[ We are artists, writers, musicians, poets, dancers and everyday people working to create change in young people’s lives through art. ]

For Parents

How will my child benefit from participating in an ART 180 program?

Through ART 180 programs at our partner sites, children in challenging circumstances learn how to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas through creative expression. They also learn how their art can bring positive change to their community. In a safe and supervised environment youth develop art–related skills such as creative problem-solving and critical thinking, as well as other skills such as cooperation, teamwork, and conflict resolution.

How does ART 180 work with its partner sites?

While Richmond has no shortage of organizations serving children, many do not have the staff and resources needed to provide meaningful art programs. By collaborating with these organizations, we are able to offer art opportunities that would not otherwise be available. Our partners provide a location, transportation, and recruitment of young people to participate in our programs. ART 180 coordinates the programs, recruits artists, provides needed funding, and looks for ways to present the final work in some kind of public venue.

How can my child get involved with an ART 180 program?

All of the young people who participate in ART 180 programs are identified by our partner organizations in the specific communities we serve.

What kind of programs does ART 180 offer?

Projects are custom-designed based on the artist, his or her interests, the group's interests, and the partner. These placements last for 12 weeks and involve at least one session per week, usually after school.

Who are your program leaders?

Programs are led by professional artists who are committed to the encouragement of creativity in young people. They work with small groups for an hour or more each week, and typically the artist leaders work with an assistant or in teams. When recruiting artists, we look for individuals who are able to work with, nurture, and inspire children. Before beginning their programs, they are trained by ART 180 and attend an on-site orientation session. Our artists come into each situation with more than paints and clay—they come with an understanding of the circumstances and needs of the young people they'll be working with, and with a curriculum that emphasizes individual expression, personal growth, and self-discovery

What are my responsibilities as a parent? Are there ways that I can help out?

Parents are encouraged to come and participate in our program sessions, and attend the end-of-semester events. Parents/guardians also need to sign all permission slips and releases that are needed before their children can join programs.

ART 180 is a community-based organization that relies on a variety of talents and resources. We always need financial support and help with program support, special events, and administrative tasks. If you would like to volunteer, we can send you information or you can fill out our on-line volunteer form (link) to help you find the right match between your skills and interests and our needs.

Is there anything I can do at home to help encourage creative expression in my child?

Yes! Show interest in your child’s work, nurture their abilities, and encourage them to continue their participation in the arts.