ArtBox: Outreach


Launched at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, ArtBox: Outreach is a pivotal component of the A2AC’s educational outreach; the program provides our most vulnerable populations, including underserved and at-risk youth, adults, and families throughout Southeast Michigan, with basic art supplies and project ideas. Each box includes a packet filled with project ideas and the supplies needed to begin creating quickly.

While supplies may vary slightly (especially from season to season), each box contains:

  • Paper (construction, drawing, and multimedia)
  • Watercolor paint, oil pastels, and Model Magic clay
  • Markers, colored pencils, and two boxes of crayons (regular and Crayola’s Multicultural set)
  • Scissors, glue sticks, and a pencil sharpener
  • Printed instruction booklet full of project ideas and art games

ArtBox: Outreach is made possible by the many individuals, organizations, foundations, and corporations that believe everyone should have access to art supplies.


Step 1: Tell us who you are

Are you a non-profit organization wanting to distribute ArtBoxes to your community? Maybe a teacher needs supplies for your students who are learning at home? Or, maybe this is something your [insert young loved one here] would love, but current priorities don’t allow for supplies.

After we receive your application, our team will review your request and be in touch with you. If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please contact Kate Robertson at krobertson@annarborartcenter.org.

Step 2: Schedule a time to pick up your boxes

Once the request has been granted, we will send you a link to schedule a time to pick up your ArtBoxes. All boxes can be picked up at the A2AC in downtown Ann Arbor; other arrangements may be made if needed. 

Step 3: Distribute your ArtBoxes

Spread the love of visual art! Take this time to get the ArtBoxes into the hands of those that need them most. 

Step 4: Share with us

As part of the ArtBox: Outreach program, we ask that you share photos and stories with us of who received the boxes, completed projects, and acknowledgments that we can share with our funders. Don’t worry; we will send you an email letting you know what we need!

“Thanks to the ArtBoxes, our students were able to continue making art and expressing themselves in meaningful ways at home. A number of parents reached out to thank us for sharing those supplies and we’re excited to share pictures of what the children created.” – Laura A., Director of CAN Art & Design

“Youth Arts Alliance is pleased to be partnering with the Ann Arbor Art Center in providing youth across Southeast Michigan with boxes of high-quality art supplies! The pandemic exacerbated the need for engaging arts education for young people as schools pivoted to remote learning and in-person extracurriculars are still on hold. Thanks to the Art Center’s donation of these art boxes to YAA, young people across Southeast Michigan have the art resources at the ready anytime inspiration hits—whether they’re in the mood for a rainy day doodling session, or want to explore blending techniques with watercolor palettes.” – Heather Martin, Founding Director, Youth Arts Alliance

ArtBox: Outreach distribution is made possible thanks to the following generous partners:

Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
Anne Cooper
DTE Energy Foundation
Edith S. Briskin and the Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation
Ford Motor Company Fund
Doug and Sabrina Gross Family Foundation
Level One Bank
Martin Family Foundation
Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs
National Endowment for the Arts

Let us know how you’d like to help

Your $30 donation to the A2AC allows us to distribute one ArtBox: Outreach to someone with limited or no access to basic art supplies throughout Southeast Michigan.


Are you a company with specific outreach goals? Perhaps you are looking for brand recognition while providing art supplies to those in need? Or, are you an individual who would like to distribute ArtBoxes in honor or memory of a loved one? Please contact Natalie Johnson, A2AC’s Development Associate, at njohnson@annarborartcenter.org for more information and the next steps!

Thanks to the generosity of our funding partners, over 4,500 ArtBoxes have been distributed to the following organizations across Southeast Michigan:

A Girl Like Me
All Things Artistic Ministries
Avalon Housing
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Detroit
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County
Bridgepointe Nonprofit
Community Action Network
Detroit Community School District
Doughty Montessori
Ele’s Place
EMU Bright Futures
Escuela Avancemos Academy

Freedom House Detroit
Fresh Start Clubhouse
Friends in Deed
Girls Group
Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan
Grass Lake Baptist Church
Hands Across the Water
Head Start
Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy
Interfaith Hospitality Network at Alpha House
Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County

Michigan Foster Care Closet – Ann Arbor
Ozone House
Peace Neighborhood Center
Roberto Clemente Learning Academy
Silver Club Memory Programs
SOS Community Services
Telling It
Washtenaw County Social Workers
Work Skills – Artisan Corner
Youth Arts Alliance

This activity is supported by the

and the