The goal of the Access Art Connects Campaign is to raise $8000 by Christmas to support our out-of-school youth art programs and weekly food grab and go distributions which sustain, nourish and build community.
The Covid Pandemic has significantly altered the work of our organization and has forced us to brainstorm creative solutions to community challenges, ways to stay connected to our youth, help troubleshoot technology access needs, and pivot to manage community food needs with other partners in our target neighborhoods. Budget cuts have also significantly affected our programs moving into the school year.
Despite formidable challenges, we have also seized opportunities to connect and support community, have adapted our enrichment and youth development classes, and have created new community engagement programs and services over the last 8 months. Much of the demands of the Covid -19 environment have required our after school staff and Community Schools staff to work on joint, overlapping projects to fully support youth and families during the closures which include:
1. Creating online enrichment content and holding online classes for the youth in our programs.
2. Checking with our families and students on a regular basis to assess and identify emergency, food, technology and internet needs.
3. Collaborating with our partner schools to identifying students who need internet and computers, and filling technology gaps for families with multiple children at home and who have not received enough computers for all youth in their household to access online learning.
4. Expanding our community engagement work by starting grab and go grocery distributions in Morrell Park 3-4 times per month to support emergency food needs and provide other essential items such as toilet paper, cleaning products, and soap.
Since March 2020, we have:
• Hosted 29 food distributions
• Served 3,224 families through our food grab and go events
• Distributed 60,885 lbs of food
• Distributed 30 computers to students
• Created 107 online instructional videos for youth to utilize during live virtual classes and access independently from home.
• Distributed over 1000 art and STEM packets during the last 8 months for our programs through the mail, family pick ups, or delivered in person to family’s homes.
• Provided hundreds of live online art workshops for youth enrolled in our programs.
Even though our efforts over the last 8 months have been extensive, the work we have done these past months has also emphasized how great the need is and the importance of our community support.
Access Art thrives on connection; to our youth and families, to our art, and to our city. Contributing to our campaign will help us to continue to serve our communities and extend our connection even further into 2021.
Let’s Extend. Help us Connect. #accessartconnects
Founded in 2000, Access Art is a youth-focused community arts organization that inspires personal success by providing a safe space for hands-on learning in a variety of artistic media combined with civic engagement and leadership development. We serve youth, parents, and community members in Baltimore City neighborhoods through comprehensive out of school arts programming, partnerships with the local elementary/middle schools to promote student achievement and family well-being, and finally through the coordination of resources and neighborhood projects that support community enhancement through creativity and art.