Arts and Culture

An eye-opening experience at Inner-City Arts

Inner-City Arts, located in the heart of Los Angeles’ Skid Row, provides a safe and tranquil environment designed to fuel the dreams of children, especially those living in poverty. During the school day, after school and on weekends, elementary, middle and high school students come to Inner-City Arts to work with professional teaching artists in well-equipped studios, receiving hands-on instruction in a range of subjects within the visual, performing and media arts.

XL Catlin became involved with Inner-City Arts through a colleague in the LA office who had a connection with the charity. Global Day of Giving Project Leader Bekki McQueen was looking for a charity partner, and Inner-City Arts’ unique approach to arts education proved an interesting option for the team of volunteers.

During the Global Day of Giving project, the volunteers worked with a class of eight- and nine-year-olds, assisting the students with their activities. The team also helped by preparing art materials, including cutting out pictures and preparing long pieces of card for the students to make cartoon movie strips. In addition, volunteers helped with some of the charity’s administrative tasks, such as stuffing envelopes with flyers to promote upcoming events. At the end of the day, Inner-City Arts staff said that they couldn’t believe how much work the volunteers got through. They said the team had prepared enough materials for them to use for the next two years!

Bekki said she personally found the experience very eye-opening. “It was my first time as a Global Day of Giving Project Leader, and I was really inspired by the enthusiasm of the people working at Inner-City Arts.” Feedback from the volunteers was also very positive. Most appreciated gaining a new perspective into the nonprofit sector and some said that they had underestimated how effective and dedicated a charity could be.

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