Today is World Art Day, and we thought it important to share some of our favorite ideas for supporting the arts in your area. While we all like to observe art, sometimes that’s not enough. You can show your support in countless ways, and hopefully we can help you do that!
Arts for Learning, the Indiana Affiliate of Young Audiences, empowers children to achieve their creative and intellectual potential. We are a statewide organization and, last year, our non-profit organization served nearly 50,000 children in 25 counties throughout the state. Arts for Learning is particularly committed to serving children who are culturally at-risk with limited access to the arts. These children come from a variety of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds and live in both urban and rural communities throughout the state. We connect professional teaching artists with children, opening those children up to experiences they may not normally have in the classroom environment. The teaching artists provide workshops, performances, in-depth residencies, and other activities that involve children in the arts to ignite their curiosity and imagination.
One of the our growing programs is Fresh StART. With Fresh StART, students collaborate with a team of teaching artists to develop public art that reflects the issues they see impacting their school community. This work is then installed in an underused public location to strengthen the neighborhood’s sense of pride and identity. Through Fresh StART, Arts for Learning is engaging underserved and underresourced students in unified, school-based efforts to improve neighborhoods throughout Indiana with art inspired by young creative minds.
Want to learn how you can make a difference in our community? There are countless options, which means there’s a way for everyone to show they care.
If you’re a teacher, encouraging a school-wide art show may be the way for you. Here’s some tips on making it the best art show around:
- Don’t limit it to pieces created for class, have an open invitation to submit a single piece or a portfolio of work from students and allow work of all mediums. Offer the community a chance to submit their own work as well.
- Add a twist! Place a huge white sheet of paper on one wall of the art show and lay out paint, brushes and other fun applicators. Encourage visitors of the art show to add a little piece of their creativity to the community banner and let their contributions interact!
- This is a great opportunity to request donations at the door–be it monetary or in-kind. Create a wishlist for your art departments special supply needs and post it as a nonprofit fundraiser to spread more awareness!
Become a philanthropic artist for a month! Have friends and family commission art pieces from you for a base donation price for each piece or varying price based on desired size. Encourage the commissioned pieces to be unique and fun. The final pot of money raised will go to our organization and you can showcase your works of art at the end of the month in your own Art Show.
Throughout the year, Arts for Learning relies on the generosity of volunteers who donate their time at various community and fundraising events. These include:
- Creativity Fest – a free, family-friendly arts festival
- Chocolate Fest – our largest annual fundraiser happening April 14
- Indy Pies & Pints – a pizza and beer fundraiser, held every February
- Spirit & Place Festival – last year we hosted a steamroller printmaking event
- Penrod Arts Festival
- SoundSport International
- Feast of Lanterns
- Various family programs, such as Math In Your Feet family nights at local schools
The assistance of volunteers to write thank you notes, address envelopes, distribute announcements for special events, and offer design and writing experience is always welcome. There are also opportunities to join Arts for Learning’s Board of Directors or StART Young Professionals Board, and their various committees.
There are many ways to donate, whether it be small or large, by mail, phone or otherwise—every bit makes a difference.
- “Donate your Birthday” on Facebook. Encourage your wider network to participate in the celebration by donating to Arts for Learning in your honor. Remember to post pictures of your creations for inspiration.
- Gifts of stock. Arts for Learning will gladly accept gifts of stock. Please contact broker, Scott Wolfrum, for specific transfer instructions: Tel: 317-669-0580
- Matching Gifts. Many employers sponsor matching gift programs, which can double or even triple your support of Arts for Learning. If this is true of your company, please request a matching gift form from your company and send it, completed and signed, to Jennifer Collins, Director of Development, at email@example.com.
- Planned Giving. Planned gifts can help you make a long-lasting impact while receiving tax benefits and other advantages. Bequests—a transfer of funds through wills and trusts—are the simplest kind of planned gifts. Other planned gifts include charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities, and retained life estates. You don’t have to be extremely wealthy to plan a gift; you just need a plan! Contact Jennifer Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Corporate Sponsorships. Is your company interested in joining the community of businesses that support the arts in education? If so, Arts for Learning offers various program and special event sponsorship To learn how your company can get involved, contact Jennifer Collins at email@example.com!
Your Support Matters
We believe that involvement in the arts is just as integral to a child’s development and learning as subjects like history, math, and science. The arts give children new ways to express themselves and foster creativity, problem-solving, and curiosity. Help connect children with the arts by supporting arts in education in schools, libraries, community centers—wherever learning occurs!
If none of these options we’ve mentioned feel quite right, check out these 100 unique fundraising ideas to find more inspiration. When it comes to art, everyone’s included, and the same should go for supporting the arts too. The importance of art in our community continues to grow. It provides a chance for everyone to express themselves however they see fit. Whether it’s a child finger painting, a grandmother perfecting her pottery, or the next Van Gogh, art always matters. By supporting Arts for Learning, you too can help keep art alive in our community.