We are here not only to heal these young lives through the arts, but to also inspire and empower them to overcome obstacles and thrive in this world – to become compassionate, creative human beings who make a difference not only in themselves, but in the world they live in.
-Matt D’Arrigo, ARTS Founder/CEO


A Reason To Survive is dedicated to providing, supporting, and advocating for arts programs that heal, inspire, and empower youth facing adversity.


All youth facing adversity have the opportunity and resources to experience the transformative power of the arts.


Youth First

Always make what is best for the youth a priority


Infuse creativity into all that we do. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and grow. Be innovative in the approach and open to new ideas.


Be able to adapt in a changing environment, whether it is a students’ art project or an organizational growth strategy. Do not fear change – embrace it, drive it, and capitalize on it.

Positivity and Fun

Work hard and play hard as a close-knit family. Whether you are a student, volunteer, staff, vendor, or donor – all of us are working together to transform kids’ lives through the creative process. In doing so, we should have fun along the way and create an environment that is not only positive, safe, nurturing and supportive for kids, but for anyone who comes in touch with the organization.

Strong Relationships Built on Communication

All strong relationships are built on trust and communication. For us, great communication is open, honest, clear, direct, respectful, and inclusive. Part of creating this type of communication and trust is to develop emotional connections and meaningful relationships.

Resource Responsibility

Although we work in a creative, flexible, fun and positive environment, we are extremely focused and serious when it comes to our operations and resource management. We truly value the financial resources our donors entrust in us and run our organization in the most cost effective way possible.


We believe that a large part of success is brought about by being accountable. We say what we will do, do what we say, and support others to do the same. If we fall short, we are humble enough to admit it, learn, and grow. Leadership does not have a title – everyone takes personal responsibility and leadership for themselves and their work. We also strongly believe in recognizing and celebrating everyone’s efforts and achievements.

Commitment to the Environment

ARTS has a strong commitment to using up-cycled materials in the design of the ARTS Center, our Community Art Projects, and our furniture and décor line. Creative environmental stewardship teaches youth to care for their environment, think differently, and be innovative and creative.  Anything can be made into beautiful art – new materials and expensive art supplies are not always necessary!


  • The arts and creativity are the greatest force to provide a sense of identity and an avenue for expression to youth
  • The arts allow youth to process feelings, control behavior and emotions, and express themselves in positive ways
  • The arts build hope
  • The arts build self-confidence and self-esteem, helping youth find validation
  • The artistic and creative process is therapeutic in itself and leads to a healthy, well-rounded life
  • The arts allow youth the opportunity to build a positive relationships and trust with adults and peers
  • Creativity and innovation are vital to a youth’s success in the world today
  • The arts build critical creative capacity that prepares youth for the creative workforce