“This program is not just about delivering art supplies,” said Allen. “It’s about empowering children to bring about bold change in the world – for both the children who create the artwork and for those who see it around the world. We specifically wanted to place children’s artwork in highly visible, unexpected places to pass on our message that every child has the right to a quality public education. Their art is the vehicle for this message.”
To date, Fresh Artists has built a curated collection of 840 pieces of art that have been donated by 677 children. The Fresh Artists organization works exclusively with school districts where at least 70 percent of the children are living at or below the poverty level.
“Art-making is an essential part of any child’s education, but disadvantaged kids living in danger and deprivation need the healing self-expression that making art can bring,” said Allen.
“Art from suburban and private school kids is not part of our core collection,” added Allen. “Children living in poverty or modest means often perceive they have nothing to give to others. We show them that they’ve made something that is arrestingly beautiful and that they can do big things with it.”
Fresh Artists describes the role of children in philanthropy in its “Pablo, the Philly Philanthropist” book, which is available for on-line reading at www.FreshArtists.org.
In addition to empowering children as philanthropists, Fresh Artists Print Studio provides a teaching laboratory to introduce at-risk teens to the business of large-format digital printing. Fresh Artists also has produced a series of Fresh Artists Memory Games featuring the donated artwork from its collection.