Art-Reach member agency SpArc participates in a workshop at Moore College. Photo by Ashley LaBonde, Wide Eyed Studios
Art-Reach, a Philadelphia nonprofit started in 1986 by Joyce Burd, is an outreach organization whose goal is to help arts organizations understand how they can attract different audiences as well as to help human services agencies understand why the arts might be really important to their clients.
Art-Reach connects these two groups to give under-served audiences access to the arts, which they do in a number of different ways.
“Primarily we work with human service agencies–anyone who serves people either with disabilities or economic disadvantages can become a member of Art-Reach,” said Marion Young, executive director of Art-Reach. “We act as a facilitator.”
Art-Reach charges a small service fee to its member organizations each year, ranging from about $125-$425, depending on the budget of the organization. In total, Art-Reach works with about 150 Art-Reach member organizations, which are human services agencies such as the Boys and Girls Club of Chester, Caring People Alliance, and Mighty Writers.
Participating cultural institutions, called Arts Partners, provide deeply discounted, or free, tickets to Art-Reach for distribution to member organizations. Arts Partners include BalletX, Eastern State Penitentiary, International House and more.
In addition to its ticketing programs, Art-Reach also runs an Education & Enrichment program, which offers extended, interactive, and enriching artistic workshops to members, and its In-Facility program, which brings creative performances and hands-on activities to the sites of Art-Reach Members.
Starting in September, Art-Reach is facilitating another new program, ACCESS Admission, in which ACCESS cardholders (Pennsylvania residents who monitor their government issued cash and food benefits with an EBT card), will be able to visit participating museums, science centers, gardens and historic sites for $2 per person. So far, 17 museums are participating. Also in September, Art-Reach will hold its annual Fall Festival, a fundraising event for the organization, on September 27 on the grounds of Ridgeland Mansion in West Fairmount Park.
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