Art Start Organizational Values


Art Start is committed to consistency, transparency, and open communication as a means of being accountable to the work and the greater Art Start community. We hold ourselves to embodying our organizational values when working with each other as well as with all members of our community. We value consistency as the foundation of trust.


We believe that each individual has an autonomous and creative spirit which is inherently healing and liberating. Liberation is to re-imagine who one is and who one will become beyond present circumstances.

We reject the banking theory of education. The creative process equalizes us a community inside the Art Start space.

We believe that art and creation is the starting point of a larger process of personal development. We also believe art is a starting point for larger, important public exchanges about societal inequities in our society.

We believe in the power and importance of the creative process over the need for a final product.


Art Start’s community prioritizes the intentional representation and leadership of youth, family and alumni participation and intentional integration in a wholistic organization.

Art Start believes that through stable, long-term partnerships with non-arts social service agencies, we are a part of nurturing the whole person. We see the value in being a part of a network and as such we invest energy into the relationships with our partners, seek to collaborate with partner staff, include them in opportunities for training and development. We hold our partners accountable and respect the partnership by addressing problems that harm the program, our staff, or the partnership. When partnering with agencies who are not aligned with our values, we take meaningful steps to bring forth alignment, and/or make decisions about the partnership accordingly.

Art Start believes that staff/mentor participants and non-staff/mentor participants connect through the creative process to create Art Start projects and programs. We do not see Art Start staff as those with skills and tools to give students who don’t have those skills. We reject the banking theory of education. The creative process equalizes us a community inside the Art Start space.


Growth is continuous and ever evolving. We value the wisdom of each person’s lived experiences while utilizing the resources at hand.


Art Start is committed to Anti-Oppression in it’s internal organization operations as well as its programs in partnering agencies. We are committed to the process of Anti-Oppression alignment in its many stages and the ongoing examination of oppression in all of it’s forms within our organization and programs. When oppression is identified in others or in ourselves, we will take formal steps to interrupt it, be accountable, and prevent it in the future.


Art Start believes in sustainable development and rejects the model of charity. We are committed to maintaining a space and platform for participants expressing their whole selves, and accessing pathways to create desired change. Through our relationships with the greater community we commit to educating the public on the socio-economic injustices impacting participants.


In the creative process, important choices and representations of the creator are made that Art Start doesn’t censor or direct in particular ways. We nurture the process with support, space, access to a variety of materials, and open-ended questions that direct the participant back to their own innate skills and ideas.


We are dedicated to nurturing supportive environments, grounded in understanding and empathy, creating a balance between exploration and structure, fun and safety.

Art Start values work-life balance, including a family-positive work environment that allows for care-providers to incorporate consideration for their family commitments into their work agreements.