NONPROFIT CLIENT & DONOR
Safe Shores, the Washington DC Child Advocacy Center
"Simply put, Fresh Artists is brilliant – in concept, content and implementation. From the first time I saw the students’ artwork and then listened to Barbara Chandler Allen explain how the program works, I was struck by what an inspiringly unique and empowering program Fresh Artists is. The idea of teaching children not just about the transformative power of art but about their own power to invest in and transform the world as philanthropists is revolutionary. Partnering with Fresh Artists allowed Safe Shores – The DC Children’s Advocacy Center (www.safeshores.org) – a small, direct-service non-profit organization – to successfully complete the renovation of a 40,000-square foot former public school building into a safe, welcoming and healing space for children whose lives have been marred by abuse and other violence. I had been searching for just the right art to complete the design and fit the mission of our newly renovated facility. I was completely overwhelmed by the vibrancy, originality and beauty of Fresh Artists’ gallery from the start. Then, when Barbara told me Fresh Artists was a turn-key operation and would work with us from selection through installation, I knew I’d hit the jackpot! Not only does the artwork elevate and enrich Safe Shores’ space aesthetically, it reaches out to the spirit of every person who comes to the building. Every visitor comments positively about the wonderful art. Further, our staff uses the art to connect with the children we serve.
Safe Shores is thrilled about its partnership with Fresh Artist; our missions are complimentary. I look forward to the time when District of Columbia school children will be Fresh Artists. I truly believe in Fresh Artists and consider myself a charter Washington, DC member of the Fresh Artists fan club!"
Michele Booth Cole
Safe Shores - The DC Children’s Advocacy Center
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ART TEACHER
"Thank you so much for all your encouragement and support! Teaching art in Philadelphia’s public schools is probably the most exciting and fulfilling job I could have. My students are incredible. They are so motivated, curious and thrilled with everything they learn in art class.
As wonderful as they are, it is extremely challenging with more than 30 kids per class. I find it hard to paint, build with clay and do other exciting messy projects in just 45 minutes. The air-dry clay and tempera paint cakes from Fresh Artists make it possible to build and paint within the time constraints and without major mess and clean up. My students made large, fantastic paintings with the watercolor sets that were unavailable through my school art supplies budget. The art supplies from Fresh Artists are the children’s favorites.
Thank you and the generous young artist-philanthropists for making me feel so supported and giving my students even more of a reason to want to come to school each day."
Harrington Elementary School
World Café Live
"In August 2009, World Cafe Live began a partnership with Fresh Artists. From the beginning, this partnership proved successful in so many ways. One important aspect has been that Fresh Artists has become a catalyst in motivating our staff, on an emotional and financial level, to get involved in our community.
When we first saw the artwork we were moved by the intensity, artistic accomplishment and the emotional impact that each picture portrayed. Learning about the students, their circumstances and the many obstacles their teachers have had to overcome inspired us, managers and employees, to give our full support to Fresh Artists.
On a larger scale, the impact of Fresh Artists on the community at large here at World Cafe Live has gone beyond our expectations. Not only has the artwork contributed on an aesthetic level, but it has also elevated our venue to one that has successfully integrated both music and visual arts in a coherent message enhancing the artistic community of World Cafe Live.
WCL is proud to partner with Fresh Artists in all of their endeavors and hope that they will receive all future financial support they need to continue their mission to keep art making alive in our severely stressed public schools."
Food & Beverage Director
World Cafe Live
ART TEACHER TO THE BLIND
"I felt so happy when I got the art supplies from fresh artist, I teach at a k-8 school in Philadelphia with a special needs for visually impaired and blind children. I have about 350 students and this year I got no funds for art supplies. Thank you for your help!"
Overbrook Learning Center
MIDDLE SCHOOL ART TEACHER
"As an art teacher in an inner city school struggling with funding cuts, my biggest challenge is finding enough paper, paint, and clay for my children to practice and hone their skills. Urban art teachers receive a fraction of the funding of their suburban counterparts. While that does not limit our students' originality, this lack of access does limit their possibilities. 'Fresh Artists' is leveling the playing field. Thanks to this wonderful surprise Angel Art Grant, my classes will be participating in the 'Print Links Philadelphia' project this year using authentic printing screens and inks instead of recycled lunch trays and tempera paints…difference between limping and flying to your goal!
Fresh Artists is a visionary nonprofit initiative. Businesses get stunning art at unknown-artist prices, student artists achieve "published artist" status and know they are helping other children, and art teachers receive art supplies like manna from Heaven. Fresh Artists is our entrepreneurial art angel!"
Valerie Van Pham
Art teacher, Hill-Freedman Middle School
GRANDMOTHER OF FRESH ARTISTS CHILD
"My name is Maria Sanchez and the reason I am writing this letter to you is because when I came home from work last week, I received the most overwhelming experience ever. My 10 year old granddaughter was waiting for me very excited, because she was chosen to participate in a great and awesome program dedicated to empowering young lives like herself through art. I just could not believe it. Her picture was so beautiful, that all I could do was cry. I have always bought art supplies for my three grandchildren, but never in my dreams would I have thought that my baby would draw such a marvelous piece.
Angelita donated a copy of her abstract landscape picture to help this program. Angelita has a speech disability, but she has not stopped talking about this program and how she feels knowing that her art will be used for such a great cause. Our whole family is so proud of her. We appreciate your dedication and hard work for this cause. Thank you for changing Angelita’s life. This has been such a big motivation for her to the point that she wants to be an art teacher. Again, thank you."
Maria Yolanda Sanchez
CAREER ARTS EDUCATOR
What a wonderful event! The artwork is amazing and the kids were fabulous. But the moment of moments for me was watching a mother as she stood slightly off to the side while her daughter was photographed with you in front of her work. It could have been the middle of the night and pouring rain and you wouldn't have needed any lighting in that space. That mother's glow would have been more than enough. I know that you are giving so much to the kids - and the art teachers - and the businesses who are smart enough to get on board but what you gave that mother and the other parents who were there was nothing short of life changing. I don't think that mother will ever see her child in quite the same way again. And I think that the experience changed the mother as well and if you can change the parents - even just a little - even just one at a time - think what you have done for their children!
Thank you for including me. God bless you and your energy."
Betsy A. Riley
Career Arts Educator
A MOTHER OF A FRESH ARTISTS CHILD
"Dear Fresh Artist,
You have to hear from a parent of a student who was chosen for Fresh Artist that it is the most wonderful thing in his life. It is also the most wonderful thing in my life. I am alone raising my boy and it is hard, because we live with very little. He loves to draw and going to school is hard for him. The arteacher is his favorite and she keeps him safe in her room. Many other children feel the same and go there when they can, not just for class. They make pictures about their life. She used up the supplies she bought with her own money early in the school year and the children didn’t have anything to use. She told them about Fresh Artists and let them open the box when it came. The children danced and were so happy that they had paint and paper and markers again. When his art was picked for Fresh Artist he was about floating and felt so good about himself. He is proud that his art was picked but mostly it is that he can help others. It is the best I have seen him be in his life and I thank you for this blessing. He told me he feels FRESH now. You are doing something so good you need to hear from people who see it. Bless you for making this program for our children who need help and to feel important."
(name withheld upon request)
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ART TEACHER
"Fresh Artists is like a fairy godmother to all the children and art teachers in Philadelphia schools! Fresh Artists has given such life and spirit to the enormous 440 building. How fortunate we all are, that you have chosen our children as the focus of this creative endeavor. Every aspect, every detail of Fresh Artists is handled with such care and the utmost professionalism. The young philanthropists are growing in so many ways as a result of their involvement with Fresh Artists. It is exciting to know that the students’ artwork is valued and enjoyed by the wider community. With great appreciation…thank you!"
Pollock and Ziegler Elementary Schools
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ART TEACHER
"Support from Fresh Artists give hope. Just holding the box of newness gives hope. Student know this is a special gift from Fresh Artists. They can see right away that there is now enough for everyone to have their own. They cap markers, put them back in the box and begin to take care of things. They see their own artwork vividly take on the beauty they intended. Success! They know they are being treated with respect with fresh materials. Respect begets respect.
From the teacher’s point of view, anything that minimizes behavior problems gives hope. Many times when planning lessons there is the sinking knowledge that dried up markers or sharing will cause problems. A student will automatically get out of a seat to inform me about the dried up marker. The extra walking traffic causes the start of classroom unrest. Students call out “I need a red”, someone will toss it over, across heads, or the student will walk up to someone else and just take it, causing a fight. These are what I call “March Markers”. As of today, thanks to Fresh Artists’ gift of art supplies, the March Markers are gone! My students sense the renewed hope of the teacher and suddenly we experience an art class where joy is the noise instead of the noise of neediness.
Fresh Artists renews me as an inner city art teacher. Freshening up our shelves freshens up our spirits and the creative product that comes forth! Thank you Fresh Artists!"
Morrison Elementary School
A DETROIT MOTHER BLOGS
"The art in your average corporate office ranges from bland to, well, kinda scary. Rarely do you see something in an office and think “wow, that’s cool.”
But if that office contributed to a Philly nonprofit that trades kids’ art for corporate donations for art supplies, you’d be pretty impressed.
Fresh Artists works like this: students give permission to have their art reproduced for the program and it goes into a digital gallery. Donors to the program can choose a piece or several as a thank-you gift. The art then hangs in the headquarters of some of the city’s biggest companies. Donations are returned to school art programs in the form of grants of art supplies.
The retail value of more than $100,000 in art supplies was given to teachers in the program’s first two years alone. This is so awesome. Not only is it a self-sustaining way to provide much-needed art supplies to city schools, but the kids (who attend disadvantaged schools throughout the city) get the serious self-esteem boost of knowing their work, with their name on it, hangs proudly someplace other than the school hallway, were people can see it and remark on it.
Founder Barbara Chandler Allen says, "Most charities are top-down: 'the haves' giving to 'the have nots,' This is totally different. We have created a “lateral” philanthropy. It is vulnerable children giving to other vulnerable children. The adults are there simply to grease the wheels."
What a great idea, all the way around!"
Stroller Derby on Babble.com
"Thank you for affording H.A. Brown students the opportunity to participate in the Fresh Artists program. Our students (Alaysia, Lisa and Andres) have been able to express their creativity and develop their talent through artistic expression. They are ecstatic that, through Fresh Artists, they are considered philanthropists, making a valuable contribution to their community and fellow students.
It is extremely important to me as a principal, that the arts are an integral component of our educational program. My art teacher, Ms. Blankfield and I recognize the importance for all students to have an outlet for creative expression in order to grow academically and socially. Fresh Artists has fulfilled this for our school and so much more.
Fresh Artist has been a venue through which students are recognized and applauded for their work. Our recent visit and interview with Channel 6 News has clearly had a positive impact on the lives of our young artists. In addition, the program has affected the academic and social climate of our school. We have received several inquiries from exemplary teachers regarding possible employment in our school, based solely on their chance encounter with our children’s artwork. The displays throughout the School District and community organizations have promoted the positive things happening at H.A. Brown School and in all Philadelphia Public Schools."
Mrs. Dawn Moore
H.A. Brown Elementary School
Dennis W. Creedon, Ed.D.
Head, Department of Creative and Performing Arts,
School District of Philadelphia
"Fresh Artists is a blast of fresh air to our severely strained visual arts program bringing critically needed art supplies directly into the hands of the children. It is smart, strategic and efficient with a laser-focus on the need. The concept is brilliant: engaging our students directly in the solution to this funding crunch affords our city kids an outstanding opportunity for tangible civic engagement. The corporate donors will reap many benefits from living with the vibrant images our students create, and the placement of these works of art in premium places of high visibility will both honor the children and encourage conversations about the way we look at educating our next generation of citizens.
Making art is not a luxury. It is an essential component to every child's education. We are deeply grateful for the vision and energy of Fresh Artists and encourage all to support their efforts wholeheartedly."
Sentry Art Advisory Services
"As the arts have increasingly taken a backseat in our culture it is an absolute pleasure to see the rise of an organization like Fresh Artists which not only encourages children to create artwork, but also constructs a vehicle for public school art teachers to receive funding and supplies to help foster a new generation of creative thinkers. This country's future is based upon innovation which comes through free thought as well as the solid foundation of math and science. Corporations in the US are now looking to organizations that support their core beliefs which often relate to innovation and a respect for human-kind. Fresh Artists provides a unique marriage between the increasing need for artistic expression and Corporate America's call for art that is supportive to their communities while visually reiterating their core values. "
Bob Reid, AIA LEED AP
Principal, Tevebaugh Associates, Architects
"The children who contribute their work to Fresh Artists approach their art the only way they know how... with innocence, honesty and a bit of naiveté. Many adult artists strive their whole life to lose the psychological baggage that they have accumulated so that they can see the world in these same ways. The Fresh Artists program celebrates the wonderful treasures we have all around us but we may not have been seeing the forest for the trees.
Architects understand that often it is what is on the walls that may relate to, and affect the inhabitants more than the architecture itself. In the past, the vast canvasses provided by the walls in many of our corporate, institutional and healthcare projects have been populated by graphic design or artwork that remains uninspiring to the inhabitants, remaining a type of wallpaper that was selected to match a carpet and paint selection. Fresh Artists provides an opportunity to fill those walls with inspired art work from children in the Philadelphia School District which tells a story from their perspective in the local community. I feel strongly that this program will help to bring the soul to nondescript spaces and bold moves to lackluster environments while building stronger ties to the community in which organizations chose to do business."
More About Us
What People Are Saying
- Making art is not a luxury.
It is an essential component to every child's education. We are deeply grateful for the vision and energy of
Fresh Artistsand encourage all to support their efforts wholeheartedly.more...
- Dennis W. Creedon, Ed.D.
- Head, Department of Creative and Performing Arts, School District of Philadelphia