Canadian social enterprise and non-profit offer free & subsidized programming to those in need.
KITCHENER, Ontario (November 20, 2019) – Arts4All is dedicated to making participation in the arts available to people of all levels of income, ability, and life circumstances.
The Canadian non-profit is funded by sister organization and social enterprise Artshine. Their mobile art school offers enriching arts experiences to individuals living with disabilities, at-risk youth, seniors, and many others. Instructors visit seniors’ residences, community centers and alternative schools to reach audiences where their services are needed most.
The organization hopes to enhance the quality of life of at-risk and underprivileged individuals by improving their education, confidence, and self-expression through art. Participants use their imagination and experiment with a variety of mediums while building their confidence. They also learn about different themes such as Canadian art, Indigenous art, and art from around the world.
“Art provides individuals with a healthy outlet to cope with the adversities that life may throw their way,” says Paul Field, founder of Artshine and Arts4All. In his previous career as a social worker, Paul offered similar programming but became frustrated with funding cuts. His experience in youth engagement, social work and arts education inspired him to create this self-funding model.
This past year, Arts4All gave over $15,000 in scholarships alone. They also offer subsidized rates for in-school programs to communities that can’t afford to pay full price. This year, almost 70 free or subsidized programs are running, and the value of in-kind services has averaged close to $200,000 each of the past three years.
Starting in January 2020, a new visual arts subscription ‘Artshine in a Box’ will allow children across Canada to experience Artshine in the comfort of their own home. Subscribers receive an art kit each month exploring a different theme and art medium that includes an online video and printed tutorial in English and French. In keeping with the social enterprise’s vision, ‘Artshine in a Box’ will feature a “Get One, Give One” model: for every subscription purchased, they will donate one lesson to a child who would otherwise not have access to that type of opportunity.
One can donate to the organization directly or purchase a gift card for a loved one who may otherwise not have been able to afford the experience on their own.
“Artshine has been involved with 7th Inning since 2017, offering unique opportunities for students to expand their creative thought processes. Students at 7th Inning report having fond memories of Artshine joining them in program and the students take such pride in displaying their artwork at our Youth and Teen Centre,” shares Dave Cooke, Program Coordinator at Grow Community Centre in Cambridge. “The staff at Artshine are excellent and treat our high-risk students with respect and kindness. It is a pleasure to work with like-minded community organizations such as Artshine.”
“I look forward to Artshine on our monthly calendars,” said one youth participant at Monica Place, a centre for pregnant and parenting youth. “It’s a creative outlet for me to let loose and be myself. It’s taught me to not be so quick to think I can't do something as the step by step instructions makes it possible for even the people who aren't creative. I have created some awesome pieces that I didn't think I was capable of.” This is exactly what Art4All wants to hear, that they are inspiring individuals to create more beauty in their lives and helping them shine.