Despite busy schedules and budget cuts to school art programs, children still love to put color and shape to their own ideas and dream about the future. Heart to Heart with Art partners with other artists who volunteer their time and talent to support the expression of the natural creativity found in children. After providing the tools to help kids put color and shape to their own ideas, we have been delighted by the children’s hope, dreams, and intentions to make the world a better place.
Art in the Park encourages the creativity within children by offering the means to allow them to bring visual reality to their dreams. The children are proud to share their paintings with others. We have observed that many children are too intimated by the “perfect” replications of graphics and instant photo technology to experiment with art. It has been refreshing to learn that in spite of busy schedules and budget cuts to school art programs, children still love to draw, paint, and create! Heart to Heart with Art has plans to expand and provide more opportunities and use different art disciplines through Art in the Park.
For the Hope Boards project, children ages 6-16 are encouraged to paint a self-portrait of what they wanted to be when they grew up and how they would change the world. Each participant is provided with a canvas board, paintbrushes, paints and an artist to teach painting techniques and provide guidance. After the completions of the Hope Boards, the children are invited, along with their families and friends, to an official art opening of their work. At the exhibition we offer an art or service project and all are welcome to participate.
Here are some examples of our dreamers, what they want to be when they grow up, and how they will change the world:
Here is a social worker’s testimonial from working with a group of foster children:
“Our kids were so fortunate to participate in a Heart to Heart with Art activity. They have experienced so much trauma, inconsistency and placement changes throughout their young lives. This experience gave them an opportunity to dream big and envision a future of hope and helpfulness. I cannot tell you how many times, since then, that the kids have talked with me about their experience. I know by the glow in their eyes that this experience made them feel special, hopeful and happy. It is a gift I want all the kids who are survivors to experience. It gave them some space to dream, create and play. It gave them some distance from the pain in their lives and made them realize what is possible for their futures.
I hope you will continue to bring this gift to children who really could use some extra attention and encouragement. Know that you made a difference. I thank you from the deepest part of my heart.
Mary Teegarden, ASW, LPHA”
For example, an art project we did together was to created a mural called The Dream Tree with the theme being “Best Day of My Life”. The children had to draw a picture that represented what the best day in their life would look like, then Lisa used her paintbrush to add the finishing touches.
Puppets & Plays Project:
Heart to Heart with Art understands the importance and struggle individuals carry regarding the literary arts. We as an organization find creative avenues to reach those in need and to provide the tools for helping them express themselves. Art is a universal language that unites diverse cultures and eliminates language barriers.
One example is making puppets and working together as a team to create, write and perform a short play.
The range of creativity in the children’s puppets creations and play topics is eye-opening to the issues they themselves are facing. This safe and creative environment makes it easy for the children to open up.