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About ARTreach / History

Organizational History

ARTreach was founded by community organizer, arts action council member and child advocate, Terri Payne Bieber. Resident of Houston since 1972, and moving to Katy, Texas in 1993. Katy ARTreach was established as a 501(c)3 organization on December 4, 2003 to bring the arts to underserved communities. These included children at risk, children and adults with special needs, and victims of crime and the elderly in Fort Bend County and Harris County. Programs were developed to specifically support abused and abandoned children in residential treatment, children at risk in the school district, and neglected elderly citizens in public care nursing homes. With outreach established as the primary mission of ARTreach, the organization was able to operate on a modest operating budget. Resources were focused on program development and buidling awareness for the value of the arts in underserved communities. ARTreach collaborated to build resources that shared expenses that made quality art programs affordable and attainable to social services and school districts in need.  The table below shows the progression in size of the ARTreach budget, as the size and scope of the organization has grown:

Operating Year
ARTreach Funds Raised

2003-2005, The organization operated as a 100% volunteer-driven organization with board directors representing five initial partnerships with agencies interested in piloting art programs to benefit children at risk, special needs and the elderly. Partners included; Lutheran Social Services - Krause Center, Domestic Abuse Center (DAC)/ Katy Christian Ministries, Katy ISD KEYS Program, PPCD, and Behavior Management Programs, and Katyville Nursing Home as a public care medical and rehabilitation center in Katy, and by 2004, vocational training and enrichment programs were initiated and funded by ARTreach to support adults with intellectual and physical disabilities through the Arc of Katy. Private donors funded ARTreach Programs operations. Professional artists were contracted to manage the programs.

The goals of the programs were to measure improvements in behavior and attitude. Program outcomes were documented and recorded in an effort to build support for the arts and improve public funding for the arts in social services and underserved schools. 

The first "Mentoring Through Art" programs were piloted to support children at risk through the Katy ISD KEYS Program. ARTreach paired a professional artist with a child at risk as identified by the campus counselor or principal. ARTreach students benefitted from the enabling art educational experiences and the one on one attention. This program rapidlly expanded to benefit over 1000 children directly in over 45 schools in Katy ISD, Fort Bend ISD, Cy-Fair ISD and Houston ISD between 2004 and 2010. Mentoring through Art Programs were piloted by professional artists and volunteers which included Terri Bieber, Elizabeth Linder, Joni Speegle, Tess Thornton, Caroline Boshma, Chris Gamez, Danny Russo, Vickie McMillan and others.  Professional artists were trained to support expanding programs. 

New and innovative ARTreach Programs were designed to benefit children in foster care and in residential treatment. Pilot projects were made possible through a partnership with Lutheran Social Services and $10,000 grant provided by Conoco Phillips. ARTreach Expanding Horizons through the Arts exposed Krause youth ages 11-17 to the symphony, fine arts, music, drama and dance.  ARTreach collaborated with URGEWORKS and director Chris Gamez to pilot hip hop to math and dance programs for Krause students that measured 100% improvement in behavior, attitude and test scores over a six week term in order to validate sustained funding for the center.

Programs also piloted by ARTreach in the first 5 years supported juvenile justice and the Harris and Fort Bend County Probation Departments, FBJDC advisor Mary Gready supported a study that measured 85% improvement in self esteem and attitude in youth involved in the ARTreach Programs in the detention center. ARTreach board advisor and Fort Bend ISD social worker, Monica Meade documented outcomes in ARTreach URGEWORKS after school programs supporting education and children at risk.

The ARTreach Programs serving seniors measured improvements in quality of life, fewer falls, reductions in medication and depression with outcomes associated with weekly partcipation in art, dance and music programs.

2006-07 - ARTreach established subsidiaries to further reduce program expenses by pooling resources to better support Houston, Katy, Fort Bend, and Woodlands. ARTreach began to support national and international partnerships to promote expanding outreach in Texas, Tennesee, Florida and California.  ARTreach received numerous awards and recognition for programs and innovative art partnerships including TAPE, Texas Association for Partners in Education, Institute for International Education for program supporting minority participation in the arts.

Resource sharing partnerships with Young Audiences of Houston, Da Camera Society, Core Dancers, Houston Symphony and Stages Theater helped ARTreach to pilot a wide array of program styles and methods to support higher impact. 

2008-2011 Terri Bieber would continue to oversee tri county operations as the Executive Director with community relations support provided by the board. The founding Board Directors for ARTreach and serving terms between 2003-2011 were Kim Ginn, Ann Bayliss, Gayle Huffman, Theresa Matizza, Martha Brown, Beth Zarate, Julie Noeldner, Diane Covert, Claudia Richter, Scott Bieber, Mary Gready, Susan Smith, Lori Gunn, Mindy Adams, Cheryl Krey, Lisa Guidry, Carol Adams, Laura Leigh Robinson, Katherine Ammer, Shannon Prejean-Boutelle, Sandy Fawcett, Monica Meade, Kathryn Shanks, Janet Buller, James Clarke, Carol Levin, Donna Magnana and Chris Crockett. Community Advisors include Jane Lowry, Anne Hodge, Zachary Hodges, Downy Vickery, Doyle Calendar, Susan Hastings, Glenn Hegar and Phil Ashford, Bernard Scrogin, Jean McMillan, Todd Frazier.  Admin support was provided by Jonathon Tucker, Christine Stilwell and  Fatima 

Donaldson. Programs were directed by Terri Bieber, Kim Ginn, Kelly Dillard, Elizabeth Linder, Chris Gamez, Dan Egger-Belandria, Vickie McMillan, Danny Russo, Erin Stanley and a growing list of qualified roster artists.

ARTreach has piloted numerous programs and in partnership with LSSS, KCM Crisis Center, DePelchin Children's Center, Fort Bend Juvenile Detention Center, Dept, Delta Boot Camp- Harris County Probation, Katy ISD, Houston ISD, Spring Branch ISD, Cy-Fair ISD, Houston Holocaust Museum, Making it Better, FUUSA, Incentives, Systems of Hope (CPS), Child Advocates of Fort Bend, Child Advocates of Harris County, Rio Bend Community , AIR- Adolescents in Recovery, Pregnancy Help Center, Save the Children- Washington DC, Children at Risk- Houston, Palmer Drug Abuse Program, Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program, Project LEAP, Sunrise, We Care Residential Treatment, Gulf Coast Trade Center, Montgomery County Women's Center, AIDS Recovery Center, Houston Public Libraries, Texas PTA, Behavioral Coalition, Parks Youth Ranch, Catholic Charities Mamie George Communtiy Center.

In 2010 ARTreach Programs were recognized by Texas Commission on the Arts and approved for funding from the State. ARTreach agencies and school partners could now apply for grants to help fund ARTreach Programs in their schools and communities. Approval for state funding was a milestone, and represented ARTreach first strategic goal achieved through documentation that helped social service agencies establish budgets for art programs ongoing. 

New communtiy programs, concerts and gallery events promoting cultural toursim and economic development were piloted in Katy.

Early 2011 was marked by a legislative decision to cut state arts funding including the TCA budget. ARTreach was impacted by this decision and responded by turning towards their original majority volunteer driven model to sustain all programs in the field.  The Board of Directors voted to downsize and establish a committee structure that would build volunteer resources. The  Board of Directors between 2011-2012 were focused on recovery. 2012 - ARTreach was accepted into the ENGAGE HOUSTON Program, sponsored by Houston Endowment and presented by the Mid America Arts Alliance. This two year program served to support board and organizational development. Great work by Board Directors, Janet Buller (President), Fatima Donaldson, Ana Villaronga, Jean Prados, Vanessa Castillo, and new member Anne Campbell strengthened the organization, as they supported the development of prioritized committees of over 108 volunteers supporting ARTreach programs, training and fundraising to provide over $120,000 in-kind community support for ARTreach annually.

2013- ARTreach contracted 16 key staff members to support programs and operations. The organization cultivated volunteers and trained professional artists to support outreach. The organization recruited and trained an average of 30 volunteers per year to support expanding programs. ARTreach served 5,100 seniors, 160 children and adults with special needs, and over 5000 children and youth at risk through our programs and partnerships with 24 agencies and campuses in 2013.  On December 4, 2013, ARTreach celebrated its 10th birthday and a decade of innovative art and outreach.

In 2014, Mrs. Bieber resigned in early spring due to health concerns. The ARTreach Board assumed executive leadership of the organization while interviewing for the new Executive Director role for several months. The transition was challenging, but the Board felt very strongly about the organization's mission and impact. A new strategic plan was created, and an organizational self-audit was conducted. Programs were not cancelled and remained strong. Though there was a lapse in funding requests in mid-2014 due to the challenges of a sudden reorganization, grants were sought in fall and awarded in late 2014 and early 2015. Increased individual donations were also received. Board Secretary and Strategic Planning Chair Anne Campbell was hired as Executive Director, and two new Board Directors were added. As a result, the organization regained and even strengthened momentum.

ARTreach became stronger and more sustainable, adding teachers with new and innovative programs, training volunteers and adding community partners. Total operations increased by 20%, and 15,900 were served through programs connected by ARTreach in 2015. Progress continues today, as a new Artist and Volunteer Manager has enhanced program assessment procedures and has streamlined communications and training. ARTreach now has more capacity to address the needs of the community with an expanding roster of artists who are dedicated to developing programs with deep impact for those served.

ARTreach is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides mentoring and art-related programs to a growing population of children at risk, children and adults with special needs, the elderly and others in need.