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."
Since 2003, youth in the program have collaborated on several high stakes, community service projects. The most well-known projects are a series of six "Possible" preschool books, which feature animals and sea life worldwide; the four most recent books include Spanish translations. Around 40,000 books have been given to young children throughout Snohomish County and in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica. 2016 plans include creation of a seventh book.
Funding for Art Alternatives is provided by:
- Anne and Mary Arts and Environmental Education Fund, Community Foundation of Snohomish County
- Everett Clinic Foundation, The
- EverTrust Foundation
- K & H Integrated Print Solutions (special projects)
- Matthew Foundation, The
- Nysether Family Foundation (special projects)