Creativity Is A Prerequisite For A Successful Life
For Side by Side’s Irene M. Hunt School students – prior to moving to remote learning – this was a year of studying the many benefits of creative expression thanks to  Art from the Heart , a nonprofit that brings art to students who otherwise would not have this type of enrichment. From September to March, the artwork flowed forth, resulting in this beautiful online gallery of Hunt School student artwork .

“I believe art is a right,” says Kathy Eggert, who co-founded Art from the Heart with Sheila Jones in 2007 when they realized how many youth in Marin don’t have exposure to the arts. “Creativity is a prerequisite for a successful life!” 
Exposure to the arts can result in increased self-confidence and self-understanding, enhanced communication skills, and improved cognition. Eggert adds that youth who are struggling tend to be harder on themselves than their peers. “They need a way to express themselves that they can be proud of,” she explains. “Imagination is important, but so is the ability to see beauty. Part of the learning in my classroom is that there is no bad art; art is expression and interpretation.” Hunt teacher Sarah Seek agrees, “my students worried less about perfection and more about expressing themselves.”
One youth drew a beautiful mountainside and a little black tree at the top for Eggert’s “Winter Sky” project instead of using the assigned oil pastels to draw the tree. “I’m the lone tree,” he told Eggert, who felt that the student was reaching out for affirmation that this was OK. She replied, “It’s OK to be the lone tree, because look at the beauty you’re surrounded by!”
Studying art can also provide hope and inspiration. Many famous artists had difficult lives yet created art that has delighted and inspired generations. “That’s a wonderful lesson for youth who are struggling,” said Eggert. “They can see that their struggles don’t have to define who they are.” 

Prior to the pandemic, students were eagerly anticipating an Art Show in May which was canceled due to shelter in place orders. Knowing how disappointed the students would be, Eggert created a virtual art show. She photographed and cataloged every single piece of the student portfolios. The result is a stunning online gallery of over 200 pieces of art from our K-12 Hunt School students .
Enjoy the expansiveness of our students’ creative expression – thanks to this amazing partnership with Art from the Heart. 
Side by Side Still Needs Your Help
Your generosity today will help Side by Side ride out financial challenges that include purchases of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff, students and clients; reductions in expected revenue from canceled fundraising events; and billing uncertainties due to necessary changes in our program services . Your contribution will also provide resources to support Hunt School families who may be struggling with food insecurity, precarious housing situations, or are struggling to pay internet bills (which are critical to Side by Side's ability to provide remote learning opportunities for our students).
It's times like these when standing together is so important. Please donate now to our Relief Fund.