ARTS Development Dept: Open Positions

We are looking to fill the following positions:

Database Specialist – Position Filled
The Database Specialist is an experienced, energetic and talented professional who contributes to A Reason To Survive (ARTS) by utilizing their database management and analysis skills to connect the Program, Operation and Development Departments.

Grants Manager Position Filled
The Grants Manager will research and write public and private grant proposals and reports, take a leadership role in integrating grants into strategic fundraising goals, oversee grant & report submission schedules and manage the grants database.

Individual Gifts Manager
The primary responsibility of the Individual Giving Manager is to develop and implement strategies for solicitation that will grow annual revenue from individuals. Read more

Join the ARTS Family: Become a Muse

What is a Muse?

A Muse is a vital source of inspiration and sustenance for a creative artist.

Become an ARTS Muse Sustaining Member and partner with ARTS to provide youth with therapeutic arts (Heal), arts education (Inspire) and creative life and career preparation (Empower).

Secure, automatic withdrawals from your debit or credit card make it easy to give monthly, quarterly or annually.

Your gift will enable us to provide the following and more:

  • $10/month ($120/annually) supports a week of after school snacks for 300 students!
  • $25/month ($300/annually) supports three Saturday Guest Artist Workshops for middle and high school youth!
  • $50/month ($600/annually) supports 12 field trips for youth attending cultural and educational experiences throughout San Diego County!
  • $100/month ($1,200/annually) provides a 6-month paid apprenticeship for a high school student with a professional artist!
  • $250/month ($3,000/annually) provides 8 Alumni teaching artists positions for a quarter!

We will be honored to recognize you as an ARTS Muse Sustaining Member in t­he ARTS e-newsletter and website, and in the ARTS Annual Report.

For more information, visit our Support ARTS page.

Americans For The Arts: Meet The Arts Education Network Team

Matt D’Arrigo

Founder and CEO, A Reason To Survive | ARTS

Matt D’Arrigo is Founder and CEO of A Reason To Survive | ARTS, a nationally recognized non-profit agency dedicated to changing the life trajectory of youth facing adversity through the arts andcreativity. In addition to national media coverage, D’Arrigo’s work has been the subject of the Academy Award winning documentary “Inocente”, featured in the New York Times bestselling book “Decisive” by Chip and Dan Heath, and profiled in Darius Graham’s book “Being the Difference: True Stories of Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things to Change the World”. D’Arrigo also speaks, advocates, and advises on arts education, the use of the arts as a prevention and intervention vehicle, the power and importance of creativity, and starting and leading non-profits. D’Arrigo lives in San Diego with his wife, Hulya, and children Tessa and Andrew.

Original Article

Something To Say: Creative Youth Development


Local leaders in the arena of youth and the arts, including Matt D’Arrigo of A Reason To Survive are hosting San Diego’s first Creative Youth Development Summit on February 4.  The theme: Something To Say, highlights the results of a ground-breaking Wallace Foundation Report on the benefits creative youth development programs have on individuals and the community.

The goal of the Summit is to strengthen the availability of creative youth activities in our community’s after-school programs and other informal learning settings.

Along with A Reason To Survive, Summit collaborators include the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, Young Audiences, and Playwrights Project.

Featured speakers include San Diego’s own Denise Montgomery, a MacAurthur Fellowship Winner and co-author of The Wallace Foundation’s Report Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts, and Bill Strickland, founder of Pittsburgh’s Manchester Bidwell Corporation.

ARTS Featured on The Today Show!

The TODAY SHOW filmed at ARTS and will be featured on Tuesday, December 31!

Click here to watch this very special segment!

To inquire about original or commissioned artwork:

Kyle Bowen:
Hannah Bowen:
Tashia Williams:

To book a musical performance please contact:

Deejay Rich & Diego Rodriguez:


Creating The Movement!

ARTS Founder Matt D’Arrigo was honored to be a featured speaker at the TEDx San Diego event on Saturday, December 14th.

Cutting the arts – and arts education – out of schools is one of the truest forms of identity theft.

Watch the Talk here: What’s Next? Art a Force for Change: Matt D’Arrigo at TEDxSanDiego

Join the ARTS movement to ensure that ALL kids have the opportunity, the ability, and the resources needed to engage and to use the power of arts to find their own identities and change their lives for the better.

– Matt D’Arrigo


First Lady Michelle Obama Agrees on the Importance of the Arts for Youth

We applaud the statement of support by First Lady Michelle Obama.

“The arts are especially important for young people. Every day they engage in the arts, they learn to open their imaginations and dream just a little bigger and to strive every day to reach those dreams.”


and help the thousands of other youth overcoming their own challenges through the arts!

ARTS Is Moving!

We are very excited to introduce the new ARTS Center in National City!

Dear Friends,
A little over five years ago we opened the Pat D’Arrigo ARTS Center at NTC Promenade. It was a major milestone for ARTS, transforming our organization from solely an outreach effort to having a “home,” not only for us, but for the youth we serve. Offering a safe, nurturing, and creative space for our students to escape their struggles and engage with positive adult mentors and peers is critical to our success. As our program has grown, we’ve looked to the future and how we can secure more space in a financially responsible way that would strengthen both our programs and our financial position.

For the last four months we’ve been hard at work with officials in National City to secure what used to be the old city library. It has since been transformed into a community arts center and officials have been seeking a nonprofit partner to operate it. ARTS has been chosen to be that partner.

This amazing facility encompasses two buildings and is almost three times the size of our current space, is half the rent and utilities, and is within walking distance from schools, social service agencies and public transportation. It is also closer to most of our current students, partner sites, and schools. It will have minimal impact on our current populations and open us to a whole new population of students. This is an incredible opportunity for ARTS and will lead us into our next phase of growth. We are thrilled to be embedded in a community that desperately needs our programs.

Our new address is: 200 East 12th St., National City, CA 91950

Saturday, June 16 – Last day of ARTS Center programming
Monday, June 17 – Packing begins
Sunday, July 1 – Begin move-in to ARTS Center in National City
Monday, July 9 – Last day at NTC

We cannot do this without you. We will have more opportunities than ever to make a difference in the lives of youth facing challenges, and we invite you to embrace these opportunities and this next chapter of ARTS! Thank you for your continued support. We can’t wait to share our new space with you!
Matt D’Arrigo, CEO/Founder