By Marci Narum
One phone call was all it took to set Sargianna Wutzke’s “one day” plan into motion. Sargianna is an operations officer at Community Options, a statewide organization that serves individuals with developmental disabilities. She’s always imagined starting her own non-profit organization one day, but had no idea what that would be. Then, last October, she had a phone conversation with a friend about how expensive it can be for families to have kids involved in music, drama, and the arts. Sargianna and her friend lamented how some kids miss out on the opportunity to participate because their families can’t afford the fees involved.
“When I hung up the phone, I knew right then in that second, I was going to start a non-profit that would be for all kids and adults to be able to participate in areas of the arts,” Sargianna says.
A month later, Arts for All was established as a non-profit in North Dakota and recently received its 501(c)(3) status. Sargianna hasn’t wasted any time recruiting volunteers and setting the stage for Arts for All.
She says the vision for Arts for All is classes for kids and adults, but especially those who are at risk, low income, or have developmental disabilities. She has established partnerships with schools and community organizations including Charles Hall Youth Services, TR 4 Heart & Soul therapeutic horse riding, BisMan Autism Familes, Heartview, and Invisible Innocence. She also worked with Bismarck’s fine arts director Shawn Oban to launch Arts for All in a Title One school and will expand the program to three more this fall.
“Once a month, we’ll go to those schools and teach an art form, drama, or dance. We’ll have an author or a musician go into the classrooms (after school). We’re trying to do all the types of arts that the students would want to experience,” Sargianna says.
Sargianna expects hundreds of kids and adults to be involved with Arts for All by the end of summer. Arts for All is entirely free thanks to private donations and volunteers — and one phone call. Follow Arts for All on Facebook to learn more.