Raw Art Works (RAW) was founded in 1988 with a group of passionate art therapists who shared the belief that good things happen when kids feel they are a vital part of a creative community that truly cares. Youth and staff at RAW are welcomed into a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment the moment they step through the door. Through the use of the arts, youth are given the tools to process what is really going on in their lives, giving them the opportunity to create in unexpected ways, and envision new possibilities for their future. Many of the youth rely on the trusted relationships they build at RAW to help navigate the complexities of their lives.
RAW’s mission is to ignite the desire to create and confidence to succeed in underserved youth. As a youth development arts organization rooted in art therapy, over 300 youth, ages 8-19, participate in after-school and summer visual and expressive arts groups, digital film school classes, leadership development opportunities, and college and career access programming. When youth attend programming at RAW, they are seen and heard through a refined blend of art and therapy. An orientation to trauma-informed care provides a grounding to the work with many of RAW’s youth who have experienced undue stress in particularly challenging environments.
RAW creates endless opportunities for youth to build meaningful relationships with their peers and RAW staff. They are given a safe environment to express themselves within a community that feels like home and they come to recognize the strengths within themselves. The skills learned at RAW support youth as they transition into adulthood, and the passion and purpose they find here often catalyze direction and decisions in their lives, and the ability to make change in their communities. Staff at RAW work in an organization that has helped to lead the creative youth development movement since its inception and is recognized and respected for its program impact at a national level.
For more information on Raw Art Works, please read more here.