Heart to Heart with Art


Heart to Heart with Art is an educational and charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit that combines the arts and acts of service to encourage children's creativity and the art of giving back to others.


Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 10.21.29 PM

ART: Our goal is to promote healing and improve the world – one heart to another – through art. We use different art projects to teach a variety of art techniques, while also helping participants express feelings and heal using art as a helpful tool. In addition, Heart to Heart with Art provides a platform for individuals dealing with various forms of trauma to share their stories through various art forms.

SERVICE: Our goal is to offer low cost, high yield service projects. We create service opportunities for children to show them that despite their age, they can make a difference. We also find projects in the community close to our hearts and develop creative ways to support them. Whether here in the US or partnering with non-profits abroad, Heart to Heart with Art’s mission is the same to help heal others through art and service.


Starting on July 14th, Heart to Heart with Art is partnering with a nonprofit in Nepal to provide much needed supplies and healing art projects to 100+ children whose parents are incarcerated.

Heart To Heart With Art has partnered with the Butterfly House in Nepal to help provide much needed supplies and services to incarcerated mothers and their children in nearby jails and remote prisons. In Nepal, when a parent is sentenced to imprisonment and no one else can care for the children, any child under age fiveisheld in custody with the parent. The Nepalese government doesn’t have a foster care system and depends on local nonprofits like the Butterfly House for assistance in caring for these children. Butterfly House fosters 40 children of incarcerated parentsat a time and works hard to keep the children and their parents connected.

The Butterfly house was founded by Pushpa Basnet, who founded her first nonprofit Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) at the age of 21 after completing a prison internship as part of her early childhood education studies at St. Xavier College in Kathmandu. ECDC provides preschool programs and educational materials to each of the nearby jails. As a visionary with a big heart, Pushpa’s programs mushroomed into opening the Butterfly House as a beautiful orphanage that overlooks Katmandu. She and her team foster the children until their parents are emancipated. Since her efforts started, Pushpa, her ECDC team, and her supporters have provided love, housing, food, education, clothing, and medical care, to over 140 children of incarcerated parents in Nepal. She received the 2012 CNN Hero award, and again, in 2016, Pushpa was named a CNN Super Hero.

Heart To Heart With Art founder Lisa Burns was inspired by the work that Pushpa Basnet is doing in her native country. After meeting Pushpa in November of 2017, Lisa and Pushpa brainstormed how Heart to Heart with Art could returning to Nepal with Heart to Hope bags and therapeutic art programs in hand.

In July 2019, Heart To Heart With Art will deliver Heart to Hope bags filled with: hygiene items (tooth brushes, toothpaste, combs), earthquake emergency items (flashlights, whistles, rain ponchos), art and school supplies, art therapy projects and toys for Pushpa’s children at the Butterfly House. In addition, we will be bringing the incarcerated mothers Heart to Hope bags, filled with hygiene items, notes of encouragement and art supplies for art therapy projects. We will also provide Heart to Hope bags for Pushpa to deliver to over 100 children still in prison with their parents in Nepal.

GoFundMe donations to Heart to Heart with Art are tax deductible and will help provide supplies including:

  • Embroidery thread and knitting doll books for the incarcerated mothers who are learning a trade in order to earn money to support themselves and their children upon emancipation. These supplies are also for the children at Butterfly House who are making crafts to sell.
  • Backpacks, school supplies, earthquake emergency items and rain jackets for Pushpa’s 40 children in residence at the Butterfly House.
  • Heart to Hope bags, filled with hygiene items, art supplies and toys for the children still in prison with their moms.
  • Supplies for art projects, art therapy books and projects for Laxmi (adopted daughter of Pushpa) to do art therapy with the incarcerated mothers, with the hope of empowering them, so that after emancipation, the mothers don’t leave their children with Pushpa, just as Laxmi had been left by her mother.


We had a quick Q&A with Butterfly House Founder – Pushpa Basnet to learn more:

  1. What type of program would help the women and children in prisons in Nepal?
  1. What issues do the women you serve need the most help with – for example, overcoming trauma, domestic violence, sex abuse, or addiction?
  1. How can we help to continue supporting your initiatives after our visit?


The incarcerated mothers and children would greatly benefit from more mental health, parenting and hygiene programs. Those programs teach much needed life and job skills in order for the women to not return to poverty and be better moms.

As an example, we are teaching the women entrepreneurial skills and a craft like sewing, so they can make decorative items to sell. We would appreciate entrepreneurial training program resources that are proven effective in decreasing recidivism. In addition, gifts in kind like embroidery thread and ‘how to’ books on sewing embroidered dolls would help us greatly in supporting this initiative.  


As a tool to improve the women and children’s mental health, one of our teachers – my adopted daughter Laxmi, brings art therapy programs to thosestill incarcerated. Art therapy is a noninvasive approach to help women process their emotions without having to deal with the cultural stigma of seeing a therapist, and for the children they learn to express their feelings through art. We welcome books and training materials, recommended projects to use with our demographic, and art supplies.


We are also are raising money to build playgrounds in the prison, to provide early childhood development boxes filled with toys and educational materials, and for expecting mothers, to provide nutritional support and baby boxes to be used as cribs.

While incarcerated, itis our goal to nurture the relationship between mothers and our fostered children, so that after a mother’s emancipation,she reunites with her child. A simple playground at the prison encourages our children to visit their parents and helps created a fun environment within awful conditions and circumstances.

Our dream is to build a halfway house next to the Butterfly House for women and mothers when they leave prison so they don’t return straight to poverty and feel forced to return to their old life. Our hope is that these women can work at the Butterfly House, continue increasing their life and job skills while creating a new identity for themselves. At the same time, we can also offer supervised support for the mothers and the children during the transition period before our children are released back into the mother’s custody.


The biggest challenges mothers face upon being released from incarceration is reintegration back into society.  The mothers struggle against recidivism because it is difficult to overcome the stigma that being imprisoned carries in Nepal. Often,after the women have been to prison, many can’t return home because their family won’t accept them. Asa result, they have nowhere to live and no one will hire them becauseof theirprison record. Many end up living on the streets, doing anything to survive and repeat the cycle back into incarnation.

Our goal is to support these women by offering them a place to live, continue teaching them life skills and job training so that they can overcome their past, and to help them start a new life as strong, independent women and outstanding moms.

For those that wish tolearn more about Pushpa Basnet and her initiatives or to donate directly to the Butterfly House, see: http://ecdcnepal.org

A SPECIAL NOTE OF THANKS: Heart to Heart with Art recognizes Debra Watson, an incredible art therapist in West Linn, Oregon. She worked with many women and children dealing with all aspects of trauma over the years until she passed away in 2003. Debra’s husband, Stan Cassell, gifted Heart To Heart With Art all of Debra’s art therapy books and notes. We are excited to be sharing these materials with Laxmi and to have a little piece of Debra going to Nepal in hopes of touching the women and children there in need.


Want to join us in making a difference? Heart to Heart with Art (501(c)(3) is raising money to bring Heart to Hope Bags and art therapy projects to children and their incarcerated mothers in Nepal, with CNN Hero of the Year, Pushpa Basnet and her Butterfly House orphanage (ECDC). Any donation will help us make an impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to us.

All donations will go directly to the purchase of art supplies and care bags to be provided to the orphanage and families incarcerated. Travel expenses are covered directly by Heart To Heart With Art sponsors and not donations.


Want to join us in making a difference? Heart to Heart with Art (501(c)3 is raising money to bring Heart to Hope Bags and art therapy projects to the children and their incarcerated mothers in Nepal, through CNN Hero of the Year, Pushpa Basnet and her Butterfly House orphanage (ECDC). Any donation will help us make an impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to us.

All donations will go directly to the purchase of art supplies and care bags to be provided to the orphanage and families incarcerated. Travel expenses are covered directly by Heart To Heart With Art sponsors and not donations.


A multimedia art exhibit advocating for survivors of sexual assault, this exhibit encourages victims and their families to share their stories without shame or blame. If you are interested in hosting the show at your venue, please contact us.


“Hear me – See me – Believe” me is a multimedia art exhibit advocating for survivors of sexual violence. “Hear me – See me – Believe me” is an interactive exhibit created by artist, survivor, and Heart to Heart with Art Founder, Lisa Burns, with the goal of creating a safe space for survivors of sexual violence to view the exhibited art and to create their own art recognizing their own experiences to use as a vehicle for sharing their stories as part of their healing process. The first exhibition was at the Cerimon House in Portland, Oregon on the evening of Friday, March 15th.

With one infour women and one in six men* experiencing sexual assault during their lifetimes, and the recent revelations of the #MeToo movement, the prevalence of sexual violence has never been more visible in our communities. Victims span across ages, genders, and social status. The trauma of survivors isnot always visible and survivors often live under a burden of silence and shame. “Hear me – See me – Believe me” is a collaborative exhibition, bringing together survivors and empowering them to give a voice to their stories in support of change and healing.

Having a victim breakhis or her silenceabout the deep and terrifying secret of sexual violence empowers the victim to transform to a survivor mentality and begin thriving. This exhibition, through photography and film, shows how it feels to be abused and the long-term effects that sexual trauma has on a survivor’s life,including the effects ontheir relationships. By sharing victims’ feelings and traumatic experiences in this exhibition, the hope is to educate families, friends, and those who have never experienced this type of trauma about how it feels to be sexually violated so that others can begin to understand how to best empathize and offer meaningful support to survivors.


The “Hear me – See me – Believe me” multimedia art show is a visual essay of how I processed and moved through my feelings about the sexual traumas that I experienced multiple times throughout my life:  being raped at the age of four by a neighbor, being presented to the neighborhood pedophile at the age of six, raped again at twenty-five by someone I knew, and most recently being sexually assaulted by a stranger at age forty.  With the current political environment, I felt compelled to break my silence and join the #MeToo movement to share my experiences with the larger community. I feelit is also important to bring awareness to the social stigmas against survivors, and their resulting feelings of further victimization. The intention of this exhibition is to connect and spread the message that ‘you are not alone’ to other survivors and to offer hope that healing from sexual trauma is possible. I not only wanted to encourage other survivors to break their silence, but to help them do it! The photographic images in the exhibition don’t focus on the events themselves, but what happened to me as a result of being sexually violated. For me, this exhibition is about finding beauty in my broken places and breaking out of the cocoon of the past to find healing. It’s about stretching my wings through letting go and transforming to be free like a butterfly. As an artist and a survivor, creating this artistic platform to share with others is my way of dealing with my own anger and shame of not having control over what was done to me and not having justice served; but instead I am turning my pain into a positive by connecting and helping other survivors to heal and also bring awareness to those who haven’t experienced this type of trauma. Breaking my silence was one of the hardest things that I have done, but the freedom and healing that followed was absolutely worth it! I feel so fortunate to also have exceptionally supportive people surrounding me in love. Without them, none of this would have been possible. My greatest hope is to pay it forward and offer the same love and support to other survivors. I am beyond honored to capture other survivor’s stories through art and to share them with others and the world.



It is our dream to bring this art exhibition to as many people as possible, here are some ways you can help:

  1. Financial Contributions to our GoFund Me, the money goes straight to the artists filming more survivor stories and to having more exhibitions to share our survivor stories and messages.
  2. Please contact lisaburns@h2hwithart.com if you’d like to show our exhibition at our event or gallery. 

Join Heart to Heart with Art in making a difference. Help us give a voice to victims of sexual assault and violence. Heart to Heart with Art 501(c)3 is raising money to host another exhibition of the collaborative art show ‘Hear me. See me. Believe me. Breaking the Silence Against Sexual Violence’ in California. Help others share their stories through an immersive film, photography and art exhibition that connects survivors to each other to share their stories and helps victims feel less alone. 

Any donation will make an impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to us.


From spreading awareness to helping local communities, we advocate for those who need it the most. The following are examples of our impact in the community.