Community Partnerships and Initiatives
The ARC currently operates programs at four sites in partnerships with over a dozen local schools. Our main school partner is Wonder School, a billingual Reggio Emilia inspired nursery school in Central Tel Aviv, where we also have hosted our Creativity Camps for 9 seasons. Over the years, I like to tease that they have stolen all our teachers or that I should get an HR stipend for the staff I've brought them. But I'm thrilled we did this matchmaking to support our tribe and make more small world magic. We love Wonder School staff and families. They are our second home~
Additional school communities we serve include:
Adama, Ahavat Tzion, Arnon, Balfour, Bavli, Bikorim, Gavrieli, Nachala, Maoz Aviv, Meron, Pomelit, Ushishkin, Yehuda Macabi among others in Central and North TLV
The ARC community of teachers, artists and volunteers also have helped support the Art Room at HaYarden School in South TLV, which serves hundreds of children from African refugee families and foreign workers. Our program students work on projects every year to create handmade activity books and collect and wrap holiday donations for the families from this community, while the children also spend time learning about the cultures and peoples of Eritrea, Sudan, Philippines, Thailand and India to feel more connected when we practice letter writing to the children.
The ARC has also worked to help bring more support to Kuchinate, a women's co-op organization, employing African refugees and asylum seekers through the creation of their own craft products. We have hosted sales, welcomed the groups to our sites, and also brought our program children across town to visit their center where the women work in order to learn and connect more with this community.
Special Community Events
The ARC partners with the British Embassy to serve families living in Israel for short-term work assignments. We have hosted groups of children at The ARC Garden House for special programs and arranged for creative afternoons at the Ambassador's residence.
In our annual Creative Discovery Field Trip Programs, the groups of children often focus on creating urban interventions and public art works as they are out and about moving and making. Usually their works are more transitory, but sometimes they create pieces that remain at the sites. There is a very cool mural our program kids made of discarded plastic toy pieces outside the Golden Sun Kombucha bar at Allenby 87(!)
The children who are in our afternoon programs at the Garden House in the Old North regularly use a tall wall of bushes as an exhibition site. We have built the Great Wall of China, Mindful Meditation Chalk Walks, Winter backdrops, Passover fairy tales in giant cardboard cuts outs, and holiday tokens as hanging mobile installations. We refer to this series as the Corner Park Projects.
The ARC also proudly hosts festivities for holidays that are not so widely celebrated in Israel. We have offered special Christmas events, Fourth of July programming, and the crown jewel Halloween event for the last five years. Eliza co-founded and still leads the Halloween procession, family arts activities and Pumpkin Pop-up. Last year there were over 300 families that participated and came to trick-or-treat to over a hundred houses registered on our interactive map(!)
Deliverable ARC-its Art Paks
In the first lockdown the ARC began offering “ARC-its”, Art Paks that can be picked up or delivered locally in Tel Aviv. These Art Project Paks come with all art supplies and Creative Curriculum Guides, some with an accompanying video link to work along with. There are five different Art Paks available, each including ALL the cool materials and guides for a diverse array of engaging hands-on activities providing a week of creative explorations~
Eliza initiated and led three years of "Talkshops" before founding The ARC. These hands-on talks with teachers and parents focused on youth development through the arts and creative curriculum development. There are plans underway to open up the next series in Israel in 2022.
Another new project in the works is private coaching for parents interested in working with creative materials and ideas to advance their children's engagement with language, mathematics and interpersonal relating skills. The ARC projects have long integrated a focus on children's social emotional growth, and our work is set up to hold the space for supporting children as they practice exploring and expressing themselves.