Reaching Out Through and To the Arts

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? 

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4/7/14 Response

After reading chapters 12 and 13 in Salamon and the SSI review article, I find myself questioning the success of nonprofits. It seems that, today, many nonprofits are finding a lack of success due to government control or the lack of need. I find it to be the opposite. Today, there seem to be more nonprofit organizations than ever, and many successful ones. There is always and will always be a need for nonprofits, at least until the government suddenly takes on any and all issues and is able to resolve them itself (yeah, right). However, the main principle I found most interesting was the idea that nonprofits are only successful if they all members have a common goal instead of separate, individual goals. This is both true and untrue. It is good and beneficial to have individual goals, because if they are related to the issue at hand, these goals and intentions may be brought up at different times. However, individual goals may distract from the common or main goal, and prevent the organization from having success. There needs to be an attainable goal set in an attainable time, and with an attainable amount of support. The support needs to come from anyone and everyone, and these nonprofits need to be able to appeal to the general public. In the SSI article, the authors discuss how certain nonprofits “develope shared performance indicators, discuss their progress, and most important, learn from each other and align their efforts to support each other.” The key to a successful organization is a devoted and successful group of people to support and run it. Without this, the organization can not maintain itself or stay afloat, or support anyone for that matter.