Arts Umbrella's mission: Inspiring Kids for Life Through the Arts!
Arts Umbrella is a not-for-profit arts education centre for children and youth ages 2 to 19. Arts Umbrella is committed to delivering the highest quality visual and performing arts education to young people, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances.
Arts Umbrella caters to children of all artistic interests and skill levels— from pre-school to advanced pre-professional training. More than 270 tuition-based classes and numerous outreach classes occur each week, with innovative and high-quality instruction provided by almost 200 dedicated artists and arts educators.
The array of topics is exceptionally diverse and includes, architecture, cartooning, computer and classical animation, dance, film making, media arts, painting and drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, theatre and video game design. Using the best-quality instruction and materials, classes balance fun and creative expression with rigor and discipline.
Parents can enrol their children in Arts Umbrella classes held at the Granville Island facility throughout the year. They can apply for bursary funding to offset the cost of participation in most tuition-based programs. Children may also be able to take advantage of Arts Umbrella's free-of-charge outreach programs, organized through specific schools in Metro Vancouver and elsewhere in the province.
Accessible arts education
Arts Umbrella strives to ensure that arts education is accessible to as many children as possible. Each year, more than 13,000 young people who may face geographical, cultural or financial barriers to accessing arts education, participate in Arts Umbrella programs free of charge or at a reduced rate through bursaries, scholarships and outreach programs.
Outreach programs harness the Arts Umbrella magic, expertise and experience and deliver free-of-charge programs to students in communities across the province. Outreach classes, performances and workshops provide opportunities for young people to explore their creativity while overcoming barriers to their participation.
A permanent satellite location in East Vancouver is home to professional-level dance classes, and Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach – An Arts Umbrella Project. Since 2002, Arts Umbrella has partnered with international recording artist, Sarah McLachlan, to offer free, high-quality instruction in guitar, piano, percussion and choir to youth from inner-city schools.
Arts Umbrella programs have a powerful impact on children. They help children learn to appreciate the arts and to develop their own creativity but even more valuable is the impact on the rest of their lives.
Numerous studies indicate that people who receive arts education early in life reap many tangible, long-term, life-changing benefits. From enhanced critical thinking, improved self-esteem and ability to collaborate, to improved scores in math and science, children gain skills that can help them well into adulthood.
Children who develop arts literacy (knowledge, skills and ability), will have the opportunity to:
Learn to appreciate the arts as participants and spectators
Learn technical skills
Gain a wider view of themselves and their opportunities in the world
Develop self-confidence and self-worth
Explore and develop creativity and innovation
Develop an ability to make decisions independently
Learn how to work with others
Learn to set and achieve goals
Improve their odds of success in all areas of their lives
Arts Umbrella reaches thousands of young people annually. It touches not just the children who participate in the classes on Granville Island and through outreach, but also their friends and peers, plus all the children who participate as audience and witness children just like them performing and enjoying themselves.
Children's participation in arts has a strong impact on the entire community. Arts Umbrella has created an incredible community of past and present students, parents, artists, instructors, volunteers, supporters, donors, sponsors, staff and friends - all inspired by the energy, joy and benefits that arts education brings to children.
In its first 30 years, Arts Umbrella has grown from a dream of a few young, artistic parents to a highly respected model for children's art organizations around the world.
The story of Arts Umbrella is a story of inspiration, determination, hard work, vision, community, generosity, professionalism and above all, magic. More.
"The hope for our world is in these young children who come to us, because they will make the future good and wonderful....That's what it is all about."
- Carol Henriquez, O.C., cofounder of Arts Umbrella, honorary chair of the Arts Umbrella board of directors.