In 1986 Art-Reach entered the Philadelphia arts arena with a mission that would touch the lives of thousands of people. Our goal: to bring the arts-in all their splendor and diversity-to audiences who otherwise might not have the opportunity. It began with a simple premise. There were many unused tickets for performing and visual arts events. There were also many people who never had the opportunity to see a play or go to a museum. Why not provide a central organization to bridge the gap between the two?
Since then, Art-Reach has obtained over 213,000 pledges and discounted tickets from over 150 arts partners and distributed them to over 150 human service agencies serving underserved audiences. These audiences include individuals with disabilities, the elderly in need, consumers of domestic violence or recovery programs, and clients with economic disadvantages.
Art-Reach has received the Small Business-Arts Partnership Award and the Special Recognition for Management Excellence Award from the Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts has recognized Art-Reach as a "Keystone of Accessibility," and Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street proclaimed September 11, 2000, as "Access the Arts Day" in recognition of Art-Reach and the Access Guide. Art-Reach has also received the Suzanne Bacal Spirit of Advocacy Award from the Mayor's Commission on People with Disabilities and the Disability Awareness Award from Inglis House.
Our work is made possible through the generosity of area theatres, museums and other performing and visual arts organizations that support our mission by offering our groups access to their events and through a roster of artists who perform at member agencies and in the community.
Click on For Members (on left side menu) for more information on how we work to make the arts more accessible.
Art-Reach is a proud member of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.
“The best example I can give you for the value of your work is this: a longtime client and friend of mine…died suddenly here last year. It was discovered in his dresser a box with all the stubs from various Art-Reach events he attended over the years. Most clients hold on to virtually nothing. They have little possessions. The box was a big statement about what was close to his heart. Art-Reach gives us something to live for and to look forward to. It gives us something we cannot find anywhere else.”
- NHS Seasons LTSR
“We all felt a part of the creative process and the artists truly help us tap into our own personal rhythms…Thank you all so much for making this event possible! We felt the connection.”
- Bancroft Neurohealth
“I know that our country, our state, and city are going through economic hard times. Non-profits are seeing their budgets cut and donations and grants are “drying” up. My hope for Art-Reach is that you will be able to pull through all financial obstacles and continue to provide these important services to children who would otherwise not encounter the arts on a regular basis.”
- Ayuda Community Center
“Although my client rides a wheelchair and is severely cognitively and physically challenged, he seemed to enjoy the performance immensely and laughed out loud in delight several times. This is a major accomplishment for him since he cannot talk.”
- RecCare, Inc.
“They spend several hours at Longwood Gardens and they had such a great time that they did not want to come back. They gave such positive feedback to me; for instance, one female client told me, with a huge smile on her face, that she had a happy experience just walking through the gardens and taking in ‘nature.’ As she was relating this to me, her face beamed with exuberance and pure joy!”
- Citizen Acting Together Can Help, Inc
“Your service is unfailing! You treat us with respect and efficiency and sensitivity. You have always kept us in mind with unique opportunities, and we appreciate that!”
- St Mary Interparochial School
“Our senior community has been able to grow and benefit from the opportunities offered by our membership through Art-Reach and its connections. In these troubled economic times, a chance to visit or experience the Arts in an affordable manner is greatly appreciated. We are one community that understands the value given and are well pleased to be a part of this fine organization.”
- Ingleside Homes, Inc.
“I also want to let you know how much I appreciate the work that [Art-Reach Program Director] Matt Bryan performed to help us have one of the best summer camp experiences to date.”
- Ayuda Community Center
“Special outings…bring great joy into the lives of those we serve, and also provide opportunities for participants [with visual impairments] to practice the skills they are learning here in their [life skills] classes.”
- Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
“I supported a resident to the movies to see the inspiring story of Amelia Earhart. Having always wanted to parachute or fly in a plane, he seemed to vicariously experience this opportunity through the many flying scenes.”
- NHS Upland Woods LTSR
“They look so forward to these trips, remembering days when it was part of their lifestyle. When we are at one of the venues, people will share their memories of a visit with their spouse of children. The positive reactions and the sense of continuing to be able to enjoy past activities, even though their health is now compromised, is priceless.”
- Forwood Manor
“There is something about seeing a ballet that brings so much emotion to people, whether they are familiar with the dance or not. The women were first overwhelmed by the theatre and once the dancing began, they could not believe they were watching a ballet in person. They all shed some tears while watching the production.”
- The Salvation Army
“All of the residents are still talking about how much they enjoyed this trip.”
- St. John Vianney Center
“For many of our members, cultural enrichment has been denied or never introduced. It is through these opportunities our members become engaged in the beauty of the cultures around them. They are able to experience something unique and different. For that, I am truly grateful…I am happy that Art-Reach exists and you are a contributor to the growth and development of so many. I think you because this evening truly made a difference in my life and the lives of our members.”
- People's Choice Center
We welcome you to read some or leave some
Art-Reach's Blog housing articles highlighting member experiences, constituent profiles and Art-Reach events
Art-Reach in the news: latest headlines
Past Spotlight Articles, Newsletters and Press Releases featuring in depth stories about Art-Reach
Latest event invitations and updates about Art-Reach
Snapshots of our legacy