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About Us

ARCK uses art as a vehicle to unlock creativity and academic potential. Our arts programs go beyond art teaching to promote 21st-century skills such as empathy, self-confidence, problem solving, and global awareness.

What We Do

  • ARCK works in underserved schools to provide arts integration programs. ARCK’s teaching artists work alongside our partner schools’ classroom teachers, ensuring that arts lessons support the school’s academic objectives.
  • Our unique 36-week curriculum follows modules of Leadership, Civic Engagement, and Social Justice.
  • Lessons are infused with literacy skills and elements of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). Our STEAM curriculum was devised in partnership with MIT D-Lab and the Harvard Arts in Education initiative, and we continue to develop it.
  • We exhibit students’ artwork in their schools and in local galleries and public art projects.

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Mission

Empowering students with high-quality arts education that fosters culture and community while also supporting a school’s learning objectives.

Vision

ARCK’s vision is to fill the gap often left by omission of visual art education from a school’s curriculum, and to add creative and innovative learning opportunities that unlock students’ full potential. Our interdisciplinary arts integration curriculum is designed with the diverse cultural backgrounds of individual students in mind, honoring their ethnic origins and languages. In a safe and inclusive environment, we strike a balance between mutual respect and creative exploration, encouraging students to engage fully as single artists and also as social creatures collaborating with one another. We encourage students to express themselves freely in response to thematic and formal prompts, but we do so knowing that their finished products will bear similarities that can bring the students together and inspire dialogue.
By promoting creativity and engagement in learning, we are empowering students to become global citizens and future leaders.

History

ARCK grew from a 2011-2012 pilot program at Boston’s Josiah Quincy Elementary School (JQES). When founder Sara Mraish Demeter’s son Sebastian started kindergarten, the school did not have a visual arts teacher due to budget cuts. Sara made it an urgent mission to bring visual art instruction back to the school. Months of preparation and planning brought more than 40 local artists to JQES to lead art workshops that celebrated the diverse cultures of JQES students and the world. By late spring, all 840 students in grades K–5 had enjoyed lively visual art lessons. This Diversity Through Art program culminated in a school-wide art exhibition attended by students, families, the volunteer artists, JQES teachers, community members, local elected officials, and BPS Executive Director for the Arts Myran Parker-Brass. Shortly after this success, Sara formalized ARCK as a nonprofit organization and in fall of 2012 began serving students in other Boston schools.

In addition to ARCK’s original program of hands-on visual art taught by ARCK’s highly qualified educators and integrated with intercultural exchanges and literacy, we have developed  an innovative STEAM program in collaboration with the MIT D-Lab. Our pilot STEAM programs at JFK Elementary School in Jamaica Plain and at JQES (as part of Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center’s after-school program) were successful, and we are continuing to build a comprehensive integrated visual art/STEAM curriculum. Including the initial JQES program, ARCK has served well over 1,000 Boston students with arts and/or STEAM education in their schools.

“It’s not only about the visual art experiences. It’s about opening the dialogue between students and the outside world. Through our investigation of culture and the promotion of acceptance, we will be able to expand on the understanding of respect, the ability to be self-expressive, and the mission to support the development of informed and proactive citizens of the world.” -Sara Mraish Demeter, ARCK Founder