A nonprofit organization

$8,021 raised by 80 donors

80% complete

$10,000 Goal

Celebrating 35 Years of Inspiring Creativity 

ArtStart Illuminates the Connections among People, Ideas, and the Environment through the Arts

For 35 years, ArtStart has created arts programming to give kids and adults an opportunity to explore new art forms, see the world in new ways, and grow as artists, global citizens, and stewards of our earth.

This year, Carol Sirrine, ArtStart’s founder, educator, and innovative leader, retired. ArtStart hired Anne Sawyer, a Twin Cities-based artist, author, passionate arts educator, and long-time ArtStart artist, to lead the organization into the future.

Under Sirrine’s leadership, ArtStart initiated many innovative programs that focus on the link between the arts and the environment with a multicultural, interdisciplinary view of the world. Drawing on a pool of artists and arts educators, programs emphasize critical thinking, problem solving, esteem building and citizenship along with learning in and through the arts. 

“I am most proud of having assembled a team of staff and artists who believe in the power of the arts to change lives, who practice environmental stewardship, and who believe that with a little nurturing we all are able to unlock our creative artist within,” said Carol Sirrine. “An understanding of the landscape, a vision for possibility, and acting with the heart are qualities that will take the organization into the future.”

With a strong commitment and connection to ArtStart’s mission and deep roots in the Twin Cities arts community, Anne Sawyer has stepped into the Executive Director role with an eye toward preserving Carol’s legacy while expanding ArtStart’s impact.

Your support will help ArtStart increase access to the arts and art-making in the Twin Cities through:

  • School Residency Program: ArtStart’s artist-in-residence program in the schools focuses on unlocking each child’s creative artist within. ArtStart’s artists spark creativity, engage students in the artistic process, and encourage learning through a variety of methods. With arts- and STEAM-based interdisciplinary curriculum, 3rd – 6th graders learn about protecting the environment, reuse, and sustainable practices through the arts.
  • Arts and Culture Camps: ArtStart offers unique camps for children and teens throughout the year with a focus on learning about world cultures through multidisciplinary arts.
  • Adult Education: ArtStart offers an inspired series of Studio A classes taught by professional artists who help participants imagine possibilities and demonstrate artistic processes with a focus on reuse.
  • ArtScraps ReUse Center: ArtScraps collects scraps, overstock, factory rejects, and other items normally destined for the landfill. As a storefront, ArtScraps makes these product donations available for a significant discount to teachers, parents, artists, and anyone working with children or interested in reducing waste through reuse of materials.
  • Support of Artists: High caliber, professional teaching artists are instrumental in fulfilling ArtStart’s mission and ArtStart offers career-developing educational opportunities in a variety of disciplines. ArtStart also commissions two artists annually to create personal artwork that is sited/exhibited in a public space or performed with a local music group.
  • Community Building: ArtStart Artists and staff are regularly creating connections in the Twin Cities community – at festivals, events, libraries, and more! – bringing enriching art experiences and workshops to kids and adults of all ages.

To continue creating transformative arts experiences for all, please donate in any amount you are able to give today. 

  • $50 – Purchases supplies for a community workshop
  • $150 – Pays for a youth intern at summer camp
  • $200 – Helps covers the cost of an artist at an event
  • $500 – Supports a healing arts workshop at a transitional housing facility like Hart House
  • $1000 – Covers two scholarships for kids to attend summer art camp
  • $2000 – Covers the cost of a STEAM residency for four classrooms
  • $5,000 – Supports our participation in the Children's Concert with the St. Paul Civic Symphony
  • $10,000 – Pays for a community mural or tapestry project 
  • $15,000 – Helps set up donor management software and pay for it for two years

Thank you for supporting our commitment to teaching the arts as a way to learn, heal, wonder, and grow!

Organization Data


Organization name


Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Education Children & Family

BIPOC Serving

BIPOC Serving

LGBTQ+ Serving

LGBTQ+ Serving


1459 St. Clair Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105



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