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Art Expression, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services

Mission: to facilitate positive socialization through expressive art activities and provide academic enrichment in an inclusive, educational environment.

Results: Art Expression, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization that was founded by James and Angela Lowden in 2001 as an expression of their passion for alleviating the social inequalities that exist among children of different abilities and backgrounds. It is a fully inclusive after-school program, offered free of charge to students, that focuses on developing the social skills of children through art in the Pittsburgh area. Art therapy is not performed during the sessions, but some of the components of art therapy are utilized to develop positive outcomes for students. Since founding Art Expression, Inc. the organization has served over 8,000 children in urban, suburban and rural school districts and community organizations in Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. Art Expression is honored to have been a 2017 and 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (NAHYP) Finalist, chosen as one of 50 finalists distinguishing the program as one of the top arts- and humanities- based programs in the country. Art Expression, Inc. has received a 2013 NAHYP Award Certificate of Excellence. Art Expression has also been recognized as a 2011 Model Art Therapy Program in K-12 Schools by the American Association of School Administrators & American Art Therapy Association. The goals of Art Expression, Inc. are as follows : - Increase self-esteem, creative self-expression and independence through the arts and discussion - Enhance social skills and anti-bullying skills as evidenced by students' ability to observe personal space of others, to share materials, and to listen reflectively and comment positively on projects and ideas of other participants - Improve problem-solving skills and frustration tolerance - Reinforce academic core standards - Increase leadership skills

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

2 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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The children enjoy making the art. Not only was they making art they was also learning at the same time. which made it fun and educational for the children. The instructor work very good with the children. I recommend this program for all children.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter was only a couple of years into elementary school when she began taking after-school classes through the Art Expression program. Her self-confidence and creativity grew as she continued through the program over the years. I would encourage any parent to give their child the gift of Art Expression.