LOCAL HEROES: Sara Mraish Demeter
Who has been your most influential mentor?
My mentor when I first came to Boston, 24 years ago, was a dear friend Natalia Khader who I lost to Cancer 5 years ago. She was inspiring – I learned to be bold, always try your best, and keep on learning. She really defined what it means to be a spirited entrepreneur –without fear of failing, because we can always learn to be the best.
Now that I founded ARCKBoston I am trying to grow a nonprofit, I am finding mentors with the Columbia Business School alumni pro bono team, my board members and advisors, and through the BU program at the Institute for nonprofit leadership and management.
How did you get where you are today?
Following my passion and my love for art. Through the art initiative I started at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School, where kids didn’t have access to art education, I recruited 40 artists to volunteer and brought 840 students art workshops based on “Diversity Thru Art” themes from around the world. It was an amazing transformation, and students, educators, local community members, artists, parents, BPS administrators, and elected officials all came together to celebrate the culminating art exhibition. It was truly obvious at this very successful school wide festival that bringing people together through art is a way to bring true happiness and empowerment to our children, keeping them engaged in school and raising their confidence. Seeing how underserved schools don’t have the luxury to access art motivates me to keep advocating for kids. Art is not a luxury—it should be a part of what we do every day. That’s why Art Resource Collaborative for Kids (ARCKBoston.org) was born and is helping to engage students in learning all subjects through our visual and written art program.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself directing the best world-renowned arts education organization to support kids’ academic struggles by giving them the opportunity to thrive through the arts, and ensuring those kids are going to be successful positive characters with a sense of social justice and social responsibility, leading their own lives with dignity and respect. My work is about integrating and connecting the arts into a strong network of caring community.
What about this city inspires you?
The amazing network of people who care; the international connections; the architecture; and the world class arts and culture.
Finish these sentences:
Boston should be a world class city by bridging locals with the international people in Boston through arts and culture.
Boston could be more culturally diverse but it needs work. Longtime Bostonians need to connect with new Bostonians—I hear that over and over from friends who lived in Boston for the past 20 years; they had to move to San Francisco to find intercultural collective impact and a greater celebration of arts and local products such as produce and farms.
Boston wants to be like NYC, but why compare? Just empower our own young aspiring artists and designers to be celebrated.
Boston needs more art and culture connectivity, and organizations to work collaboratively to fill the gaps. No one organization or group or individual can do it all—Boston needs to bring people, nonprofits, and corporations together toward a common collective goal, to fill gaps of different shapes and sizes.