courageous heARTS classes are back! We have Open Studio from 3:30-4:30 everyday and on Fridays it goes on until six. This is time where you can work with our art supplies to make a piece of artwork. Our guided sessions go from 4:30-6:00pm. Our Monday guided session is called Bead It, where you learn to make jewelry. On Tuesday we have Intuitive Painting and on Wednesdays we have Yoga. On Thursdays the class is called Finders Keepers, which is using your creativity to turn something old into something new. If you are looking for a creative outlet you can always come to courageous heARTS. It has a really welcoming and caring atmosphere that I feel not enough kids or teens get a chance to feel that way. We have some really great people who care about each other and you!
This past summer I took two classes at heARTS. One was Intuitive Painting, which is probably one of my favorite classes. At first it was hard to paint for an hour and a half but later I would work on one painting session after session. It made me feel better and allowed me to relieve the stress that I kept inside. It also changed my point of view on art a bit and about what art is. The other class I took was Dying to Weave. It was a fun class about weaving. Weaving is really fun to do! We learned a little bit of history about weaving. I love weaving and I still weave today, although now it is normally in my bedroom with random yarn.
Overall if you are looking for a place to have fun you should check out courageous heARTS. I wish I could spend more time at heARTS. You should also check it out if you are looking for friends or a place to hang out on cold snowy days. I think everyone should be a part of courageous heARTS. Just remember that everyone is an artist!
- Jackie R-J
I started at courageous heARTS in the spring of my freshman year along with many of the other board members who are now juniors. Larry came and told me about it so I could get my volunteering hours done. Initially I was like, "yeah I need a way to get my volunteering hours done and I mean my friends were going to be there." So I went to heARTS with Larry and met Lindsay. I was only in it for the volunteering hours.
As time went on, my required hours were done and I stayed. I really began to enjoy being there and I started taking the classes and getting emotionally involved in it and involved in the community that they had and we did projects and fundraising. I grew a lot while I was there not just because the passing of time but because of being in the environment at heARTS. It changed me. I became less critical on my own artwork, my own writing and and I became less critical of others.
I started to see that other people could be genuinely good because Lindsay was just such a kind person without having ulterior motives. I met a lot of people there that I wouldn't of met otherwise and I met other people just like Lindsay who are just nice because that's just how they were, for example the beading instructors and the other members of the Youth Advisory Board.
After about a year, I had gotten all my volunteering hours and I didn't leave even though I told myself I would. I really learned a lot from heARTS and I feel like I've grown a lot there. Because of heARTS I've met a lot of really cool people and I've seen a lot of stuff that I wouldn't of seen otherwise.
Recently I've started working, there's been some stuff at home combined with school and everything is piling up so my time at heARTS is at an end. It's been a good run and I really enjoyed all the time that I've spent at heARTS. I've gained a lot from heARTS but above all I've become more courageous.
Note from Lindsay:
I am so grateful to have gotten to know Emma over the past year and a half. She really did just want to get her volunteering hours done when we first met-- which was a-ok with me!
One of the conversations we are consistently having at heARTS is about self-care and the need to make space for ourselves as we are also making space for others. We (as a society) are often torn between the things we want to do or feel like we should do, and the things we need to do for our own peace of mind and overall well-being. Sometimes saying no, even when we want to say yes, is the most courageous thing we can do.
I’m going to be upfront with you, this is a blog post with a mission. In a few words, it’s to get you, or your mother or friend or work acquaintance, to give to courageous heARTS on Give to the Max Day (#GTMD14). There aren’t fees for the classes, so heARTS relies on donations and grants, and events like #GTMD14 to keep doing what it’s doing.
heARTS is a unique space where unique things happen. It’s a place where kids and teens can drop in and create art without instructions, or the lists of Dos and Don’ts that are all over our classrooms and clubs from age five on. In fact, that exact thing is avoided.
The philosophy has always been about giving teens the opportunity and supplies we usually don’t have, so we can find our own unique ways to tell our stories. It’s about introducing us to types of art we’d never get to experience otherwise; different types of dance and music and more obscure things like paper quilling and intuitive painting.
Courageous heARTS changes lives. Maybe not in the giant, disease-curing ways that people think of when they hear that phrase, but in smaller forms. It’s a place that empowers you, and teaches you new talents and passions that you can take with you wherever you go.
I’m a member of the Youth Advisory Board at heARTS. I joined in the first summer, almost two years ago, just after my freshman year in high school. I was shy and uncomfortable with who I was, and had told myself I was just not an artist. At least, not a real one.
heARTS changed all of that. One of the first things I heard from Lindsay, the founder, was that everyone is an artist. There’s no special qualifications, no “Your trees must be this realistic,” or “Your faces should have these proportions.” The only thing you need to do to be an artist it make art. The only thing that makes it art is your decision that it is.
That boggled my mind. It changed my life, that realization, the classification of myself as an artist, was important. It was the first step to becoming comfortable with being me. That’s the sort of thing that courageous heARTS does, and it’s something that needs to keep happening, something that every teen deserves to have happen for them. It’s something that can only happen at a place like heARTS.
However, the reality of the world is that places need money, and that money is kind of hard to get when you don’t charge anyone for what you do. We need money for art supplies, for the snacks we have during classes, and to pay the rent. We’d also like to be able to finally pay a salary to our amazing, hardworking, and incredibly courageous leader, Lindsay Walz, who gives 110% of herself to this place.
Courageous heARTS is one of a kind, and the things that happen there are too important to lose. What I’m asking is that this November 13th, you give to the max, from the heART, so kids and teens can keep discovering new things about who they are as artists, as community members, and as people.
P.S. Share your support for heARTS on social media and use the official Give to the Max Day hashtag #GTMD14. Hopefully even more people will find out about heARTS!
This past summer courageous heARTS got a great opportunity to apply for a grant pertaining to youth violence. Before applying for the grant we had to come up with a project that would help raise awareness for youth violence, and that is exactly what we did. We got the grant, and here’s what we came up with…
We decided to ask “How they fight, and why they fight for it?” They could answer: I fight for _____ and I do so violently or non violently. With that answer we would take a Polaroid picture of them holding up a peace sign for non violent fighting or a fist for violent fighting. We had them hold the peace sign or the fist over their faces so that it would be completely anonymous, it also made for a really cool looking picture! We then would write what they fought for down at the bottom of the Polaroid.
The teens that we asked were all from Minneapolis public high schools. We did pop ups at three schools, which were South High, El Colegio, and Roosevelt. Surprisingly many teens were willing to participate and liked the idea of what we were doing.
Our results after attending all three schools were also surprising, about 79% (139) of the students said that they fought peacefully! That was very reassuring that we were heading in the right direction of stopping youth violence. About 13% of students said that they were violent fighters, and then a small number said they were both, depending on what it was they were fighting for!
Our final project had to be presented to a community of the other participants who got the grant, and anyone else who wanted to come and watch. We presented at the Capri Theater. We put all our information together and created a really cool display that had four microphone stands with fish netting sort of hanging off of them. We then attached hooks to the pictures and hooked all of the non violent pictures to one side of the stand and the violent to the other. The people who said they fought both ways had their pictures hung from the top of the display. We also hung from the top wooden words that were our most popular thing said that were fought for such as equality, peace, social justice, rights, etc.... We kind of came up with the name last, and what we decided on was “Why FIght”. We had those big words in big metal letters right in the front of our display hanging.
The final outcome of the whole project was really fun and it was a cool experience to be able to connect with teens, and see how different, but also similar our lives are because we all fight for something, it just might not all be the same thing.
P.S. Check out our project page for pictures of our final display and more information about the project!
Many of you know that this past weekend (August 23rd-24th) courageous heARTS hosted a Bake Sale. The Youth Advisory Board and members of the community made delicious goodies for us to sell. But what you may not know, is how crazy baking can really be.
On Friday morning, my fellow board member Antonia and I met at her house around one to begin baking. We only had a few hours and we had to make gluten-free as well as normal brownies, Rice Krispie treats, banana bread and rhubarb muffins! With five recipes, three hours, two people, and one kitchen, we began baking. I threw on some Taylor Swift and we hit the cook books.
Since I am not gifted in the art of baking, I decided to be the one to continuously stir a pot of butter and chocolate for our brownies. It was daunting but important to keep the chocolate from burning and was something I could easily handle. While I did this, Antonia mixed together all the other ingredients for our brownies. After about thirty to forty minutes, the chocolately buttery concoction was melted and had cooled enough to mix with the other ingredients. We got both the gluten free and normal brownies topped with chocolate chips and into the oven. Now was time for the Rice Krispie treats and guess what my job was?! Stirring the marshmallows until they were melted! Which ended up being a pretty challenging task for both me and Antonia. After many attempts to get the marshmallows to melt properly, we found that putting butter into the pot first is a very helpful tip.
We mixed the marshmallows to the Rice Krispie’s and let them sit a while, during which we wrapped some cookies and biscuits Antonia had already made. Then, with only an hour left, we formed the Rice Krispie’s into balls and mixed the banana bread ingredients together. We put chocolate chips on it and after only five minutes of it being in the oven, a truck hit the power lines in the alley and knocked out the power! We spazzed for about ten minutes and listened to the only song I had on my phone three times and by then, the power was back. Antonia quickly prepared the muffins and I left to go see Katy Perry (whoop whoop).
I woke up early and arrived at courageous heARTS at 9:45, just in time to help price the items before we had our first of many customers. It ended up being a long day full of dancing, yes dancing, and meeting members of our community. It felt so amazing to exceed our fundraising goal of $500, knowing that it was because of the hard work we put in and generosity of our community. By the end of the sale on Sunday, we raised almost $780!
It started as an idea thrown out at one of the YAB meetings and with a little planning and hard work, ended up being a very fun, rewarding and successful experience that I can’t wait to do again.
Thanks so much to everyone who came out to support us!
...and the Youth Advisory Board is taking over! Every other week, members of the YAB will share their perspective on the work happening at heARTS and the value it has had in their lives. Many of these youth have been with us since the very beginning and are committed to making courageous heARTS a safe space for young creatives for years to come! Posts will rotate between YAB members so you will get to hear from all of them over the course of the year.
I wouldn't be doing my job, if I didn't take the opportunity to tell you about a couple awesome projects the YAB has in the works.
The weekend of the LoLa Art Crawl - Aug. 23rd and 24th - the YAB is planning an Art Crawl Bake Sale from 10a-4p both days. Many of them will be baking and have also enlisted the help of family and friends to ensure we have a full selection of goods- even gluten free and vegan options! If you are around, we hope you will stop in to purchase some yummy treats and learn more about our mission. We also hope to have our Doodle murals in the back parking lot for some creative community building!
We have all the bakers we need for this event, but if you are available to support the space during the sale we would love your help with a shift!
The other project the YAB is working on is in conjunction with the City of Minneapolis' Blueprint for Action. We have been awarded a grant from the city to create an art project that works on youth violence prevention in our communities. The project they designed will use polaroid pictures to create a dialogue about the ways and reasons that people fight. It is called "Why Fight?" I'll let them tell you more about it in a future post, but will leave you with a sampling of the kind of pictures we'll be taking at pop-up locations near South and Roosevelt.
An essential element of courageous heARTS programming is that we will implement a trauma-informed approach to our work. What does it mean to be trauma informed?
According to the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, "When a human service program takes the step to become trauma-informed, every part of its organization, management, and service delivery system is assessed and potentially modified to include a basic understanding of how trauma affects the life of an individual seeking services. Trauma-informed organizations, programs, and services are based on the understanding of the vulnerabilities or triggers of trauma survivors that traditional service delivery approaches may exacerbate, so that these services and programs can be more supportive and avoid re-traumatization."
Our goal is to provide training to all of our volunteers, staff and board members about the causes of trauma and its effects on the body, mind and spirit. We hope that many of you with an interest in volunteering with courageous heARTS can attend the upcoming training being offered at our space about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Please check out our other blog post about the ACE Study and the important information it has gathered.
We hope you will register to attend this great -- and FREE -- training opportunity by clicking the button below.
Art has the innate capacity to be a container for our hopes, dreams, fears and heartaches. By creating a space free from judgment— that focuses on the process of art making rather than the quality of the product— we hope to open new worlds of possibility for the youth who walk through our doors. Our Principles of Process will be an essential element of our arts programming.
The sun is shining, the snow is melting and we have awesome news to share!
Today, we were awarded a grant from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs in partnership with the Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association to develop our Youth Advisory Board (YAB) and infuse youth voice (and art) into the community. We are very excited and honored to have been chosen for this Neighborhood Partnership Initiative!
With these funds, we will have the capacity to build the YAB and develop 2-3 community art projects over the summer that will engage the neighborhood in issues important to our youth.
The Advisory Board will consist of 10 youth who meet the following criteria:
Youth who are interested or want to learn more should contact Lindsay: email@example.com. Please consider sharing the flyer below if you know someone that might want to be involved!
Between 1995-97, the Center for Disease Control conducted the first Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. This groundbreaking study asked adults to identify adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect and family dysfunction. The ACE Study shows a statistical link between the prevalence of those experiences and physical/emotional health outcomes later in life. The original ACE Study found that nearly 64% of adults surveyed had at least one adverse childhood experience-- with nearly 1 in 5 of those, experiencing four or more.
On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health released it's own ACE Study. It found that 55% of Minnesotan's have had at least one adverse experience in childhood. Of those, 1 in 4 have experienced four or more. This data is significant and shows the need for programs like courageous heARTS. In today's Star Tribune coverage of this study, Dr. David McCollum from the Dept. of Health reported that "the findings do not mean that someone has an unchangeable "destiny" just because of problems in youth. It does mean the state needs to understand the risk factors and help children and adults cope."
It doesn't matter what you call it-- adverse experiences, trauma, or heart hurts-- the stress is toxic to our minds and our bodies. courageous heARTS wants to help heal these wounds by building courage in our young hearts.
This blog is written by members of courageous heARTS' Youth Advisory Board, as well as occasional posts by our founder.