Firebird Community Arts (formerly ArtReach Chicago) a non-profit art studio on Chicago’s West Side, serves communities that have struggled with violence, and are now the areas most impacted by COVID-19. Due to the longstanding community building of programs such as Project FIRE, the organization’s youth and staff are experts in processing traumatic events such as what has emerged in this pandemic.
In the past, youth participants have transformed their own traumatic experiences into advocacy to end gun violence, progress against mental health stigmas, and awareness of how trauma creates cycles of violence. They have shared their artwork and messages at conferences throughout the country, spoken to legislators, and marched in protests. South and West Side youth are skilled ambassadors and leaders for the city at working beyond fight/flight/freeze reactions to traumatic events such as COVID-19 to create artwork, build community, and reimagine their future.
Emerging from the ashes of COVID-19 as Firebird Community Arts, the organization has announced its new name. Formerly known as ArtReach Chicago, the non-profit will remain a safe space to practice art as a tool for healing.
The symbolism is clear: “The mythological firebird regenerates through flame and so did we. Our clients use two fire-based artforms, glass and ceramics, to reimagine and rebuild themselves. We all are shaped by that heat.”
Today, our offerings include trauma-intensive programs with robust wraparound services and healing justice initiatives that focus on cultivating well-being and reimagining futures.
The organization will remain of service to the community and people who need them most—a constant in a world of uncertainty, unknown, and global anxiety. The new website, launched May 10 at www.firebirdcommunityarts.org, encapsulates the beginning of this new chapter.
To celebrate the rebirth and this collective connection through this pandemic, Firebird Community Arts will host a weeklong series of virtual events to highlight all the organization continues to offer its community and clientele. See poster for event schedule.
Visit Facebook to join in https://www.facebook.com/ArtReachChicago/