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Art Alternatives

Art Alternatives is a Schack Art Center outreach program that provides weekly art classes for justice involved and homeless youth.

The program designer uses a research-based prevention model that focuses on skill building, healthy adult to youth relationships, and opportunities for recognition. Each class begins with the introduction of a new art lesson either in traditional art media, i.e. calligraphy, origami, printmaking and drawing, or non-traditional lessons, i.e. Zentangles®. 

Youth are taught that, "Every complex project is a series of simple steps," and through the art lessons and processes, given a voice, a way to positively impact their future.

Kathleen O'Neill Sande, Institution Education Program Supervisor for the Washington State OSPI, wrote, "This program is a great example of community involvement, coordination and cooperation."

Book Projects

Since 2003, youth in the program have collaborated on several high stakes community  projects. The most well-known projects are a series of seven "Possible" preschool books, which feature animals and sea life worldwide along with Spanish translations. Around 42,000 books have been given to young children throughout Snohomish County as well as in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica. The newest book, Possible Backyard Friends (pictured right), is hot off the presses and available for distribution.

Funding for Art Alternatives is provided by:

  • Anne and Mary Arts and Environmental Ed Fund, Community Foundation of Snohomish County
  • City of Everett Human Needs Grant
  • Everett Clinic Foundation, The
  • EverTrust Foundation
  • K & H Integrated Print Solutions (special projects)
  • Nysether Family Foundation (special projects)
  • The Schiff Foundation
  • Along with general art education funders: The Boeing Company, BNSF Railway Foundation, H'Arts Patrons and Wells Fargo Foundation