Who We Are
We are a team of professional artists and educators who have come together with a strong belief: creativity is the most important skill a child can learn—and it can be taught.
We provide unique hands-on experiences that ignite the creative potential in students. In many cases, the most innovative and talented students possess a brilliance and intellect that goes undiscovered within the narrowly focused confines of the current curriculum.
The Rainforest Art Project improves overall student performance and behavior by breaking down learning barriers and developing a new level of self-confidence.
Although we work with many schools who have established art departments, our primary mission is to provide classroom teachers with all the resources which they require to feel absolutely confident in bringing art and creative enrichment to their students.
Asking teachers to spend their rare “free time” preparing art lessons and shopping for supplies is not a suitable solution. Hundreds of teachers are providing entertaining and educational art exercises for their students with ease and confidence with the help of our colorful workbooks, top-notch instructional art videos, academically aligned topics, pre-packaged supplies, and rapid professional support.
In a nutshell, we have torn down every barrier which prevents teachers from providing their students with the quality art education that they deserve.
Creative thinking and creative problem solving are essential skills in the 21st century workplace.
As we present students with a more expanded view of the learning spectrum, we increase the likelihood that they will discover their element — something they can be passionate about, and which awakens their own unique sense of wonder and purpose.
Our objective is to inspire a culture of innovative and accomplished youth by helping to build skills that empower and enrich their lives.
Through lasting improvement of their schools, homes, and communities with artworks, students develop a sense of pride and empowerment that lasts long after the program is completed.
Meet Our Fearless Team
We are all multi-talented and wear many hats, but these are the things we're best known for.
While growing up in San Diego, the backyard shop was a magnet for the six Evers children and many of their neighborhood friends. There were always a multitude of exciting projects in the works, and their school principal father made sure that every activity was a learning adventure. All of the Evers kids grew up to embrace the arts and crafts, with Dan moving to Northern California to found a company in a small garage which would become one of the largest custom door companies in the country, with factories in California, Kentucky and Mexico.
In 2001, Dan sold his business to begin working with kids in Barrio Logan, one of San Diego's roughest neighborhoods. Years before, Dan had worked with youth groups as a teacher's assistant in this community while attending San Diego State University, but this time he was bringing with him all of the experience gained in his successful career. Dan's dream was to provide children with the skills and confidence they needed to create positive change within their homes, their schools and their communities, and to share the same kinds of thrilling creative activities which had made such a remarkable impact in his childhood.
It was not long before these outreach activities came to the attention of Success Optimist Club, which was founded with the sole purpose of helping children who suffer from cancer and other life-threatening illness. The first priority was to create a vibrant healing environment for young patients at Kaiser Permanente of San Diego. The colorful and abundant rainforest provided the perfect theme, and the completed project won the coveted Orchid Award from the San Diego Association of Architects. Along with this, Dan and the Optimists built a partnership with the San Diego Zoo, to provide Saturday art outings for patients and their families, as a diversion from the pain and fear that is associated with their therapies. After fifteen years, and serving thousands of patients and family members, the Rainforest Art Project at the San Diego Zoo is still considered an invaluable contribution to the healing protocol, and has been funded in perpetuity.
In 2009, the Rainforest Art Project received a grant from the Burnham Foundation to begin programs within San Diego Unified School District. Beginning with Perkins Elementary School in Barrio Logan, these activities have expanded to include school districts throughout Southern California. The remarkable Rainforest Makers program has provided thousands of students with the opportunity to work side-by-side with professional artists to create extraordinary works of art for their schools, libraries, parks and downtowns. Rainforest video art programs now provide cutting-edge art instruction to students throughout the United States.