Art isn’t just a free form of expression. It’s crucial to fostering creativity, community and educational development. What’s more, art benefits not only its creator, but its audience as well. These outstanding nonprofits have taken the goal of promoting the arts one step further by engaging young people, communities and emerging artists. By emphasizing the numerous auxiliary benefits of the fine arts, they show that fostering creativity provides societal value far beyond the creation of a beautiful work. Congratulations to NerdWallet’s top nonprofits – you deserve it!
Artspace: For nurturing arts communities nationwide
Founded in 1979, Artspace established itself in order to advocate for artists’ space needs. A decade later, the organization transformed from an advocate to a developer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This proactive approach has fueled their mission to create, foster, and preserve affordable space for artists and arts organizations. They accomplish this goal by pursuing development and asset management projects, consulting services, and community-building activities. Artspace reaches out to an array of artists and arts organizations that represent all cultural and economic backgrounds. Artspace has expanded across America and is now the top nonprofit real estate developer for the arts. Outreach now includes the planning and developing of performing arts centers, other arts facilities, and entire arts districts throughout the country. We at NerdWallet fully support Artspace’s efforts to provide working spaces to artists and arts organizations in need.
Nurture Art: For encouraging innovation in artists old and new
Nurture Art is located in Bushwick, New York, home to a thriving art culture. It aims to foster contemporary artwork among emerging artists, curators, and local public school students. To do so, Nurture Art provides exhibition opportunities and resources to these aspiring artists. A unique synergy exists among the Nurture Art community. The various artist programs offered foster a collaborative environment for artistic innovation and experimentation. The structure of Nurture Art reflects its novel approach to artistic representation. Since many emerging artists struggle to gain recognition and funding for exhibitions, Nurture Art provides the necessary support to build the next generation of artists.
Passim: For building a community of lifelong music lovers
Passim creates an interactive music experience for everyone involved – students, adults, community members and more. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the vibrant music community of Passim consists of a bevy of participants. Passim is a venue for artists, a learning center for students as well as adults, and a listening hall for the audience. It forms an inspiring community of music lovers in all their forms. Club Passim is a premier listening room, where new and established artists perform in various genres ranging from folk to Celtic to jazz. This historic venue presents more than 400 shows a year to an audience of over 30,000. Passim School of Music fosters the development of aspiring artists by offering classes and workshops in a variety of musical arts. The recently developed Iguana Music Fund provides grants to musicians for career development and community service projects. As much as its dedication to the musical arts, Passim’s ability to form a community of musicians deserves high praise.
Theatre of Hearts/Youth First: For inspiring young artists in all areas
Theatre of Hearts is an arts education program specifically designed for four to eighteen year olds in Los Angeles County. The Artist in Residence program connects underprivileged youth in a number of fields, including theatre and playwriting, visual arts, choir, creative writing, dance, and music. The program’s focus on underserved youth reflects its dedication to mentor those in need and empower local communities through education in the arts. The overarching goal of every Youth First program is to cross the borders of race and culture in order to make a lasting impact on the lives of the children. Theatre of Hearts stresses the importance of arts education and its correlation to youth development, as well as academic and career success.
Arts Orange County: For building an arts hub from the ground up
Arts Orange County represents a collaborative effort to build appreciation of, participation in, and support for the arts and arts education in Orange County. The ultimate goal is to establish the county into one of the leading creative communities in the nation. In doing so, Arts Orange County promotes the arts and arts education through public policy discussions, media coverage and a connection with all of the county’s citizens. Recently, Arts Orange County has been advocating their education program to influence the quality, equity, and access to arts education in the county’s K-12 schools. Arts create a unique pathway for students to view the world, find meaning, and develop their minds. Arts education is vital to the development of young nerds in Orange County as well as the rest of America.
Pro Arts: For providing access to contemporary and independent art
One of the biggest challenges for artists is exposure to the public eye. Curator exhibits are limited and art exhibitions are very selective, especially in the bay area. Based in Oakland, Pro Arts provides access to contemporary art and assists local artists in entering the art scene. Pro Arts advocates for regional artists and also offers youth and community programs to attract a vast audience of artful nerds. They hold independent curated exhibitions, artist services, open studios, and diverse collaborative programs to help regional artists gain valuable exposure in the Bay Area. Last year, Pro Arts exhibited 690 artists among 62 events, attracting an audience of over 65,000. Furthermore, Pro Arts offers art services to partnering institutions, and fiscal sponsorship to artists. By serving the ongoing needs of local artists, Pro Arts helps instill a creative perspective to art in the Bay Area.
Creative Arts: For showing the impact of a few concerned people
A group of parents in Reading, Massachusetts founded Creative Arts back in 1978, troubled with the lack of liberal arts programs at the local school. The mission of Creative Arts is to provide exceptional instruction in visual and performing arts to a diverse group of students. The dedicated staff inspires students to express themselves freely and to always think creatively. The open environment fosters learning, with the overall goal to enhance the quality of life for all who participate in the program. NerdWallet acknowledges Creative Arts for doing big things in the local community; just like us!
Given arts programs are prime targets for budget cuts in our tumultuous economy, it is extremely important to recognize the benefits of all arts and arts education. Art freshens our community with personal expression and allows for artists to reflect their creativity. We at NerdWallet applaud these nonprofit organizations for making a difference in the community and standing up for those who need it the most.