Compassion reigns supreme on this first day of June. Our Positive Art News dispels negative stereotypes about children as we salute and give thanks to MaryMargaret O’Neill, who expressed her humanitarian goals at the tender age of nine. She is the heart behind what developed into Kids Are Heroes, Inc., a growing community of entrepreneurial children whose humanitarian efforts are changing the world. This week you’ll also learn about Pamela Sukham’s “Beautiful Project” that is healing the globe, and find beneficial art programs for Veterans. You’ll see why all of these individuals and art programs have made our list of world changers.
Kids Are Heroes, Inc.
Kids Are Heroes, Inc. is a non-profit organization described as “Kid power changing the world” for young entrepreneurs. It was started by Mary Margaret O’Neill in 2008 when she was only nine years old. Its mission includes: “By sharing the humanitarian efforts of hundreds of kids from all over the world who are actively making this a better planet for all of us, we empower children to effect positive change in the world, among their peers, and especially within themselves.” Visit the website www.kidsareheroes.org and you’ll read incredible stories about children making a difference.
You’ll learn about young entrepreneurs, like Abby, who built her company, Creations 4 Others, LLC when she was ten years old. Abby donates a portion of every art purchase to such charities as Cardinal Glennon, St. Jude’s, and local animal rescue, and more. She has also taken coloring books she designs with bags of toys to children at Cardinal Glennon at Christmas, has given art supplies to the children at the Harvest Table where she volunteers to feed the hungry, and donated her artwork to pediatric centers. Learn more about Abby.
Pamela Sukham is grateful to use art as a vehicle for inner transformation. She launched the “Beautiful Project” in 2006 and has since worked to inspire and empower communities globally. Today, the “Beautiful Project” can be found working with the children in war refugee camps in Africa, impoverished communities in South America, and across the U.S. working with children with Down’s Syndrome, seniors, and inner city children. Her “Beautiful Project” originated from an email exchange about art techniques with a Vietnam Veteran. This inspired her to bring art and healing through her “Beautiful Project” to a VA Medical Center. Pamela creates opportunities in each of her national exhibition venues to share her “Beautiful Project” with the community, engaging audiences of all ages. Read more.
Arts Programs That Help Veterans
USVAA, United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance: A multi-disciplinary, 501 c 3 arts organization dedicated to assisting veterans in the arts, humanities and the entertainment industry. They address such issues as the transition from military to civilian life, education, employment, the effects of wartime and military service injuries such as PTSD, TBI and Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and homelessness among veterans. It is based in Culver City, CA. Learn more.
The Veterans Art Foundation:
This foundation was started in 2009 by Michael Hawley, an Iraq War veteran. When Hawley returned home from his tour of duty he found that expressing himself through film and photography helped him cope with his trauma. With a desire to assist other veterans who had similar experiences he founded the VAF. “Our mission is to provide programs and services that allow veterans to heal through the arts. Whether it is through film, music, writing, photography or painting, our goal is to assist veterans in re-adjusting to civilian life.” Learn more.
American Healing Arts Foundation
Located in Arizona, this foundation promotes the use and application of art as therapy for the benefit of the Public. In particular it provides a health and spiritual benefit to U.S. Veterans and other first Responders who offer service to their country and community. It promotes research, educates the Public, and encourages the use of art as a creative and restorative tool for full re-entry into the community. It offers Veterans free art classes as a form of healing and therapy. Learn more.
The Foundation for Military Veterans in Production (MVP Foundation) is a charitable corporation, based in Los Angeles, CA, that supports veterans in the arts. “We sponsor writing competitions and creative projects to help tell the stories of American military veterans and give life to the dreams of our nation’s heroes.” The MVP Foundation was founded in March 2014 by Iraq War veteran Brian J. Martin. Learn more.
Art Exhibition of Veterans
“On the Front Lines” is an exhibition at the Art Students League’s Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, 215 West 57th Street, New York, NY, from June 19 – July 29, 2015. The exhibition will feature the work of 20 prominent artists who served their country and studied or taught at the League from 1945 to the present. Learn more.
Reminder: June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month
June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. It is an opportunity to join the global conversation about the brain, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. During the month of June, the Alzheimer’s Association asks people around the world to take the Purple Pledge and use their brains to fight Alzheimer’s disease. We’ll be reminding you about this cause by showcasing purple artwork. Statement from The Atzheimer’s Association: “Art projects can create a sense of accomplishment and purpose. They can provide the person with dementia — as well as caregivers — an opportunity for self-expression.” Its website offers information about how to promote this campaign and advice on how to use the arts to improve well-being. Read more.