there will be raffle tickets on site for $10 dollars. For more information on pricing and to purchase tickets for these events please visit: https://www.artreachsandiego.org or by calling: 619-940-7278