Karen Reyes, the Executive Director of ArtReach at Lill Street shared with us a little more about ArtReach! ArtReach’s mission is to provide enriching art experiences for under-served populations in the greater Chicago community.
You can learn about their in-kind needs on their Zealous Good Charity Profile Page.
The best thing about the work we do is that we get to meet individuals and communities from throughout the city and learn about their artistic projects, interests and pursuits. Then we get to help develop and amplify their own artistic visions. It really allows the teaching relationship to be two-way, where both students and teachers bring experience and creativity to the table and both leave having learned and grown.
What is the hardest challenge you see as an organization?
The biggest challenge that we face is finding the populations that have no resources, or way to find us, but the greatest need for artistic expressions and resources. In addition, we want to provide our services as the lowest cost possible, and for free when possible, so this poses a big fundraising challenge.
What makes your non-profit different?
We are proud to share this city with many other wonderful arts non-profits that serve all types of people, but what sets ArtReach apart is our mobility. Our professional teaching artists come to the populations that face barriers to art resources, sometimes providing art programming to communities with limited economics, mobility, differently abled people, individuals in mental health, status, or other crisis, etc. We are incredibly flexible and adaptable and work past many barriers to provide arts programming where it is needed most. Our hope is to work with other arts non-profits, museums, and other agencies to increase equity in access to arts and improve our city’s arts infrastructure.
People might not know that we have professional working artists who teach visual arts in various media to all ages and all skill levels in all parts of the city. We recently acquired an ArtReach mobile that will help our teaching artists travel with our supplies all over Chicago.
What’s the best donation you’ve ever received through Zealous Good?
While I’ve appreciated every donation, great and small, probably the best donation was the mac minis that helped our office come alive. We have so many interns and volunteers, teachers, and even a few paid staff, and the computers allowed us all to work together in a productive collective like never before.