Teaching art
August 28, 2006 9:14 AM   Subscribe

Looking for volunteer programs that teaches art to underprivileged youth.

Inspired by this guy, but also having a general sense of wanting to give back after graduating, I'd like to volunteer teaching art concepts and skills to underprivileged youth. Location could be regionally (midwest), nationally or internationally, I'm very open right now. I've had trouble finding a starting point for my search. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Side question, will taking a large chunk of time off to do volunteer work adversely affect the start of my design career?
posted by Sreiny to Education (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If Chicago appeals, Gallery 37 may fit the bill, as might some of the programs on this list.

Good luck!
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 10:44 AM on August 28, 2006

I don't know of any programs specifically, but a good strategy might be to identify places that potentially have the need for what you're offering - Gulf coast states come to mind, although I'm in NYC and have no idea what the state of education is down there right now. Searching/posting to craigslist in some of those specific areas might turn up some opportunities too.
posted by blaneyphoto at 10:57 AM on August 28, 2006

Talk to your local art museum - ask for the head of the education department. Most art museums do some kind of educational outreach, usually in schools; they'd probably be thrilled to have some free qualified labor. Even if they don't want you to go out into the schools, almost every art museum has a corps of volunteer docents to give tours, and young docents are desperately sought after.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:14 PM on August 28, 2006

Oh, I wish you had posted this 3 weeks ago! I help run a program for underprivileged inner-city girls and we were in need of more art teachers. (really bad website here)
Feel free to contact me at my handle at gmail or contact the director from the site if you think you would be interested in helping out next summer.
posted by rmless at 12:43 PM on August 28, 2006

I interned at FreeArts MN a couple summers ago, which is a great organization that works with abused and underprivileged children. I'm not sure where you're at, but they have offices across the country, the aforementioned Minnesota, as well as Illinois, California, New York, and Arizona.

Good luck in your search!
posted by wander at 1:04 PM on August 28, 2006

Oh, and if you want a great site for searching for volunteer projects in general, there's always Idealist.org, which covers nonprofits both nationally and internationally.
posted by wander at 1:06 PM on August 28, 2006

My Dad, who has done volunteer work for many years, gave me this advice: find lower economic districts and schools and submit resume-like letters that outline your objective to the administrators. There is an interview process and likely the admin will help you establish a program.

There is no need for there to be a program already in place. In fact, by going it alone, by working with schools of your choice, you'll be able to reach kids who don't have other programs available.

I hope this isn't too late to be of help. Good luck to you, I'm sure you'll find a place that really needs you.
posted by snsranch at 5:00 PM on August 28, 2006

After asking my teacher wife, she says that having a TB test is almost alway needed and being CPR certified is very helpful.

In California, USA, the TB test is mandatory.
posted by snsranch at 8:58 PM on August 28, 2006

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