Today’s success story is all about artistic expression! Meet the A.R.T.S. Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing holistic support for artistically inclined students. Theater, dance, music, videography, photography, digital arts, media—you name it. The A.R.T.S. Foundation is a space where the younger generations can unleash their creativity through one-on-one or group mentorships, and receive financial support to turn it into a career choice.
Located in Brockton, Massachusetts, the foundation works very closely with inner-city students from the area. As A.R.T.S. (Academic Artists Reaching Towards Success) believes in offering a well-rounded education, parents can find STEM-related programs for middle school and high school youth too. This comes from their holistic approach to being an artist—their focus shouldn’t be only on the arts but on their academics as well.
“Our goal is to empower them, regardless of their age, by letting them know that they have choices and that being an artist and creative is a valid path,” says Jackie Anne Joseph, founder and director.
If they want to explore themselves, they can, and they also get the opportunity to dive into art forms out of their comfort zone or that they didn’t even know they wanted to try.
The A.R.T.S. Foundation Discovering AfterSchool HQ
Like many others, A.R.T.S. Foundation managed its registration process via Google Forms. While it worked fine, the parents were missing the security of knowing their kid’s current location. Thus, the A.R.T.S. Foundation gave AfterSchool HQ a chance. The registration process was the first thing they implemented into their daily routine. Later, they included attendance tracking, and parents were able to log in and see if their kid was at the program.
Once they had the attendance tracker, the A.R.T.S. team discovered they could also see students’ progress throughout their program and train the new coaches more effectively. “When they [the students] show up, you know what kind of project they’re going to work on.” In addition, the foundation has found it very helpful to engage with parents through AfterSchool HQ. For example, they’ve customized forms to gather specific demographics, improving their programs and communication.
Jackie Anne Joseph reminds us that success is determined by the successor. “There isn’t one path, so we essentially allow them to choose their path and decipher what that looks like for them,” she added during the interview. The A.R.T.S. Foundation program provides a space for students to explore their artistic talents and to create with the support and guidance of an art coach and several mentors, plus a counselor for emotional development and academics. By the time they complete the program, students have a portfolio and an individualized roadmap to success.
Among their successful stories, Jackie recalls a summer camp student who believed he wasn’t “really all that artistic” but knew how to draw and make music. By the end of the camp, he created an animation that performed so well that it was showcased to the Brockton Police Department. Nowadays, he runs a YouTube channel.