When one considers the term, “community service,” food collections, fundraisers, and rebuilding houses are charitable activities that often come to mind. These stereotypes are not incorrect; much of what many non-profit or charitable organizations strive for is to make sure that all humans have the “essentials” to survive. However, we often overlook one of the most basic and inalienable rights of humans: creation. Creation should never be a privilege, yet it is an absolute right and an absolute need. While the mediums of art and creation may vary, we must survive through perfecting our own “art”. While one may have to sift through various files, online searches, contacts, and references, there are indeed non-profit organizations in existence whose goals are to educate, liberate, and inspire through art. These organizations give their participants the opportunities to learn and grow as artists. They also give them a “safe space” and a warm artistic playground to discover themselves and learn to safely observe, appreciate, and embrace the world around them. These organizations prove that art is a viable method of outreach, and that this method is essential to continue to increase the quality of life for people young and old alike.
In recent years, arts programs are being underfunded or not funded at all at public schools. This is detrimental to both the future of the children that do not experience arts education, and the future world as a whole. In my paper, I want to examine the effects of a lack of art education, what organizations are doing now to improve or reinstate art programs, and/or how art can be used to reach out to the underserved. What is the effect that art has on those that cannot speak for themselves because of their financial situation, race, gender, or (dis)ability?