CREATE Arts Center is a nonprofit visual arts organization that has been bringing the arts to Montgomery County for 25 years through our arts classes, camps, parties, and art therapy programs. We reach out to underserved populations in the community through Studio Downstairs, our on-site art therapy program for mentally-ill adults, and smARTkids, our off-site art classes for at-risk youth in local elementary and middle schools. We serve our community by offering free arts events several times a year and donate gift certificates for our programs to schools for their fundraisers. We help children learn how to become strong community members through our CIT and volunteer programs.
Our mission is to serve the general population through arts classes, camps, parties and special events; and to serve special needs clients through art therapy and other related arts activities. Both parts of this mission foster creativity, self-esteem and enjoyment in the arts, as well as, promote personal growth, skill development, and self-esteem.
CREATE offers programming in both arts education and arts therapy. This includes on-site classes in a variety of artistic styles and mediums for all ages, off-site after arts school clubs in Montgomery County, art camps held when children have off from school, an adult art therapy program – Studio Downstairs, smARTkids which is dedicated to at-risk youth, as well a variety of one-time community outreach programs.
Our educational programs help students learn about the arts by experts in the field. They are able to explore their own creativity and imagination in a supportive environment where the experience is more important than the finished product.
Our Art Therapy program helps clients develop the self-esteem necessary to express their emotions through art in a safe and therapeutic setting. By using art to reach children with disabilities such as Autism, families are able to find creative ways to enhance communication and build confidence.
The off-site classes provided by CREATE reach populations that would otherwise not have access to the arts. The current economic climate has resulted in the loss of arts programming at many schools. CREATE’s after-school program provides students with an opportunity to develop their artistic skills and simply enjoy the visual arts. The smART Kids program that focuses on at-risk youth also serves this purpose, but additionally the confidence these students develop through the arts helps them be successful in other areas of their lives.
The community outreach programs offered through CREATE are used to develop collaborative partnerships with other organizations and to generate awareness of our programs within the community. These programs are a vital component in reaching as many different demographics as possible. The fairs, workshops and events we participate in allow us to interact with a variety of populations that may or may not be aware of our organization.