access art: a community arts initiative

Free Social-Emotional Art Programs in Schools

We offer our Art in Action program in schools throughout our district. We aim to make this program free in schools that are underfunded and often in most need of additional services.

Read More about Our Art in Action Program Here!

Free Virtual Arts Engagement

We provide free online arts engagement for kids and families. Our website offers ongoing virtual art activities for toddlers through teens. This virtual resource is updated regularly and contains art project ideas, how-to's, art tutorials, videos, storytelling with related art making, links to artist talks and virtual museum tours, and links to live videos.  We are currently working to build a platform where kids and teens can submit their artwork and creative ideas to be featured on the site.  The virtual resource includes many projects kids can make with recycled materials, everyday household materials, and materials found in nature, but there are plenty of ideas that require art materials as well!  

Check out our Virtual Arts Resource Here!

Free Art Materials

We do an annual spring drive to collect and distribute art kits so that kids have access to art materials during the summer months. This initiative began as a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  In summer 2020 we distributed over 1,000 free art kits to children and families throughout Evanston.  In collaboration with community partners we make the art kits available to kids and families who need them.  

In addition to raising funds to support this initiative, we collect 

donations of new and gently used art materials.  We combine new and used materials in an effort to raise awareness around waste, recycling, and environmental care.

See list of Materials Needed Below!

Help us provide free ongoing virtual arts engagement
and free art materials for Evanston kids and families!

Generous donations from Northwestern
University and individual donors helped us to distribute over 1,000 free art kits during summer 2020.  
We have pledged to continue to collect donations so we can be an ongoing resource of free art materials for kids and families with limited access, and to provide free art and social-emotional resources to Evanston kids and families.
Each art kit costs $15 per child.  Any amount large or small will go a long way!

Donate Art Materials!


We are also accepting donations of new and gently used art materials!​  Please see the list of the materials we need below.


  • *New* marker sets (8, 10, 12 pack, thick or thin)

  • New or gently used colored pencils (sharpened please!)

  • New or gently used crayons

  • Multicolor construction paper, cardstock, origami paper (4X4" through 12X18")

  • *New* glue sticks and small elmers glue bottles

  • New or gently used sewing and embroidery materials

  • New or gently used knitting and crocheting materials

  • New or gently used beading materials

  • New or gently used printmaking materials

  • Any craft materials or collage materials

  • New or gently used fabric, yarn, and fiber arts materials


If you are able to purchase materials and would like to help support local businesses please contact the following Evanston stores to see what they have in stock:

Blick Evanston


Please contact to make arrangements for art material drop-off or pick-up.