5 Organizations That Celebrate & Encourage Creativity
Creativity is among life's most important values, giving individuals and their communities opportunities for expression, enrichment, and the ability to build a better and more equitable world. The organizations included here, spanning the US and UK, all embrace this idea, working to facilitate an emboldening, inclusive culture of artistic engagement. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
5 Groups Fostering Engagement With the Arts
|Art Start||New York City, New York and Milwaukee, Wisconsin||Use the creative process to nurture the voices, hearts, and minds of historically marginalized youth, offering a space for them to imagine, believe, and represent their creative vision for their lives and communities|
|Mobile Arts Council||Mobile, Alabama||Enrich the quality of life in the Mobile area through increasing accessibility to the arts and promoting a vibrant cultural community|
|Creative Black Country||The Black Country, England||Create work with people from all walks of life, making the most of local talent working to discover, explore, and grow an exciting and meaningful program of arts activity|
|Art + Soul Oakland||Oakland, California||Celebrate local style, spirit, and creativity through live demonstrations, hands-on creative activities, and locally-made works available for purchase|
|The Vermont Arts Council||Montpelier, Vermont||Cultivate and advance the arts and creativity throughout Vermont|
A Look at Art + Soul Oakland
Arts Education in America
- 91% of Americans agree that the arts are "part of a well-rounded education"
- 93% to 94% believe that students in elementary, middle, and high school should receive an education in the arts
- 74% agree that the arts help students to perform better academically
- Nationally, more than 40% of secondary schools did not require arts courses for graduation for the 2009-2010 school year
- Federal funding for arts & humanities is around $250 million a year, while the National Science Foundation is funded at around the $5 billion mark
- Arts and music education programs are mandatory in countries that rank near the top for math and science test scores, like Japan, Hungary, and the Netherlands
- According to a nationwide study, 63% of eighth-graders took a music class, and 42% took a visual arts class
- Students in the Northeast were twice as likely (68%) to have taken a visual arts class than students in the South (35%)
- Students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, which is often used as a proxy to identify low-income students, scored an average of 26 points lower in music than those not eligible and 22 points lower in visual arts
- In the District of Columbia, 75% of white students took an art course, compared to 49% of black students
How Art Gives Shape To Cultural Change
Art plays an invaluable role in the development and nurturing of society. Artistic expression has the power to inspire, educate and heal many people from all walks of life. Developing creative initiatives in local communities creates a safe, positive space for people to interact with one another. In no particular order, here are some groups that are dedicated to fostering art in their communities.
At #1 on our list, Art Start uses the creative process to nurture the voices, hearts, and minds of historically marginalized youth. By providing a space to imagine, believe, and represent creative visions, this organization offers the opportunity for young people to heal, thrive, and grow through the adverse conditions of their present circumstances.
This organization uses a student-centered approach to education as a way to guide youth toward developing skills beyond the arts. For nearly 30 years, and with the help of 12,000 volunteers and teaching artists, Art Start has served more than 25,000 youth, and has become an award-winning, nationally recognized model for transforming young lives.
For nearly 30 years, and with the help of 12,000 volunteers and teaching artists, Art Start has served more than 25,000 youth, and has become an award-winning, nationally recognized model for transforming young lives.
Next up at #2, Mobile Arts Council's mission is to enrich the quality of life in the Mobile, Alabama area by increasing accessibility to the arts and promoting a vibrant cultural community. This organization coordinates a variety of initiatives and programs that provide artistic education and foster a creative experience for locals and visitors alike.
Since its inception, Mobile Arts Council's work has evolved to fit the needs of the community and its members. Today, the organization remains a strong informational center for local culture, helping to facilitate numerous events and opportunities for artists from all backgrounds and mediums to show and perform their work.
Moving on to #3 on our list, Creative Black Country works to foster a meaningful arts program in England's Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton communities. This organization has a vision of a Black Country where all locals and visitors can create, take part in and enjoy the local arts community.
This organization has a vision of a Black Country where all locals and visitors can create, take part in and enjoy the local arts community.
This group's mission is to design and produce large-scale projects that profile the authentic narratives and core values of the region. The team at Creative Black Country aims to encourage more people to experience the arts in the local area. They do so by working with local businesses, educational establishments, libraries and creatives to develop ideas and realize them.
At #4 on our list, Art and Soul Oakland is a two-day festival of music, arts, fun, and food in downtown Oakland, California. From performances and demonstrations to hands-on creative activities, people of all ages and backgrounds have plenty of engaging opportunities at this family-friendly event.
Every year, scores of local artists and crafters gather to showcase a vast array of handmade jewelry, paintings, clothing, handbags, musical instruments, home furnishings and more. To honor Oakland's diverse creative landscape, the festival hosts an annual community mural project which encourages artists, locals and visitors to contribute to a large collaborative painting.
To honor Oakland's diverse creative landscape, the festival hosts an annual community mural project which encourages artists, locals and visitors to contribute to a large collaborative painting.
Last but not least, #5 on our list is The Vermont Arts Council. Since 1965, this organization has been the state's primary provider of funding, advocacy, and information for the arts. The Council is the only designated state agency of its kind in the U.S. that is also an independent nonprofit organization. Its main priorities are to expand opportunities, energize the artistic economy and cultivate creative placemaking.
This group believes that engagement with the arts has the power to transform individual lives, connect people more deeply to one another, energize the economy, and sustain the vibrant cultural landscape that makes Vermont a great place to call home. This organization works to build a community where everyone in Vermont has access to art and creativity in their lives, education, and communities.