Funds for the arts have been cut over 80% in U.S. public schools and at-risk youth are most affected. In addition, low self-esteem in youth is at an all-time low.Art is a universal language that enables us to be more insightful about the world we live in. It allows us to heal and to see truth in ourselves that we may not have understood before. Evidence-based research shows that artistic expression can be exceptionally healing, as it gives youth the opportunity to adopt new healthy coping skills that lead to a higher sense of self-worth.We are proud to be presenting the Free2BeME Project to instill hope in our youth and provide a safe space for creative expression. We utilize the arts to empower youth to take up a badge of courage and break down social and emotional barriers. Our Free2BeMe Project provides an intervention platform for youth to illustrate their emotions in a brave and unapologetic way. We address topics pertinent to today’s youth – self-acceptance, anxiety, depression, overcoming adversity, bullying, the importance of kindness, racism, and self-esteem — all from a peer perspective. Our visual art programs afford youth the opportunity to creatively express themselves through the power of art.
The Free2BeME Project has been instrumental in reducing anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and negative perceptions. We are moved and inspired by the powerful voices of our youth.We stand in gratitude for the support of 4Culture, Arts WA, and the National Endowment for the Arts for their commitment to the arts and support of our programming.