In 2007 San Diego sisters, Judy Berman Silbert and Sandi Cottrell saw budget cuts that slashed arts programming in local schools throughout the county. Both grew up drawing, painting and creating in school and at home. As Managing Director of ArtWalk San Diego Sandi had artist connections and resources; as the creator of the “Taste of Art” program in her children’s Rancho Penasquitos Elementary school, Judy had fashioned a template for a visual arts education program. Thus, ArtReach was born, becoming an official not-for profit organization in 2007.
Artist Patti Fox added her exuberant teaching skills and artistic vision to the first years of the program. In 2008, Patti and Judy worked in one school with 480 students. Since then, ArtReach has grown to a staff of three, an artistic team of eight, and a board of 15. The free/low cost instruction offered via the ArtReach Access to Art Program has provided over 15,000 youngsters with the opportunity to work with an artist and to create original work. Our fee-based work has connected our team to over 6,000 youngsters. Thanks to the support of individuals, businesses and foundations, we have helped over 21,000 youngsters find the artist within.
Art for All: The ArtReach Mission
ArtReach believes that all youngsters, regardless of socioeconomic status, benefit from the opportunity to practice creative thinking and creative doing. We strive to increase access to visual arts education by connecting students at K-8 schools throughout San Diego County with practicing artists. We focus on providing free workshops to students at schools that meet need criteria and have no or scant visual arts education resources. We also provide fee-based workshops to schools or organizations that have the ability to pay.
ArtReach Teaching Artists
All of our Teaching Artists make a living creating art. Our team includes painters, print makers, graphic designers, sculptors, and more. Though their techniques differ, they share a passion for art and a commitment to making art making come alive in local classrooms. Our artists share pieces of their own work before helping students find their own artistic voice. Our team believes art is an exploration and that there is no one “right” way to approach a project. We nurture originality and confidence in every student.