10 Steps For Infusing The Arts Into Your Programming For Children

Set expectations: Many children (and people in general) have “creativity scars” and need to practice silencing the part of their brains that want to be “perfect” in their art making.  Creating expectations upfront that include things like “be brave”, “encourage others” and, Free Arts’ favorite, “there are no mistakes in art” help children feel safe to...

The Art of Leadership

By Kim Valentine, Free Arts intern and volunteer mentor This past March, Free Arts kicked off its annual Camp Series with a new addition to our programming: The Art of Leadership Camp. This camp was designed for the teens to learn about what it takes to be a strong leader and how to utilize the...

Bringing Hope to Unaccompanied Minors

Except for one, it was the first time that the girls had visited a museum.  As they toured the Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum they were reminded of their own heritage.  The teen girls participating in this Professional Artist Series, a collaboration between Free Arts for Abused Children of...

5th Annual Aces Summit

Keynote speaker, psychiatrist, and renowned researcher of trauma-informed care, Dr. Bruce Perry, addressed the audience at the 5th Annual ACES Summit on December 11, in Scottsdale Arizona.  While referring to ACES (adverse childhood experiences), Dr. Perry noted that early trauma in children can cause mental issues like anxiety and depression and physical issues such as high...

Free Arts Founder, Margaret Beresford, Shares her Story

It is a story of perseverance and how… Every child matters. Every story matters. Art is vital to telling the story. As a registered art therapist and licensed professionals counselor, I see a lot of people and hear their stories every day. It is impossible to tell by looking at someone the depth of despair in...

Road to Resilience: Theatre Camp

On Saturday, June 30th, Free Arts held the culminating performance of our 18th annual Theater Camp at the Herberger Center in downtown Phoenix.  The Theater Camp, themed “Road to Resilience,” brought together 30 teens from foster care group homes, shelters, and treatment centers and immersed them in the art of theater.  In the first week of...

Niya’s Journey

In the summer of 2017, Niya was 14 and living at The Salvation Army homeless shelter with her mom, two sisters, and her brother.  Some tough life challenges left the family without a permanent place to stay and in need of help.  Niya had a difficult time adjusting to the change.  She had feelings of...

Oh What a Night

As soon as guests started to arrive at Free Arts 25th Anniversary Gala at the JW Marriot Camelback Inn and Spa, we could see that it would be a magical and festive night full of music, dancing, art, and celebration, as only Free Arts can.  Over 300 guests joined us for the October 20th Gala, presented...

Finding Love and Belonging at Free Arts

Our foster daughter is 17 and lost her whole family (mom, dad, brother, and sister) to violence a few years ago. She also experienced violence and trauma periodically since the day she was born. She was born in a foreign country with a lot of war. She moved to the States only five months before...

Art Heals! Builds Resilient Brains & Bodies

Resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back.  But in our experience at Free Arts, resilience is much more intricate.  At Free Arts, we define resilience as the ability to encounter trauma or disruption, allow that experience to shake you, process and learn from that experience, return to your own sense of identity and...
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