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"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
- Proverbs 3:5-6
February 2024
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Nina Mason Pulliam Trust Provides Funding to Help Free Arts Expand
By Lindsay Hansen - Thursday Jan 05, 2023
The Nina Mason Pulliam Trust has donated $125,000 to help Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona expand its programming to foster and kinship families. Up until now, Free Arts has provided programming for children in foster care group homes and emergency shelters, but thanks to the grant, the Free Arts Family Program can now help parents understand trauma-informed care and develop artistic tools to help the child and guardian bond.

With over 14,000 children in foster care in Arizona, the grant-based extension of the program will help children safely express themselves through the arts while building transferable life skills, creating self-efficacy, and building resilience in a physically, emotionally, and psychologically safe environment.

“Our staff and volunteers receive training that provides the base knowledge needed to safely interact with children who have experienced trauma due to abuse, neglect, and homelessness,” says Free Arts Executive Director Alicia Sutton Campbell. “We also implement trauma-informed best practices into the design of our programs to ensure a sense of safety and comfort. This new program will expand our reach to parents and caregivers who can implement these skills as they build relationships in their homes. We're looking forward to reaching more families in need of our services.”

Started in 1993, Free Arts has served more than 140,000 children and includes five main program areas: weekly mentor groups, a professional artist series that partners with artists to teach children specific skills and introduce them to future career opportunities, free one-day creative programs for children in collaboration with local arts and culture organizations, a camp series that provides children with the opportunity to share their art with the public during a final performance, and an alumni program where teens and young adults who have participated in Free Arts programs engage in opportunities designed to increase leadership and life skills.

Campbell estimates that Free Arts will be able to serve 200 families in the next 18 months under the expanded initiative. Upcoming programs will include Family Empowerment Nights and Professional Artist Series (PAS) designed to promote healing, peace, and harmony in the family unit. If you are a foster or kinship parent and want more information, contact Erina Sanchez at [email protected] or 602-258-8100 Ext. 920.

About Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona
Founded in 1993, Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona is a nonprofit organization that works to transform children’s trauma into resilience through the arts. Free Arts programs include creative elements that promote safety, self-expression and a sense of belonging. Free Arts programs are delivered by 800 volunteer mentors and artists who serve more than 6,000 children annually through partnerships with 40 social service child welfare agencies at 100+ sites across Maricopa County. For more information on Free Arts, visit http://www.FreeArtsAZ.org.