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  • Donate Now

    With Free Arts Minnesota, your donations provide thousands of children a year with a healing creative outlet. All amounts welcome.

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  • Programs &  Services

    Free Arts offers a comprehensive creative empowerment curriculum, to help your organization heal the lives of children and families.
  • Help Kids Create

    Discover the healing power of art in the most rewarding way imaginable; byteaching it! Become a Free Arts Volunteer Mentor.

  • 10 Ways to help children

    There are many ways to make enormous differences in the lives of children. Find out which way is best for you.

  • Out Wish List

    Art supplies, office equipment, musical instruments, event tickets and more. There are many items that you can contribute to help children thrive. Help us expand our services by clicking here for a list of the basic supplies we need for new art cabinets! Or check out Free Arts Minnesota's Wish List at Target Lists.

News »

  • A Community Concert for a Community Cause
    Free Arts Presents: Turning Rebellion Into Money, A Tribute to Joe Strummer
    February 1st, 2014

    This annual benefit concert returns to the First Avenue Mainroom on Saturday, February 1st. The concert will feature over 10 talented local bands paying homage to the great Joe Strummer, co-founder of The Clash and one of the most important and influential voices of the punk movement.

    All proceeds from the event will be donated to Free Arts Minnesota. The funds will donated in the name of Daniel Levy, a gifted young artist and the son of musician and Honeydogs frontman Adam Levy, who was also a fan of The Clash and in whose memory we will make it possible for other young artists to express their vision.

    Saturday February 1, 2014

    18+ SHOW
    7:00PM DOORS
    7:30PM SHOWTIME

    To purchase tickets, click here.

    Read More »


    Turning Rebellion Into Money, A Tribute to Joe Strummer

    This concert features talented musicians from our Twin Cities community. Already scheduled to perform are BNLX, Andrew Broder, Al Church and State, Gabriel Douglas with Silverback Colony, Greg Grease, RuDe GiRL, Two Harbors, WILD!!wing and The 9/16s (featuring members of The Cloak Ox, Andrew Bird, The Honeydogs, Sensational Joint Chiefs, The Witnesses and more)



  • October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
    At Tubman, Free Arts Helps Bring Brings Safety and Hope to Youth and Families.
    October 14, 2013

    Did you know that one in three families face homelessness due to violence?  As you can probably imagine, the challenges are huge for children, youth, and families working to re-build their lives after such disruption to safety and well-being, not to mention present and future goals. Parents in our residential programs work hard to provide stability for their children by supporting their interest to simply be children with opportunities to learn, grow, create, and be inspired amidst challenges.  For over 14 years, Free Arts continues to be an invaluable partner to all of us at Tubman by lightening the hearts and minds of children, youth and families who are homeless due to their experiences with various forms of violence.

    Art is highly valued at Tubman as an outlet to heal and has served as a powerful and expressive resource that helps thousands of youth and families engage in activities that bring hope, strength, and peace in the present moments. The activities and connections made are truly lighting the way to hope as children, youth and families have the space to create and be who they are in a safe setting.  One thing that can easily be forgotten amidst challenges is the inspiration that comes from nurturing creativity and positive outlets.  This profound ability to connect through art can actually serve as a critical component of recovery from abuse and violence.  For countless reasons, we are grateful to wonderful community partners, like Free Arts, who have been on the journey with us to meet these needs.

    Free Arts programming inspires in children and families a natural curiosity to learn about their environment and make creations that they may have never thought possible.  I have been able to see firsthand the delight and pride people have when they get to connect through the beauty of art.  I have also seen how these experiences help youth have a greater belief in themselves in other areas as well. For example, children often become even more prepared to take on the challenge of a math assignment that they may not have been so inspired to complete before.  It is these seemingly unrelated events that work together to solidify a stronger sense of self-confidence as youth and families have opportunities to connect their hearts, minds, and hands through creation. This connection brings individuals and communities together in ways that extend beyond the art activity and move us closer to our vision of safe and healthy lives for all.

    - Tamara Stark, MA
    Director of Youth and Family Services, Tubman
    Read More »

    For more information about Tubman and all of the services they have to offer, please visit, www.tubman.org

  • Identity Ink June 17 – August 22, 2013

    Free Arts’ “Identity Ink” connects youth to identity through mentorship and art.
    Partnership between Free Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Natasha Pestich brings interactive art education experience to 100 youth this summer

    Click here for our article in the Southwest Journal

    Click here for our article in MPR News.


    Click here for our article in the Star Tribune.

    Broadcasts from WCCO and Fox9 covering our program below:

    My Fox9: Free Arts Minnesota's healing power of Art My Fox9: Game Face program gives kids snap shot inside










    Read More »


    MINNEAPOLIS (July 16, 2013)
    Free Arts Minnesota, Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) and award-winning local artist Natasha Pestich have partnered to provide an eight-week interactive arts education experience to 100 students from several social-service agencies. The Identity Ink program features weekly classes connecting the art of screen printing to dialogue about individual identity, resulting in a final screen printing project that will be displayed at the MIA in August.

    Identity Ink runs June through August and began with a visit to the MIA in June where students explored identity through nine artworks from the MIA collection. Weekly classes and discussions with Pestich will explore personal narratives on identity and will be applied to composition and design for the youth’s final screen print project. A public reception will be held at the MIA on Thursday, August 22, to celebrate and showcase more than 50 of the screen printed clothing (hoodies) created by the youth who participated in the Identity Ink program.

    “The goal of the project is to offer access to an arts learning experience to young people for whom the cost of enrollment in art education would be prohibitive,” says Dan Thomas, executive director of Free Arts Minnesota. “We developed Identity Ink to give young people the experience of touring and thoughtfully reviewing an art exhibit at a major museum and the capability and encouragement to respond creatively to what they see.” 

    This project brings together three partners experienced in providing quality arts learning experiences. The MIA has been providing curriculum for many years through its Art Adventure program and school tours. Natasha Pestich is an associate professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) with experience creating innovative workshops in printmaking. Free Arts has been offering art curriculum and mentors to at-risk children for more than 15 years.

    About Free Arts Minnesota
    Free Arts Minnesota inspires hope and builds self-esteem for youth who have experienced poverty, homelessness, abuse and mental illness, using the healing powers of artistic expression and caring adult mentors. Visit www.freeartsminnesota.org to learn more about the organization, hear the stories and see the art from the children, as well as learn how you can contribute or volunteer.

    About MIA
    The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA), home to one of the finest encyclopedic art collections in the country, houses more than 80,000 works of art representing 5,000 years of world history. Highlights of the permanent collection include European masterworks by Rembrandt, Poussin, and van Gogh; modern and contemporary painting and sculpture by Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Stella, and Close; as well as internationally significant collections of prints and drawings, decorative arts, Modernist design, photographs, textiles, and Asian, African, and Native American art. General admission is always free. Some special exhibitions have a nominal admission fee. Museum hours: Sunday, 11 A.M.-5 P.M.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 A.M.-5 P.M.; Thursday, 10 A.M.-9 P.M.; Monday closed. For more information, call (612) 870-3131 or visit www.artsmia.org.

    About Natasha Pestich
    Natasha Pestich, is the Associate Professor and Print Paper Book Area Coordinator at the Fine Arts Department, Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Natasha Pestich is a local Minneapolis artist and Associate Professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is a 2012 recipient of a McKnight Fellowship for Visual Arts, and recently worked on Arts on Chicago, a creative placemaking project. Her work has been showcased in both alternative spaces like the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Michigan, and the Generator Gallery in Scotland, and museum spaces like the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Minnesota.

    National Endowment for the Arts, Arts and Culture Heritage Fund and the Minnesota State Arts Board

  • “GAME FACE” June 18 – August 12, 2012

    Summer art education program with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, local photographer Wing Young Huie, and Free Arts Minnesota Read More »

    Free Arts Minnesota is partnering with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) and renowned local photographer Wing Young Huie to provide a 7-week arts education experience with more than 75 students from several partnering agencies. The arts education experience is centered around the museum’s exhibit “The Sports Show: Minnesota,” which explores the role of photography and media (television, video, and digital technology) in transforming sports from a casual leisure activity into a spectacle of mass participation.  The culmination of the program will be an exhibit of the resulting youth artwork at the MIA. Our partner agencies that had youth displaying their work included: Perspectives, Inc, Boys and Girls Club Eastside, People Inc, Kaleidoscope Place, and Headway.

    The goal of the project is to offer access to an arts learning experience to young people for whom the cost of enrollment in art education would be prohibitive.  Free Arts wants these young people to gain the experience of touring and thoughtfully reviewing an arts exhibit at a major museum.  But even more important, they will realize that they have the capability to respond creatively to what they see.  The Free Arts youth exhibit will occur during one of the MIA’s family days that are attended by an average of 500 people.

    Visit www.wingyounghuie.com to learn more about the artist and www.artsmia.org to learn more about the museum.

    My Fox9: Free Arts Minnesota's healing power of Art My Fox9: Game Face program gives kids snap shot inside







    Minnesota State Arts Board and Carlson Family Foundation

  • Healthy Minds and Bodies at Free Arts! Kicks off October 1, 2012!

    The Healthy Minds and Bodies Program at Free Arts MN is a six week program designed to provide underserved youth the tools necessary to make healthy lifestyle choices. Read More »

    Youth will learn the importance of an active lifestyle, discover how food is grown, and be inspired to create their own meals and snacks with a variety of good-for-you foods. If you are interested in participating by working as a guest chef or guest movement instructor, please contact Randa at support@freeartsminnesota.org.