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About Us

Since 2012 ARCK has been using 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 K-8 classrooms 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.

ARCK’s main mission and overarching goal is to change the course of children’s lives, using art to help them reach their greatest potential and become compassionate global citizens and future leaders. ARCK promotes social, cultural, and emotional inclusion for all students in today’s increasingly challenging social and economic climate. We believe passionately in the need for strong in-school arts programs, despite ever-present public school budget limitations. We work to reach the whole child through art while imparting intercultural understanding and supporting social and emotional well-being and individual learning styles. Data backs up the value of arts education and 21st-century skills such as innovation and creativity; by using art to teach leadership skills, empower children to engage in their local community, and emphasize social justice themes we are developing students into global citizens and agents of change. In addition, we envision scaling and expanding our arts-integrated interdisciplinary program to reach more children locally, nationally, and internationally.

We tie our art lessons to current world issues. This year, a key theme is climate change. Using art along with science, technology, engineering and math concepts, we aim to raise children’s awareness of global warming’s cause and effects and foster creative problem-solving approaches, empowering students to see themselves as agents of change.
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