Having attended various Free Arts events, it is clear that the staff are so committed to the children and families they serve. As an artist myself, I can completely attest to the therapeutic effect that the visual arts can have. I firmly believe that the services that Free Arts provides is imperative to our community.
The enthusiasm Annie, Kara, and the rest of the Free Arts for Abused Children team has is overwhelming. My experience at the 2010 Free Arts breakfast was eye-opening and made me realize the widespread impact Free Arts has had on the local Los Angeles community.
Free Arts has affected the lives of thousands of individuals, but has an even greater impact on the community as a whole. Through educational art outreach programs, Free Arts has made it clear that the cycle of child abuse can be broken through compassion and positive adult interaction.
Free Arts is providing a much needed opportunity for at risk youth and families to learn to express themselves in a healthy way and turn to art as an outlet. Every member of the Free Arts team that I have had the pleasure of meeting has truly had a place in their hearts for the individuals they are reaching out to. With the arts being slowly taken out of the classroom, it's essential that there are people like those at Free Arts who bring creativity and the emotional release of art to those who need it most. It's a beautiful experience, working with the children, and inspiring to witness their excitement and the confidence that begins to show as they feel pride in their projects.
Freearts doesn't only provide children with safe and alternative programs that allows them to escape the turbulance that often surrounds them, but gives them the ability to create art which frees their minds and arts inspiring them to create a brighter future for themselves.
I've been collaborating with Free Arts for the past two years and most recently, I got a chance to volunteer at a Free Arts Day. We helped kids make casts of their faces and hands to decorate and just get out all their creativity. It was wonderful to see the kids really get excited about the casts and really get into the process of making art. A lot of them started out shy at the beginning of the project, but by the end, they were extremely friendly and thankful to get a chance to do the project! It was great to see those smiling faces!
The volunteer training and experience I received at Free Arts has been invaluable to my success as a professional Art Therapist. Before heading off to Graduate school I spent 2 years volunteering with them. The guidance, wisdom and special attention to detail taught me so much about connecting with others through art.
I have always wanted to help children, but felt that it would be too emotionally painful for me. Once I was introduced to Free Arts I discovered that I could help children without taking home with me their
pain, but instead the hope for their future. Free Arts inspires the population they serve as well as every single person whom comes into contact with the organization. Art is a healing agent and one that is gentle, creative, fun, and very personal. My passion for Free Arts is extremely personal and has helped me to re-vitalize my conviction in the power of love, hope, and compassion.
Free Arts is the best organization that I've volunteered for! What they are doing for the Los Angeles community and beyond is truly amazing. As a volunteer, I teach a very free from art class in a project housing facility each week. My ten week program is photo-related so we decorate frames, make photo boxes, photo collages, etc. What's great about Free Arts is that it's introduces art in all forms to kids that may otherwise not be exposed to it. It gives them an outlet to express themselves in a healthy, fun, and creative way. I feel very lucky to have found Free Arts.
Free Arts For Abused Children is the best volunteer organization i've volunteered with. The staff and administration are so incredibly passionate and kind, they have a heart of god. The children we help grow and are able to express themselves through our encouragment. I recently ran a "weekly program" for 8 weeks, and seeing the children every week blossom was truly a gift. ! More people need to her about free arts!
I simply love the Free Arts organization and all of its connected programs. FA could not have come into my life at a better time. It was back in 1998 and a friend mentioned her very positive experience with the children for which she'd come into contact with and how they touched her heart in a special way every volunteer experience. I so wanted to give of my time and affect positive change in the lives of young people. I am an African American woman and felt the need to be visible in some way into the lives of children affected, not only of my race, but to share in the Free Arts experience as a whole, with all children within the program. I can recall visiting one of the facilities for a Free Arts Day of which I'd previously visited several months prior and upon my return a little boy approached and called me by name and reminded me that I'd helpd him make his mom a bracelet, I was truly touched. On another visit a little girl was so shy, I wanted to make her feel comfortable and proud of her project she'd completed, so when she stood to present her finished project, upon her completion, I stood and blurted out that Arsenio Hall "woof, woof, woof" affirming howl - - she smiled. My connection to Free Arts and the children touches my heart, in part by the sheer and utter dedication from the staff and other volunteers who also are touched and feel deserve our attention - - attention from those who truly care and wish to bring positivity into the innocence of each child’s life through positive interaction with Art. The little hands deserve a free space and time to escape into this medium and the various projects the program has to offer. Volunteering not only allows me to give of my time and touch the lives of innocent children, but it also allows me to receive an abundance of joy when I depart - -such an enriching experience through art projects with the children. There is also a lesson taken from each visit which balances me and puts life into perspective of what and who truly matters.