April 2020
In This Issue:

Update from the Executive DirectorEDUpdate
"The screen is a window through which one sees a virtual world. The challenge is to make that world look real, act real, sound real, feel real." Ivan Sutherland.  In these times of constant virtual engagement, this sentiment resonated with me. At Art with a Heart, it is has always been our goal as educators, mentors and community artists for our work to be real; to connect the joys and benefits of creativity to the hearts and souls of our students, volunteers and community members. Now, we have been tasked with taking a hands-on curriculum and converting it to a virtual platform. And that is exactly what we have done!! I am pleased to report that in April, Art with a Heart successfully launched several distance learning programs with children and adults. The classes have been an opportunity for continuity of programming and connection. Teachers and students are interacting and communicating and art making is happening once again. In addition to the launch of its virtual art curriculum, the  Art with a Heart team continues to build upon the efforts swiftly created just six weeks ago: 
  • The organization has received hundreds of beautiful pop art images from our Baltimore neighbors as well as coloring commandos in Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida and Pennsylvania.  Thank you to those who have contributed to this effort. You can find more pop art to color here.
  • Art with a Heart has sold 150 HeART Kits to provide innovative projects to creatively engage individuals of all ages while social distancing. The funds raised from the sale of these kits is used to support the organization during this closure. You can shop for your kit here.
  • The Art with a Heart team has developed and delivered 260 Learning Packets to supplement its virtual art curriculum. Each Packet contains materials for at least eight projects and easy to follow directions for self guided art making for those students who do not have access to technology.
  • Printing of 3D face shields for health care workers continues in partnership with Open Works Makers Unite initiative.
  • The Art of Leadership program converted its sessions to Zoom and had its spring retreat online with a surprise home delivery from Art with a Heart of s'more kits and a book donated by Jacqueline Toner, author and Art of Leadership volunteer extraordinaire.
  • The organization is continuing its weekly Zoom calls with volunteers and the Art with a Heart teaching team. In this time of little to no actual human interaction, these Zoom calls are a highlight for all of us.
The Art with a Heart team has been strategic and intentional with its efforts during this mandated pause and has developed real opportunities for virtual learning, connection, and creativity. N ow  more than ever, we are  relying on your support  for the children and adults who benefit from, and cherish, Art with a Heart's programs. Please make a donation today to ensure that we are able to keep our creative team intact, new initiatives running, and programs at the ready for when we can get back into the Baltimore community.

Stay safe and well,

The Classes are Virtual but the Art is Real!ClassesAreReal

In the last month, the following partners launched Art with a Heart virtual art programming for their students and clients:  Lillie May Carroll Jackson School, William Paca Elementary School , Harford Heights Elementary School Child First Authority  and Christopher's Place Employment Academy . While  distance learning is new, students of all ages have embraced the opportunity to make art and engage as a community. In the coming weeks, Art with a Heart will be connecting virtually with students at Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School, James McHenry Elementary/Middle School, Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School, Baltimore Autism Society, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Senior Program Division, and the Y of Central Maryland at Johnston Square Elementary

Art with a Heart's distance learning programs provide students of all ages with the opportunity to engage with their teachers virtually, as well as access resources such as videos, instructions and recordings at their own pace. Students without technology receive materials with age-appropriate, instructions for a self guided art practice.
Art of Leadership
The Retreat was Virtual but the Leaders are Real (and Awesome)! AOL

In April, the Art of Leadership team and students met on Zoom for a virtual Spring Retreat. The Retreat focused on the teens forging a deeper connection with each other through the exploration of their personal journeys and experiences. The leaders also honed their public speaking skills, specifically off-the-cuff or extemporaneous speaking, by having a very short amount of time to prepare a presentation on any topic; we heard about the history of the stick figure, contemporary dance, the best fast food chains of the 21st century, cinematography, and more! To bring our community bond, leadership skills, and personal journeys together, the leaders envisioned and set intentions for post-COVID: what things they want to change or re-value personally, and what big-picture, society-wide institutions, issues, or stigmas they want to help, or challenge. The team may be apart, but Cohort 5 continues to thrive together!   

Since the leaders could not enjoy s'mores on the beach at our scheduled retreat, the Art of Leadership team assembled and delivered make-your-own-s'mores kits to each student, as well as a copy of the book, Depression, A Teens Guide to Survive and Thrive, generously donated and brilliantly authored by friend and longtime volunteer, Jacqueline Toner, PhD. Thank you Jacquie!
The Shopping is Virtual but the Engagement is Real!HeARTwaresWorks

Below are just two examples of the mosaic HeART Kits and the creative license of the individual artists. Thanks to Art with a Heart Board member, Vicky Tepper for sharing photographs of her 88 year old father working through his first mosaic experience. Each kit comes with all necessary materials and easy to follow instructions. There are many HeART Kits to choose from! You can shop for your HeART Kit here. If you have an organization or community group interested in ordering kits for your members or clients, please contact info@artwithaheart.net. 

On May 4th,  HeARTworks, Art with a Heart's workforce development program, will launch its first virtual program with Youth Empowered Society! The distance learning curriculum will include art making and virtual job readiness workshops focused on etiquette, communication skills, financial literacy, workplace behaviors, mock interviewing, resume building and more. At Art with a Heart we believe that continuing our  workforce development efforts during this crisis is crucial and we look forward to working with Baltimore City youth on reaching their career and employment goals. 

The Connection Is Virtual But The Community Is Real!CSPA

Volunteers at Art with a Heart are a family and as a family the volunteers work together to support the organization, the Baltimore community and each other. With the office closed, the volunteers can not physically come together, but continue to gather virtually every week. These weekly gatherings are an opportunity to check in on one another, play games and see friendly faces. As a group they have taught each other how to sew masks. They share recipes, project ideas, collect recycled materials for student Learning Packets and we continue to care for one another's physical and mental wellbeing. As National Volunteer Appreciation Month comes to an end, we once again thank the wonderful cadre of dedicated, talented and compassionate Art with a Heart volunteers.  
In honor of National Volunteer Week, the Art with a Heart team created this special thank you for all the wonderful volunteers! Click here to watch. 
The Days are Hard But The Happiness Is Real!Impressionists

On April 22nd, Art with a Heart's junior board, The Impressionists, hosted their first Virtual Happy Hour. Young professionals spent an hour discussing Tic Tok, binge worthy shows and personal projects. Despite the inability to be together in person this Zoom meeting was a true HAPPY hour! If you are interested in joining the Impressionists contact, Yolanda Jenkins at yolanda@artwithaheart.net.

Art with a Heart will be participating in #GivingTuesdayNow. GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. #GivingTuesdayNow, is a global day of unity to take place on May 5, 2020 as a response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.  Art with a Heart will be raising funds to subsidize its summer arts programming. More to come on May 5th!! Thank you in advance for your generosity and support. To give, click here.