ArtReach was established in 1974 by a group of dedicated individuals who believed that providing access to cultural events for disadvantaged populations in the community would build a stronger, healthier community for all of its citizens. ArtReach was also given the mission of functioning as a community arts collaborator that could connect and benefit five segments of the population found to be critical in growing and maintaining a vibrant cultural community in Colorado, including:
· Disadvantaged and special needs individuals of all ages;
· Local art and cultural organizations;
· Community based, non-profit organizations and schools;
· Artists and performers; and
· Community volunteers.
For many Americans who come from either middle class backgrounds or families well educated in the cultural life of their community, access to the arts begins at an early age. Childhoods are filled with music camps, voice lessons, community theatre or trips to the local museum. Envisioning a life without the arts is difficult, if not impossible, for most of us to imagine. This exposure to the arts helps convey our cultural values, beliefs and identity. The arts are a shared experience, a collective activity, a means of viewing society and our place in that society.
Yet for thousands of individuals and families in metro Denver, the life changing experience of access to the arts experienced by many of us is out of reach. For 39 years, ArtReach has dedicated its efforts to connecting metro Denver residents to the cultural life of their community. Our overall goal has been to level the playing field for people who want to be stakeholders in their neighborhoods not burdens to their fellow citizens. ArtReach serves approximately 50,000 people annually by offering them the gift of experiencing the arts – providing inspiration, sparking creativity, fostering understanding and changing lives.