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The Art With A Heart Story

Art with a Heart provides a hands-on visual arts experience to educate and inspire at-risk children.

  • Founded in 2002
  • Serving around 2000 students in 2012-2013 (average $150 cost per student)
  • Standards-driven fine art curriculum
  • Teach on-site at 25 locations
  • 70% of Art With a Heart students are at or below the poverty line
  • 60% Black, 20% Latino, 20% Caucasian

Our vision is that all children, regardless of background, have the opportunity to improve their quality of life through artistic expression.

Art With a Heart was born out of several women’s compassion and desire to serve those less fortunate. The story begins with Carol Conrad, who long dreamed of offering art classes to children in need. Conrad, who has a BS in Education, became a teacher with a desire and hope of providing a quality education to all children, regardless of their background. She taught for many years in both private and public schools. In 1990, she opened Kaleidoscope of Art, an art studio for children out of her home. By doing this Conrad was able to pursue her passion of teaching art while also remaining at home with her children.Conrad continued to teach but held fast to her dream of bringing art to those less fortunate. When those teachers she worked with began to individually suggest she do what she had dreamed of for so long, she took it as a sign. With the support and faith of those around her, Conrad took a leap of faith and founded Art With a Heart.

Since 2002, Conrad and her crew have touched the hearts and lives of thousands of children. In its initial year, Carol and her six teachers led 114 at-risk children through one week of summer art camp. Six short years later, Art With a Heart serves well over 1,200 youth each year through Honors art classes, after-school programs, Kindergarten classes and week long summer camps.

While Art with a Heart is proud to give children the joy-filled experience that comes from creative expression, the mission goes much deeper. Our programs uniquely integrate and reinforce academics within the artistic experience. We strive to teach skills that benefit children in both school and life. Lesson plans are designed to encourage critical thinking and build problem-solving skills. Curriculums include state-mandated educational standards. High teacher/student ratios (1/12) combined with numerous volunteers help us provide the attention our students need. Art With a Heart positively impacts the lives of thousands of children, and thereby builds better communities through art, education and love.