That we are still in this place after so long and so much work has been done to dismantle the racial and social inequities that are too deeply embedded in the fabric of our country is unconscionable—it is painful, tragic, inexcusable. The knowledge that it is based on power, economy, and divisive strategies set to disempower targeted groups only serves to amplify the senselessness of it and its basic inhumanity. The end result is that it makes us weaker, less. Humanity is so much more than the motives that have driven these economic and political constructs. Yet, here we are: poised at another critical historic moment. We can’t let it get washed away in the crush of the day-to-day and the uncertainty of the current environment.
Art House, Inc. fulfills its mission by providing access to quality art instruction, materials, and equipment to people of all ages through workshops, in- and after-school programs in Cleveland schools, and other outreach events. Most of the programs are free and designed to encourage critical thinking and self-esteem, build confidence, and open doors to broader possibilities.
We do have successes. Our artists often focus projects around self-worth and empathy. Early in my tenure, two boys often came to Art House to make something, and one day they needed supplies so they could work on their own project about anti-bullying. Repeatedly, I have observed individually-minded children come together to work towards a single goal and to help each other to succeed. Students have been empowered to act after being introduced to innovative ideas. Our teaching artists help children with special needs to create and grow. The Art House clay studio is currently servicing our senior population. We provide as much Spanish content on our social media platforms as possible in an effort to invite and include more Latinx members of our community. But is what we do enough? Do our programs get at the root causes of social and racial injustice, or only inadvertently maintain the status-quo?
Perhaps we make some progress; all the work is slow. At times I feel that what we do will never be enough. Art House employs a diverse roster of artists, interns, and volunteers. Our board also contains diversity, but, in the end, it is still a white-run entity. Board, staff, and artists share a broad vision. We reflect, make progress on our commitments, and, we will evolve. It is good to be uncomfortable. There is always more work to be done.
Check out our website and social media platforms for virtual lessons, dialogues, Creative Fusion projects, and more.
EXHIBITION: TWO ART HOUSE ARTISTS | TBA METROHEALTH OUTPATIENT FACILITY’S GALLERY
ARTIST INVENTORY CHALLENGE: AN ALTERED VERSION | SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
COMMUNITY CULTURE NIGHT WITH ANNA ARNOLD | 7-8:30PM THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19
FACEBOOK LIVE FAMILY OPEN STUDIO SESSIONS | IN-PERSON, TBD
ART HOUSE, INC.
3119 Denison Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44109