All three of our programs, Weekly Mentorship, CREATE Workshop, and Free Arts Days provide a safe and supportive environment for youth to explore their creativity, engage in self-expression, and build positive relationships with adults and peers.
Our Weekly Mentorship Program brings caring adult mentors and creative arts to youth who have experienced poverty, homelessness, abuse, and mental illness. Through artistic expression and the support of mentors youth can unlock their creativity, providing an hour of respite each week from their daily experiences.
This approach can ease the initial relationship building process by having others present and reduce pressure to connect 1:1 immediately with a specific person. Youth and mentors can connect with different people on different days showing the youth that many people care and are invested in them. Team style mentoring attracts a more diverse pool of volunteers than 1:1 and can increase the reach at a lower cost.
Both vertical and horizontal relationships and associated skills are essential for positive development of youth. Team style mentoring strengthens mentees ties with other important adults, such as parents and teachers.
Mentor to Mentee
offer protection, security, and opportunities for the development of basic social skills.
Mentee to Mentee
form the contexts in which social skills are elaborated.
“Art is important to my life because it really helped me identify who I am and really helped me express my true emotions. Free Arts is important to me because these people have changed countless lives. . . my life.”
Our CREATE Workshops and other community engagement programs, like Free Arts Days utilize community volunteers and mentors to create focused and themed projects. Youth at homeless shelters and other partner agencies are treated to self-esteem building art workshops that give them a voice and a chance to heal. Past programs have focused on visual arts, dance, theater, creative writing, music and many more.
CREATE Workshop is our program for transitional partner sites where youth are not permanently enrolled or housed. Youth work side-by-side with Free Arts mentors to explore a specific style or theme in art on a semi-regular basis, without the every week commitment that is required for Weekly Mentorship. This allows individuals or groups more flexibility while also providing an opportunity to engage with their community.
These festivals of the arts occur at our partner agencies throughout the year. Corporate or Group sponsors bring in a team of volunteers and each is paired one on one with a child as art buddies. Youth and their art buddies spend the day creating art together, sharing lunch and participating in a fun interactive arts activity.plus Host a Free Arts Day