What is Families Creating Together?
Families Creating Together believes the power of the arts can be life changing. We provide multicultural, multilingual, intergenerational programs that offer inclusive opportunities in the arts for children of all abilities and their families. At the same time, we seek to break through the social isolation that threatens the health and wellbeing of vulnerable members of our community and build networks of caring and solidarity across divisions of dis/ability, race, class, language, citizenship status, family structure, neighborhood, and more. Our programs bring the joy of art and its transformational capacity to families already at-risk of stress and isolation, due to the challenges of living with disabilities, deafness, or language barriers; or of experiencing homelessness or raising their grandchildren.
FCT encourages the full participation of children and their parents, siblings and caretakers, always maintaining sensitivity and respect for children of different abilities and from a variety of cultural backgrounds. With an emphasis on serving low-income families, FCT provides free workshops, cultural field trips and other community arts opportunities.
FCT now operates year-round with Spring, Summer, and Fall Family Arts Learning Cycles rotating between Jamaica Plain/Roxbury host sites. Each cycle includes:
• A 4-6 week Family Art Workshop series based on the theme "The Power of Our Stories," exploring a unique concept (the life cycle, the seasons, imaginary creatures, underwater environments), and a different art form. Children of all abilities and their families together create art, and express themselves through storytelling and improvisational drama. Past series have included: "Paint Something That Matters" (found object art), “Journeys” (group collage), "Art From the Earth, Spring Rebirth" (clay sculpture), “Holiday Traditions” (printmaking), “Creating Creatures” (fabric-ceramic sculpture) and “Paper Maché Puppetry.”
• A Field Trip to a local arts/culture/science/nature institution linked to the topics explored in the series. Past examples: the Roxbury studio of master textile artist Napoleon Jones-Henderson, the Institute for Contemporary Art’s Nari Ward exhibit, the Puppet Showplace Theater, the Arnold Arboretum.
• "Creating Art At Home," a followup 2-session training for parents/caregivers on FCT’s “process-oriented art” philosophy, that gives them practice and free materials to lead art activities with their children.
Plus, our strong network of partner organizations also allows us to offer several additional field trips throughout the year, giving young people and their families affordable, accessible opportunities to connect to cultural resources (in their own neighborhoods and in the city center) that they may not have known about or had access to financially.
FCT program staff are experienced professional artists and facilitation assistants who reflect the diversity of our participants' identities as people of color, immigrants, Indigenous, elders, and people who are deaf or live with disabilities. Our workshops are run in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language, in accessible community-based settings.
Follow us on Facebook for updates on our ongoing activities, including field trips, and news about what our fantastic collaborators are up to!