Matt D'Arrigo is the founder of ARTS, A Reason To Survive, and shares with us on what empathy looks like in every form.

About the speaker

Matt D’Arrigo is an artist and founder of the nationally recognized non-profit agency, A Reason To Survive (ARTS). An artist from a young age, D’Arrigo used the arts as a vehicle of personal transformation and to pull himself through one of the most difficult periods of his life; the illness of both his mother and sister, and the subsequent death of his mother. He was inspired to make it his life’s work to use the arts to transform the lives of children and youth facing their own struggles.

D’Arrigo’s work through ARTS has been the subject of the Academy Award winning documentary “Inocente”, featured on the TODAY Show, profiled in the New York Times best selling book “Decisive” by Chip and Dan Heath, and in Darius Graham’s book “Being the Difference: True Stories of Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things to Change the World”.

He has been extensively involved with the Fieldstone Foundation’s leadership training program. He’s a graduate from their Executive Leadership course and is a coach in their Leadership Network Coaching Program providing mentorship and guidance to up and coming non-profit leaders. He was selected as one of two San Diego nonprofit leaders for a fellowship to the prestigious Harvard Business School’s “Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management”, is a guest teacher/lecturer at UCSD’s course on Public Service, and is also a TEDx speaker.

D’Arrigo is incoming Chair of the American’s For the Arts Arts Education Council, sits on The Pomegranate Center’s National Advisory Board, and on the BOOST Collaborative Advisory Board.

In addition to leading ARTS, D’Arrigo now speaks, advocates, and advises on the use of the arts as a prevention, intervention, and celebration vehicle for at-risk youth, the power and importance of the arts & creativity, starting and leading non-profits, and pursuing one’s passion and purpose in life.

He currently lives in San Diego, CA with his wife Hulya, and children Tessa and Andrew.

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