Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Art Expression, Inc.

2,322 pageviews

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services

Mission: to provide social and emotional learning through the arts and provide academic enrichment in an inclusive setting.

Results: Since its founding in 2001, Art Expression Inc. has served over 10,000 children in urban, suburban and rural school districts and community organizations in Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.

Target demographics: Children and youth of all abilities and backgrounds in urban, suburban and rural school districts and community organizations in the Pittsburgh area

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 1,000 students.

Geographic areas served: K-12 schools, homeless shelters and community organizations

Programs: Creative pARTners, Musical pARTners, From the HeART, ARTchitecture: Building Bridges, ARTmosphere: Weather, EcoSmART, StART Growing, ARTS in Motion, ARTletic and ARTventures in History.

Community Stories

66 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Beth113

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am privileged to be an Art Facilitator for Art Expression. This week I started a work shop with a middle school group in Washington, Pa. As I was walking around the room, talking to students, I had a compelling conversation with one of them. She told me that 3 years ago she and her friend were in an Art Expression work shop. She said that they had collaborated on creating a sculpture. Since they both made the sculpture, neither one of them could claim total ownership of it. So what they did was to take turns housing it - two weeks at one girl's house and two weeks at the other girl's house. I was struck by how significant this memory was for her. Her face lit up with the glow of remembering this creative and significant experience, In an era where social media rules and cyber bullies reign supreme, it was so refreshing to hear this child recall this heartfelt experience. And these sort of experiences happen all the time in Art Expression. I was reminded of this at the end of our session that day - when all 20 students eagerly took turns to stand in front of their peers and talk about the art they has just completed. The only thing more touching than the look of pride and achievement on their faces was the look of encouragement and support on the faces of their peers. Art Expression provides ego support in a world where children often feel threatened, stressed out and not good enough. We need more Art Expression.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Art Expression, Inc. provided me with experience that has landed me in an outstanding master's program. Working with this nonprofit taught me so much about facilitating workshops that give children skills they can use daily, and the importance of after-school programs!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have the privilege of working as an art facilitator for Art Expression! I absolutely love being able to connect with children and their families through art making. Many of the workshops I’ve done have focused on Mindfulness and incorporated music, coloring, painting, and sensory activities. The children were very responsive to the activities and enjoyed exploring different media and materials. Working with Art Expression has given me an opportunity not only use my skills and creativity to help and connect with others but also the chance to further cultivate the use of art as a therapeutic means of self-expression and communication.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Art Expression Inc. has always been a positive experience for me through the years. The organization takes the mission seriously and works hard to bring art into all children’s lives no matter their background, race, or gender, or sexuality identity. Angela’s dedication never ceases to amaze me and I’m proud to be a part of this organization.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of working for Art Expression Inc. the past five years and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve a variety of children and their families. I can't say enough positive things about the founder Angela. She she is incredibly passionate about bringing art to children in a positive and supportive environment. I have also enjoyed seeing how much the program has grown and adapted so that it can continue to touch as many individuals as possible.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

AMLowden 11/02/2016

Thank you so much for your kind words. You have played a huge role in our growth during the past few years and I can say enough about how much you are valued by this organization. It is truly a pleasure to work with you.

Read more
Beth113

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

You know that expression "The proof is in the pudding?" In the same way, I feel like the proof of the effectiveness of programming for kids can be gleaned from how the KIDS perceive the programming. And, I can tell you, the kids always perceive Art Expression as a positive and meaningful experience. I have been an Art Facilitator for Art Expression for 5 years and I know this to be true.

This is evident in a myriad of ways. Like when they enthusiastically burst through the door, asking "What are we making today?!" And, at the end of the period, they don't want to leave. Last semester, a girl said to me that she just wanted to stay there overnight and continue making art. And, a girl from a other group said that when she woke up that morning and realized it was the last day of Art Expression, she burst into tears.

You may be wondering what could be so compelling about this program that it elicits these dramatic responses. It's because it's a unique blend of all the right components: exciting art materials and projects, a good ratio between students and facilitators, the opportunity to socialize with peers and the complete freedom to make art anyway they like.

How they express that they value these components varies from one age group to another. A 13 year old boy told me "This is the singular most stress reducing time of my week!" While an 8 year old boy simply said "Art Expression rocks!' In any case, the vote is in - and Art Expression is clearly the winner.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am privileged to be an Art Facilitator for Art Expression. This week I started a work shop with a middle school group in Washington, Pa. As I was walking around the room, talking to students, I had a compelling conversation with one of them. She told me that 3 years ago she and her friend were in an Art Expression work shop. She said that they had collaborated on creating a sculpture. Since they both made the sculpture, neither one of them could claim total ownership of it. So what they did was to take turns housing it - two weeks at one girl's house and two weeks at the other girl's house. I was struck by how significant this memory was for her. Her face lit up with the glow of remembering this creative and significant experience,
In an era where social media rules and cyber bullies reign supreme, it was so refreshing to hear this child recall this heartfelt experience. And these sort of experiences happen all the time in Art Expression. I was reminded of this at the end of our session that day - when all 20 students eagerly took turns to stand in front of their peers and talk about the art they has just completed. The only thing more touching than the look of pride and achievement on their faces was the look of encouragement and support on the faces of their peers.
Art Expression provides ego support in a world where children often feel threatened, stressed out and not good enough. We need more Art Expression.

Read more

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Art Expressions!
I am so thankful to have been a small part of this AMAZING organization that gives young people the venue to express themselves, creatively, in a positive, non-judgemental, and nurturing environment.
And it was so much FUN! Not only for the students, but for the Facilitators, as well....
I had the opportunity to work with students in the Jeannette Area School District, over a period of 4 semesters. The two Art Facilitators that brought so much talent, amazing ideas and dedication to the sessions were Ms. Beth and Ms. Kendle.
Both of these Art Professionals were so engaged, compassionate and interested in each student's development and creative process. I was in awe of these teachers who cultivated so much beautiful creative expression, participation, excitement and patience from these students.
I could see that the kids really looked forward to our weekly sessions. They were so eager to get started on each project! And, just seeing these kids help and encourage each other in their creativity and craftsmanship was truly, a heart-warming experience.
Seeing what they created was truly incredible!
There are so many young people that have so much talent.... and, Art Expressions is a key to unlocking these young people's artistic potential.
And, more than that, the true Expression of themselves.
I am thankful and proud to have been involved with this organization. And the memories I have of all the beautiful moments will be with me forever....and those students, as well.
Carolyn S.

Cheryl101

Board Member

Rating: 5

This year we responded to the severe weather that hit so much of the United States, Puerto Rico, and worldwide by creating ARTmosphere: Severe Weather. This program helped children feel more aware and included in disaster preparedness, as well as the emotional worries surrounding displacement and interruption to daily life. My work specifically for Art Expression in partnership with HCEF was featured in a book titled "Art for Children Experiencing Psychological Trauma". The recent focus for our artwork has been on dreams and well-wishes for everyone touched by disaster and school violence. Programs like Art Expression need continued support in order to reach out to those children and families.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Time and again, I see the benefits of this program in schools, shelters, and in the community. I have been an Art Facilitator for years. I believe in the mission and goals and loved the work so much that I became a Board member and V.P. of Art Expression, Inc. We are a small but mighty nonprofit! To be recognized nationally yet again is amazing. I hope to continue to help expand the program to others in need. This year, we ran ARTventures in History: Australia, where children discovered the littlest penguins in the world and their part in ecosystems. We added Musical pARTners with music therapists on board as facilitators. We created ARTmosphere: Severe Weather in response to helping children and families prepare for disasters, and to respond to others around the country impacted by hurricanes. Our work goes beyond the expressive arts - it's about empowering people. Life is an adventure, and we help children express their journeys, even through hard times.

Read more

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working at Auberle's 412 Youth Zone with young adults who are aging out of foster care and are striving to make their lives better. They look forward to Art Expression workshops. Their facilitators get them to open up, express their fears and positives too. Some have a great passion for art and always walk away with pride and a new technique. What surprises me more is those who say "I'm no good at art" and walk away just as pleased, head held high, feeling uplifted that they accomplished something difficult. It's more than an art class - it's a different way of thinking about how to express yourself.

Barbara Lynn V.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I became aware of Art Expression, Inc. back in March. I have not lived in Western PA very long, having moved from Arkansas just a year prior to finding Art Expression. I was floored by the amount of incredible work Art Expression is doing for school children in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Then when I heard about the programs they do in the homeless shelters for children and parents, I knew I had to work with them in some way. Since discovering Art Expression, I have facilitated classes in both the shelters and in the schools. As an art therapist, I feel I have come home. The work Art Expression does is not being done by anyone else and the kids who participate flourish in the programs provided by this fabulous organization. I have heard children speak about being separated from their brothers and sisters by foster care, and I have seen that same child create art to honor the family members she hasn’t seen in a long time. I have been fortunate enough to have children feel safe enough in our classroom to be honest, open, and then receive support from their peers as a result. The art allows those without a voice to be heard, and it allows for connections to be formed with the people the artwork touches. Thank you Art Expression, Inc for giving a voice to those who often don’t have one. And thank you to every business, foundation, and individual who helps fund these wonderful programs.

Donor

Rating: 5

My son was incredibly motivated by art for the majority of his middle and high school years. Art expression was a passion of his from painting, drawing, writing, video, dance or music, he had a great passion for all. When my son passed away right before entering college, I had a strong desire to start a memorial foundation in his name to not only celebrate his life and carry on his name, but to assist others with finding their true passion in life. I had searched for a couple of years through many different non-profits and academic programs seeking just the right fit for my son's passion. One day I stumbled upon Art Expressions, Inc. and immediately feel in love with their story and mission. Angela and Art Expressions, Inc. were a true blessing to work with and through our collaboration, we were able to offer two programs in a school district that could benefit tremendously. The programs success made my heart full and grateful to have found such a wonderful organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have the honor of working as an Art Facilitator for Art Expressions. I have had the opportunity to work closely with Angela as well as other art therapist for the purpose of creating inclusion for children in schools and shelters. I have primarily worked with children in shelters, and it has been a very rewarding experiences. Art expressions was created and continues to be defined by the connections art is able to create for children of all different backgrounds. I am always excited to bring this to life in the workshops. I have the opportunity to provide creative directives that always have a positive theme. Self-esteem, acceptance, growth, understanding, empathy and support for one-another are themes that I use as a starting point for an art project. Art can be such a catalyst for conversation, and it always amazes me how much artwork created inspires conversation among children and adults. The connections I have seen made in the workshops have been inspiring, and without Art Expressions, might never have come to light. In my opinion, this non-profit is easily a 5 star organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Child Development/Education Specialist, I have had the privilege to work with Art Expression for several years. They have done amazing work with our children. They have promoted positive self esteem, non-bullying, creativity, care and compassion for others just to name a few. The children are always so excited when they hear that Ms Jess is coming. She is so caring, accepting, and encouraging. The founder of Art Expression is also an amazing person. Art expression serves a diverse population of people. There is no discrimination nor bias. They treat everyone equally and provide individualized services based on each persons needs. I highly recommend Art Expressions for this award. They are truly deserving.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a Music Facilitator for Art Expression and have had the opportunity to see firsthand the amazing impact music and art can have on children and youth. It's wonderful to see the insight the students gain about themselves by reflecting on their art and the imagination and creativity they bring to the table. I support all this organization does to alleviate social inequalities among children and to reach even more youth in the area through the use of art and music

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Art Expression offers more than just art instruction to the youth we serve, but the opportunity to find a voice, to express individuality, and create in a safe space that fosters growth. It is always a pleasure to see the new art being created in their programming, and the interest generated when participants realize that they are indeed artists and capable of creating beautiful works of art.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in Art Expression sessions as a student throughout elementary and middle school. I benefited so much from the program that during high school, I wanted to give back and served as a volunteer during the after-school sessions. Now, I am a college student and Secondary Education English major, and I continue to advocate for the Art Expression organization. I am so grateful for the impact that it had on my life in shaping who I am today. I would recommend the program to any child, family, school, organization, or community. I have so many incredible memories from Art Expression sessions through my childhood. Here are just a few I would like to share:

I remember being paired with two older girls for a group project once. We were given a large sheet of paper to do with what we choose. We decided to use paint to make it look like the interior of a cave and add cave drawings. I recall being anxious at first, working with students who were from the grade above I had never met. As we worked together, I raised my voice little by little to share my ideas. I felt so proud as I dipped my hand in paint and added my hand prints to our work.

I also still remember the colors of my inside-outside box project. The inside was green, and the outside was pink. In my Art Expression journal, I had written that I often wore pink, but that I thought green represented me because it is a color of action. When we shared our boxes at the end of six weeks, all students were celebrated for who they were and what they shared about themselves. At an early age, I was beginning to accept my strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures through this project.

During one of the sessions I participated in, I remember the art therapist bringing a “talking stick” to allow each student to share his or her ideas for projects at the beginning of the session and share his or her work at the end. Some of the elementary school students, myself included, were so anxious to proudly present their work at the end of sessions that we would literally be bouncing on our chairs awaiting our turns. Looking back, though, I realize that the time for everyone to take turns to reflect helped me to develop my own acceptance towards all ideas--especially those different from my own.

I recall other students and me sharing stories from their lives-- from the day at school or time spent at home-- and describing how our artwork represents these stories. Moments like these made me more comfortable reflecting on my life experiences, sharing with others, and accepting myself and others.

Art Expression brings such a diverse group of students. Some students come to sessions because they love art and want to create. Others are hoping to make new friends. Many just want a safe space to be themselves. I have several hilarious memories of kids goofing around and telling jokes in the art room in elementary school. For example, one day, I remember we were clipping images from magazines for our inside/outside boxes. Several kids I had never met and I were cracking up over a magazine advertisement for cat litter. It’s such a little thing, but it meant a lot to me to have so much fun with new faces I had never met before as we created art. Meeting new people with diverse backgrounds and personalities began to open me up to the incredible variety of people in the world.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

During elementary and middle school, I was a student in the Art Expression program. Throughout high school, I volunteered with the program for several years. Art Expression has helped me become who I am today.

In elementary school, Art Expression boosted my self-esteem and confidence. Each session provides a "safe space" for students to feel free to speak openly, express themselves, and be accepted. As a student in the program, I looked forward to every session and can even still remember specific projects I created as far back as first grade--a colorful scarf, massive painting of a cave, and decorated box, to name a few.

In middle school, Art Expression sessions additionally gave me the opportunity to develop my communication skills as my fellow students and I collaborated and bonded over our love of creating art.

Now, as a college freshman Secondary English Education major, as I look back, it is clear that my experiences with Art Expression as a student and volunteer contributed to my current desire to become a teacher. Art Expression gave me the confidence to express myself.

Art Expression is a unique and impactful organization that I know can benefit any school and any child. I look forward to seeing the organization grow and continue to touch more children in the future.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

AMLowden 11/11/2016

Thank you so much for this amazing testimonial. We are so proud to have had you in our classes through the years and I'm grateful for your kind words about the organization. It's a pleasure to know you!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of completing my internship and even gaining extra experience after graduation with Art Expression Inc. Working at Art Expression gave me the chance to see how a non-profit is run, and I can confidently say it is no small task. What Art Expression brings to the schools of Pittsburgh, and to the community is astounding. From the president and founder, Angela, to the small administration team, to the art facilitators, and interns, each member of Art Expression brings so much to the table. Without this team working nearly flawlessly together, a lot of Pittsburgh's youth would be missing out on enriching after-school programs. I wish Art Expression was available to youth everywhere!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Art Expression, Inc. does exceptional work engaging children and youth through art to increase their social skills, self awareness and respect for others. The organization is to be commended for its role in reaching out to those communities where children and youth may be dislocated, disenfranchised and/or left behind due to unfortunate circumstances like homelessness. Art Expression, Inc. lets kids know they matter and gives them expression through their artwork to be seen and heard. Thank you, Art Expression!

Comments ( 1 )

profile

AMLowden 11/02/2016

Thank you!!!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a senior officer of Military Family Network™ and a board member with Art Expression, Inc. I have twenty years of experience working with the military community increasing their readiness, well being and resiliency to meet the challenges presented by military life.

When I was introduced to Art Expression, I knew right away the significance of its work and the value of its programs for military children.

Military children are not immune to the challenges of military life. Prolonged separations from a parent and/or caregiver, disturbances to routine and living with uncertainty during war can have unintended adverse consequences on children and their development. Some of these consequences are: age regression; separation anxiety; delayed skill development; acting out and other negative behaviors; anger; depression; and isolation. Most alarming, perhaps, is that a military child is at risk of losing one grade level in school due to a parent's and/or caregiver's service in the military.

In light of these findings, the military has sought to support its children by focusing on building resiliency, increasing well being especially in schools and easing periods of potential stress and disruption for families during transitions like deployment and reunification.

Programs offered by Art Expression are ideal in meeting these needs.

Military Family Network™ has witnessed deliberate and thoughtful sessions constructed and delivered by caring Art Therapists and facilitators; art rooms buzzing with kids' frenetic energy and whirls of creativity; respectful peer-to-peer engagement and support that blossoms both friendships and confidence; and, the look of achievement on faces brimming with pride.

Art Expression delivers fun and interactive art activities that bolster kids' sense of self, feelings of worth, connection, value and security - or, precisely what military children need.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I served on the Art Expression Board for many years. The services offered are exceptional and I have personally seen the positive results of the work with students who are in the program.

The program is delivered by certified art therapists and the cognitive and social benefits that accrue to the students in this program are exceptional.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

AMLowden 11/02/2016

I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to be a Board Member of Art Expression, Inc. It is truly a wonderful organization that works hard to provide children with excellent opportunities to socialize with their peers using the arts as a catalyst. The therapist are top notch in working the children. Everyone works hard to ensure that children receive excellent services.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

AMLowden 11/02/2016

Many thanks for your review.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I became familiar with Art Expression at least four years ago and worked with Angela to learn about after-school programs and offer them in the district where I served as superintendent. Art Expression provides opportunities for children of all ages and abilities through an interdisciplinary, engaging approach that is customized for each learner. One program was piloted initially at the upper elementary level successfully. And because of the partnership with students, staff and parents that developed quickly, there was a strong desire from many to grow the program, which eventually became an option throughout the K-12 system. Art Expression provides high-quality programming that demonstrates extraordinary planning and extraordinary results.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

AMLowden 11/02/2016

Thank you so much for this lovely review. Your words are very encouraging and gratifying. We are honored to have served (and still serve!) the students in your former school district.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For a second year, our out-of-school program chose Art Expression, Inc. for arts activities for the Summer Enrichment Series. For six consecutive Thursdays, our students, ages 7-17, enjoyed journaling, exploring their emotions and expressing themselves in a unique project. It was great fun to see the end results of the creative processes. As an administrator, I have to add that Angela and all of her instructors are professionals and a pleasure to work with.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

AMLowden 11/02/2016

Thank you for your kind words! We are honored to work with the youth in your program and hope to continue our relationship again next year and beyond. You and your staff are also a pleasure to work with!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

One of our volunteers was so impressed with the work of Art Expression, Inc. at another nonprofit she supported, that she confidently provided the funding for Art Expression in our Summer Enrichment Series for our out-of-school program. The kids loved each week's art adventure. In particular, I was thrilled that our instructor, Miss Cheryl, tweaked the projects to coincide with our pirate play, creating backdrops, props and costumes. More importantly, she recognized the needs of each child and handled those with special needs expertly. Art Expression made our summer perfect.