Every minute spent with Free Arts Minnesota re-inspires me to be more creative, appreciative, patient, helpful and communicative in the workplace and in my personal life. Art has always been a part of my life but this organization really epitomizes how to embrace the process over the product and has truly given me the gift of perspective.

Courtney_and_Youth2   Courtney_and_Youth


“Art has always be a part of my life, but this organization really epitomizes how to embrace the process over the product and has truly given me the gift of perspective.”


My Special Moment

I discovered Free Arts as a volunteer and one of my volunteer opportunities was as a graphic design teaching assistant for an art camp through MCAD. One of the girls in the program had a hard time focusing and often distracted the other students. She showed little interest in the program and lashed out a lot at the staff. One day I sat down next to her in the back of the room and asked why she didn’t want to work on the project, which was to make a digital collage that would be printed into a poster. She told me that she didn’t like anything enough to make a collage about it. I pressed a little further and asked “well, what is the most important thing to you?” She looked at me and simply answered, “nothing, since my mom died.” She began to tell me about how her mom had gotten sick and passed away and now her dad had remarried and she didn’t like her or her new step brothers and sisters. I asked if she would like to change the project and instead make a collage all about her and her mom. She lit up and nodded. The next day, she brought in a TON of photographs. We scanned them in and began piecing together her collage. Her design featured all of her favorite parts of her family and ended up being her theme.

Unfortunately, I was unable to make the final volunteer session so I wasn’t going to get to see her final piece. On my last day with the program, I promised her that I would ask the staff to show me her poster once it was printed and we hugged and said our goodbyes. Two weeks later, I received a piece of mail from Free Arts; inside was a handwritten card from my Free Arts student. She thanked me for helping her with her project and said she had the collage hanging in her bedroom. I still have that card today.

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