After the positive experience of implementing our pilot project, we decided to establish an international non-profit which will be dedicated to serving the most disadvantaged and underserved youth and communities in the world through public art and youth projects. Our decision is guided by our observation that in places where resources are severely limited, the arts are typically the last area to receive support.
According to multiple studies, the arts can positively impact the physical, social and mental health of individuals as well as communities. And for youth, the arts can play an important role in childhood development, increase self esteem, increase motivation, persistence and engagement in schools, improve critical thinking, and impart an overall sense of well-being. Our projects will be tailored to address the needs of the location and local population.
For instance, in a post-conflict country the focus of the project may be on conflict resolution, peace building and non-violent communication. The projects will always involve local leaders in the guidance of each project and will work to ensure sustainability of every project through engagement and training of local community members in the implementation of each project.
This year we will be taking the steps to becoming a registered 501©3. Our mission by founding this organization is to nurture hope, well-being and development in disadvantaged youth and societies worldwide through community-based art and through advocacy for art in education.
Co-founders Christina Mallie (top) & Laurie Reyman (bottom)