My passion for the arts started when I was really young. I remember the first time I told my mom "I want to be an artist when I grow up". My family tried to give me as many tools as possible to help me reach my goal. Growing up in Southern California in the 80s, schools didn't offer a lot of resources in the arts. When my family moved to Michigan, I went to one of the top schools in the nation. All of a sudden I had access to theater, music, art, and anything else I could think of. It was a stark comparison of what some have access to that others don't.
Fast forward several years when I started working as a pre-school teacher at a Montessori. That is when I met Shermona. I was going to school to be a child psychologist and had the idea of creating this nonprofit idea. It seemed like a far fetched idea. Working with high-profile individuals to create art and sell to create awareness for the arts. The idea was placed on the back burner as I continued my career as an artist.
15 years later, I picked that idea back up and called Shermona. I was like "we have to do this". It was now or never, and what better time than during COVID when everything has been taken away from students. They are stuck at home with very little access, especially those students in the most vulnerable areas of Los Angeles. Where students are having issues with internet access for basic education, much less art supplies.
I want to give young individuals access to the arts in areas where it is very limited to non-existent. By bringing on high-profile volunteers to paint with no real painting experience, we are showing kids that anything is possible. You can create with a few supplies and without any formal education in the arts. You don't need to spend thousands to go to art school and be successful. Art is also a way to promote mental health and well-being. It's a great way to release stress or get the mind thinking creatively. The arts expand all areas of the mind and is often dismissed as not being important.
I'm excited to be partnering with my friend, Shermona, on this fun journey to bring art to everyone. I hope it inspires everyone involved from our painters to our youth!