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The Finer Properties of the Valley of the Sun

The Finer Properties of the Valley of the Sun

Nina Mason Pulliam Trust gives to Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona

Photo Free Arts for Abused Children now possible due to grant dollars
Started in 1993, Free Arts has served more than 140,000 children in need in the Phoenix metropolitan area. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/DigitalFreePress.com)

Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona gets vital funding boost

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The Nina Mason Pulliam Trust has donated $125,000 to help Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona expand their 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, according to a press release.

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, proponents of the effort report.

“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,” said Free Arts Executive Director Alicia Sutton Campbell, in a prepared statement.

“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.

Ms. Campbell estimates 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 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 esanchez@freeartsaaz.org or 602-258-8100 ext. 920.

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