What is an Art Buddy?

As an Art Buddies mentor, you’ll work one-on-one with a child, inspiring them to build confidence and dreams.

You'll help your child realize the power of creativity and self-expression, and the fun of working closely with a creative person like you.

Watch our video clip to see Art Buddies in action, or learn how to apply.

You can also scroll through the images below to read stories from past Art Buddies mentors.

Meet your child after school

Art Buddies is an after-school program at partner schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

As an Art Buddy, you’ll work one-one-one with a 3rd-5th grade student (ages 8-11) alongside other volunteers and their buddies once a week for 7 to 10 weeks, depending on the school schedule.

Spark imagination

Each child works with their Art Buddy to create an imaginative costume that reflects their unique interests, strengths and dreams. With the help and guidance of their creative mentors, kids are able to explore their creativity and build something more ambitious than they ever thought possible.

Inspire your child with our huge collection of art supplies, including fur, feathers, fake jewels and all sorts of creative stuff. Plus, journal your ideas and experience together in a Buddy Book that your child will get to keep along with their costume.

Share how you use creativity

We encourage you to share how you use creativity at work and in life. We also invite mentors from various creative fields to share a bit about what they do with the group.

Most of the kids have no idea about all the creative careers out there. They may not think of creativity as a skill they can use to be successful in life, at school, and in their future work.

Present your creation

At the end of the program, celebrate your child’s creative achievement in an exciting costume parade and presentation, then pose with them for professional photos.

Afterward, join your fellow mentors for a special volunteer after-party!

Help Art Buddies keep going!

We hope you will share your Art Buddies stories to inspire others to donate and volunteer.

During our spring fundraising campaign Letter-Palooza, you will be invited to send a personalized fundraising letter to your family, friends and network. Together, we’ll enjoy food and beverages at a local community establishment.

It is your passion for kids and creativity that keeps Art Buddies going!

Learn how to apply to be an Art Buddies mentor.