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...

Voices Emerge – A Reflection on Hip Hop Camp

As the Free Arts team delves further into summer and wraps up the final installment of their Camp Series, I reflect on the significance of the experiences at camp and how they fulfill the Free Arts mission. The Free Arts program team worked tirelessly to make sure that all camp activities ran as planned, and...

Being Brave at 2017 Multicultural Arts Camp

2017 Multicultural Arts Camp (MAC) just completed its 21st year.  This year Free Arts served over 150 children over two weeks. Participating children learned Tibetan Arts, Latin Arts, World Music, Spoken Word, and Swing Dance.  Each day children were welcomed by 20 adult mentors who provided a safe, healing environment where the children could freely express themselves....

Moved to Tears: Theatre Camp 2017

The final performance of Free Arts Theater Camp always proves to pull at the heart strings of those lucky enough to attend, and this year was no exception. Attendees were “moved to tears” by the courage of the young performers. The performance itself was powerful. Many audience members expressed that they were floored by the...

2016 Hip Hop Camp

Our Camp Intern, Claire Newfeld, took over our blog to tell you about her experiences at camp! After interning at Theater Camp I was insanely excited to work at Hip Hop Camp. Unlike Theater Camp, Hip Hop Camp is only one week and the showcase is much different. Rather than being a traditional performance, each camper chooses...
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