Articipate was founded as a 501(c)3 organization in response to the alarming decline of art programs in schools and communities across the nation. To see this decline in Chaffee County was especially troubling because the area is home to an abundant pool of artists attracted here for the serene natural beauty. Knowing the importance of the Arts in healthy, vital communities, the founders of the organization, Jill and Trevor Davis, set out to research the root causes of the problem.
One fundamental problem uncovered is that artist educators are experiencing a decline in compensation for their work and being forced to take up employment in other fields. The other problem is budget reductions in schools, cities and the federal government resulting in major cuts to arts programs.
The loss of these vital programs prompted the idea to create an organization that would: offer quality artistic experiences to under-served groups; help experienced artists develop high standard educational curricula that teach the deeper meanings of their discipline; provide and/or seek employment for artists who have educational programs; act as a central hub for collaboration between artists and local institutions.
Articipate still holds its original goals to build partnerships, leverage resources and create a regional solution that would bring back and secure Arts education. By bringing quality programs to areas that have limited access to the Arts, we not only share the vision of our artists with their audiences, we strive to inspire communities to create and act on their own visions.
Since Articipate’s beginnings, the founders, board and staff have realized the importance of being a learning organization. Evaluation tools are being continuously developed to determine the best way to measure program results. Results are then used to improve program attendance, increase revenue to cover expenses, recruit high-quality artist educators, maximize resources through partnerships and target under-served groups.
Our programming has evolved through evaluation and community feedback. General results showed greater need and financial support for schools and under-served youth groups. Schools and their support groups identified partnerships between nonprofits and schools as a major area of opportunity. A comprehensive strategic plan was developed with input from regional schools, nonprofits, community groups and government agencies. We are experiencing success using this plan to guide resource allocation towards Articipate’s highest impact programs. We want to hear from you!