Since 2001, A Reason To Survive (ARTS) has used all art forms as a vehicle to create positive, long-lasting change for over 50,000 youth facing – homelessness, domestic violence, terminal or chronic illness, foster care, mental, emotional and behavioral challenges, incarceration, bereavement or separation from parents in the military.
UUFSD’s contribution will help support HEAL, a therapeutic arts program for youth ages 3-18, who are facing immediate crisis. The goal of the program is to heal and strengthen youth to endure and positively overcome life crisis. Using a non-clinical approach, ARTS uses visual arts, media arts, music and performing arts to create an environment of safety and belonging, while increasing youths’ sense of hope. Youth receive arts instruction from trained artistic professionals, as they engage in a reflective process designed to help them forget their hardships. Youth also have opportunities to experience artwork and live performances through community fieldtrips. Youth meet weekly, for a minimum of 1 hour, at the ARTS Center in National City and at targeted group homes and shelters.
The Heal Program lays the foundation for youth to be exposed to the arts and acts as a pipeline for our more in-depth programs, Inspire and Empower.
ARTS’ sequential program is model based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and provides short, intermediate, and long-term opportunities in the arts: Its three core programs are: Heal (therapeutic arts programming for those facing crisis), Inspire (formal arts education for youth moving through crisis) and Empower (college and career readiness).
ARTS is the only non-clinical visual, performing, media arts and music program in San Diego. The ARTS Center located in National City, hosts 20,000 square feet of creative space and is home to our Van Go! Transportation program.