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August 15, 2014

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August 15, 2014

I am a former Art Teacher for the Pittsburgh City Schools and also for The Children's Institute, a school created to meet the needs of children who are challenged with special needs. Consequently, I have seen various attempts at "inclusion." The goal of inclusion is to have children with special needs feel good about participating in a program with "mainstream children." After all, how can a child learn to function in the "real world" when they are never interacting with children outside of their special ed. setting.
I can honestly say that I have never seen inclusion work as well as it does in Art Expression.
I can also say that every child who participates in Art Expression is getting invaluable gifts that are not available any where else - they are having unique opportunities to express themselves and to feel supported and less isolated. Planting these ego strengthening seeds is priceless and can change a child's life in ways that we can't even measure.
I was an Art Facilitator in this group last spring and I took away 2 images that have stayed with me. One was when my co-facilitator, their 3rd grader teacher, exclaimed that she has never seen her students "this focused." The second image was one of the kids writing on the board,"Art Expression Rocks!' I couldn't agree more.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

like to see it in more schools.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

August 8, 2014

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August 8, 2014

In any newspaper or broadcast, we witness the growing social concern of violence, trauma, bullying, and social exclusion. As an Art Therapist and parent, I know the importance of taking action by using creative problem-solving, kindness, and inspiration. The Art Expression program aims to address underlying causes by reaching students after school, as well as those who are currently in crisis in our shelter programs. We achieve our mission in a fun, interactive way that boosts morale of participants and educators. We help participants to feel good about themselves, empowered to have a voice, encouraged to treat others with respect. We show them how to use art to benefit themselves and society. I walk away from the workshops I do feeling inspired by the student's work. The students "get it", they become more confident artists, and often make new friendships. Those lessons can carry them through life.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add an administrative support base and grant writer to our team. The program has grown exponentially, yet Art Expression's founder, Angela Lowden, still does most of the work herself. Without her, this program would not exist, nor would it have sustained itself all of these years. She deserves a vacation, and a team to support this wonderful organization on a full-time basis.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

October 18, 2013

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October 18, 2013

Having followed the progression of Art Expression over the last 3 years from an outsider and nonprofit blogger perspective, I can’t say enough about the work that Art Expression does. Coming from my background in Music Therapy, I value the impact of their work using art to develop positive social interaction, self-esteem, and creativity in our youth in a fully inclusive environment. When you speak with those involved with the organization, you can feel the passion, intensity, intelligence, and devotion they have for providing the services they offer. The organization has established a range of programs, integrating artistic mediums with science and technology, math, environmental issues, and emotional well-being. What is also impressive, is that Art Expression works well with others – aligning their programming with educational core standards accessing teacher input; connecting with other organizations to combine projects, such as with the Toonseum, Operation Military Kids, and the Homeless Children’s Education Fund; and bringing together children of all abilities and backgrounds to experience the power of art in their lives. I fully endorse and support the ways Art Expression implements their mission and passion for bringing expressive art activities to children.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I believe Art Expression, Inc. has built a strong, necessary, organized, and viable resource to the area - the only change needed is to access more funding avenues so that their reach may be broadened.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 1, 2013

As both a Board Member and as a Professional working in the field of education, I give my full endoresment to Art Expression. I have observed the program in action in the Keystone Oaks School District. Its impact on our students is impressive and the respect for others it engenders is so valuable.
Kathy Foster

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The only change I would like to see happen is that more funding to support this group be made available.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

August 24, 2013

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August 24, 2013

it is such a pleasure to service on a board that cares so very much about children. Through Art Expression the children not only have fun creating their projects but also can express feelings about themselves. Sometimes in the normal environment of a regular classroom, children either can't or are afraid to express their feelings, but through the wonderful experience of Art Expression children feel comfortable being themselves.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

August 22, 2013

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August 22, 2013

In my extensive involvement in public education I often struggled with our inability to make profound connections with All of our students. Art Expression, by its design and implementation, creates unique opportunities for young people to grow socially, emotionally and academically through exposure and participation in the ARTS.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

August 21, 2013

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August 21, 2013

Art Expression is a dynamic organization that works very hard to help children express themselves through their art work. I have seen the many positive impacts this program has created for children. The development and growth of self esteem is a goal of Art Expression and hopes to give kids another tool in their tool belt. This program is the only one of its kind making it unique, creative and exciting for kids.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Offer it in every after school organization

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

August 21, 2013

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August 21, 2013

I truly believe the purpose of Art Expression is a much needed safe haven for these children. Seeing the results of the activities and the effect on these children makes all of this work extremely worthwhile.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand Board to have more diversified talents.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

August 21, 2013

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August 21, 2013

I am an active nonprofit volunteer in the Greater Pittsburgh area. I have had first hand experience with the entire Art Expression community. They are a group of passionate, creative individuals committed to making a positive change in the lives of the students they serve.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 19, 2013

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June 19, 2013

I am a Board Member and Volunteer Consultant with Art Expression, Inc. I have seen the program up close and personal. The Art Expression program changes lives. Members participate in afterschool art directives aimed to stimulate education, social skills and personal growth. Everyone's art is seen as personal expression, and the group, the facilitators, and the mastered degreed art therapist all play a part in the fun. The most important part is that participants feel a connection and often times find friendships that develop, and teachers become true mentors. The program is inclusive, non-judgmental, fun, and educational.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find funding for staff and expansion.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Participate in 2 Art Expression Inc. classroom sessions helping our facilitators and students.