Super Sleuth – Van Gogh’s Garden


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This week’s artist was Faith Ringgold! 

Faith Ringgold is an African-American artist and author who was born in 1930 in Harlem, New York City, and who is best known for her large, painted story quilts.

The title of the work is The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles!

An interesting fact about the artist:Ringgold was one of the female artists who began making art objects in a medium formerly referred to as “women’s work” (textiles, sewn fabric, weaving, quilting, embroidery, etc.), beginning in the 1970’s, offering their work as ‘serious’ art, rather than the former label of  ‘craft.’


Here’s some info on the wonderful women featured in this work:


Madam C.J. Walker: Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, created specialized hair products for African-American hair and was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.

read more about her here

Sojourner Truth: Sojourner Truth is best known for her extemporaneous speech on racial inequalities, “Ain’t I a Woman?” delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851.

read more about her here

Ida B. Wells: Ida B. Wells was an African-American journalist and activist who led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s.

read more about her here

Fannie Lou Hamer: Fannie Lou Hamer was a civil rights activist who helped African Americans register to vote and who co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

read more about her here

Harriet Tubman: Harriet Tubman escaped slavery to become a leading abolitionist. She led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom along the route of the Underground Railroad.

read more about her here

Rosa Parks: Civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger, spurring the Montgomery boycott and other efforts to end segregation.

read more about her here

Mary McLeod Bethune: Mary McLeod Bethune was an educator and activist, serving as president of the National Association of Colored Women and founding the National Council of Negro Women.

read more about her here

Ella Baker: Civil rights activist Ella Baker worked with the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

read more about her here

And, of course, the gentleman in the corner of this quilt is Van Gogh!

Thanks for playing, super sleuths, and keep an eye out for this week’s challenge!

October’s Volunteer of the Month!

Congratulations to Lindsay Moseng, October’s Volunteer of the Month! We are so lucky to have you!lindsay-moseng-finished

A baker by trade, Lindsay has been a volunteer with AWaH since our 2014/15 Kindergarten program.

She had to take a year off due to her career, but she came back to us this summer, and we are so glad. She now works a Saturday Open Studio program and three Kindergarten programs. Her favorite aspect of her AWaH experience has been the skills and confidence students develop under the caring instruction of art teachers, and the lasting impact this has in their life and attitude. Showing kids that they can overcome fear, difficulty, or a mistake is what arts education is all about for her. Lindsay is working towards becoming a KidzArt instructor and teaching after-school art classes.

We would like to say a BIG Art With A Heart “Thank You” for all the hours Lindsay has dedicated to our organization and students! Good luck with all of your endeavors, Lindsay! Keep inspiring!

LuAnn Tanzilli Volunteer Spotlight

VSLLuAnn Tanzilli has worked with Delta Air Lines, in Indianapolis, for 7 years she is a Customer Service Associate. Due to Delta Airlines encouragement for their employees to give back to the community on both a local and national level, LuAnn found AWaH.

During LuAnn’s time with us she was a classroom assistant, her responsibilities consisted of setting up the art room, interacting with students, and cleaning the classroom after class. She even assists with setting up student’s art exhibits! LuAnn tells us that the most rewarding thing about her volunteer time with AWaH was, “Experiencing the creativeness of the participating children and their eagerness to encourage each other.”

LuAnn talks about how one little boy had impacted her time at AWaH. “In one of our last projects the students were creating a collage of their work for the first annual AWaH exhibit for their families.  A young boy would work for a while on his project and then come over to me with a big smile, stand for a couple of minutes and return to his art project.  No questions, just a smile and a friendly stare.  On the third visit I inquired if there was something special he needed and then went with him to his creation and learned that he was carefully creating an AWaH logo to add to his poster from the logo on my volunteer shirt. What a precious compliment and gesture.  The semester has been very enriching.”

Thank you for your amazing volunteer service LuAnn! We are excited to have you back next year!



Honors Goes to Chicago!

Honors students journey to the Fields Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago to see some very famous pieces of art


Earlier this month, 55 kids along with a few parents from the Honors program hopped on a bus and spent a long day touring two major museums in Chicago and seeing artwork they’ve studied, up-close and personal. Students were given scavenger hunt challenges at each location and questions to answer to reinforce learning from the trip. They had a blast!


Art With a Heart pilots Creative Pre-K Connections!

Art With a Heart pilots Creative Pre-K Connections this year at Indianapolis Public School #107

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Following a year of substantial growth and recognition for the Creative Kindergarten Connections (CKC) program, we announce our newest program, Creative Pre-K Connections, to be piloted at IPS #107. The Pre-K program is grounded in research just like the Kindergarten program and is ultimately the essential next step to the development of a complete early-childhood curriculum in Pre-K through third grades.


Student Story

A bright young child, supported by his wonderful family, learns to love art through Creative Kindergarten Connections.

Royce is super fun, shy 1st grader at CFI 2 this year who loves reading, learning, and of course, playing video games in his spare time! We met Royce in our Creative Kindergarten Connections program because at the start of the school year, he was actually a Kindergartener! Royce felt bored a lot during the school day because he wasn’t being challenged enough in Kindergarten and was asked if he’d like to move up to 1st grade, which he admitted to his family that he was nervous and unsure about what to do. Royce’s loving and supportive co-parents, Nichole Stevens and Cindy McGillem, are both volunteers at CFI 2 in the CKC program and saw first-hand how much Royce really blossomed throughout the program, and came up with a solution for their son that would both challenge and excite him for school. Royce agreed to move up to 1st grade ONLY if he was able to continue participating in the CKC program for the remainder of the year!


Thank You Salesforce Volunteers!

Meet the two wonderful volunteers from Salesforce who love helping us out at IPS #51 for Creative Kindergarten Connections.Salesforce Logo

Janet Stimac and Tim Tan are volunteers in our CKC program who both work at Salesforce here in Indianapolis! Salesforce encourages all of their employees to get involved and to give back to the community, and they have partnered with us to support our programming at IPS #51. We’ve been so happy to have these two volunteers, and they both have been equally impressed with the program.

“So far I’ve really enjoyed volunteering in the program! I got interested in it when I heard about how much fun it was from another employee’s mom, so I checked out the website, got to shadow another volunteer in a classroom, and now I’m at #51 once a week,” said Janet, “I love art, that’s my creative outlet, and when you’re working in a tech driven company it’s great to have that experience apart from work.” She said that each week gets better and better because the kids become more confident in their artistic abilities and also become more comfortable with her.


Meet our New CKC Staff Members!

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Photo credit – Michelle Craig

Kelly Bradbury – New AWaH Site Director

Kelly is a former elementary school teacher with an advanced degree in curriculum and instruction. After working as a classroom teacher, she became an instructional coach and mentored others to improve teaching strategies and classroom management.  Most recently, Kelly was a Homeschool Teacher. After homeschooling  her daughter for ten years, Kelly enrolled her daughter in 4th grade at Sidener Academy last spring. She also has a five-year-old son, who participates in Art with a Heart at CFI #2.

10635847_10152851905938561_7569031874975287202_nJoanna Ireland – New AWaH Site Director

Joanna graduated from IUPUI with a BS in Psychology and then taught preschool for 15 years at a parent-run cooperative in Irvington. She has 4 children, one of which participated in AWaH’s Creative Kindergarten Connections program. After teaching preschool, Joanna moved on to work for IPS #84 for a year and a half as a Behavior Specialist. During her time at #84, she got involved with us by running a center in the AWaH CKC program. Her youngest son was also participating in the CKC program during that time at his school, “I loved being able to talk to him about what his class did in AWaH that day, and really knowing the program first hand through the work I did at IPS #84,” said Joanna. She fell in love with AwaH; seeing the confidence and enthusiasm it created for her son made her heart sing. Her son has special needs, which makes school a place he doesn’t always feel successful, but in AWaH he always felt successful and he loved coming home to talk about what he learned! She also saw the difference it made for the kids at IPS #84. “Their attention spans were stretched, their fine motor skills increased and confidence in their art ability sky-rocketed,” said Joanna.


Volunteer Spotlight – Mary Oss

Volunteer Spotlight Mary Oss - JanuaryMary is one of our amazing office volunteers. She’s a semi-retired bookkeeper who currently works part-time for Shannon Door. Mary graciously uses her spare time to not only volunteer her skills to help us but also for Partnerships for Lawrence Arts and SS Peter & Paul Cathedral.

“In 2013, I was introduced to AWaH through a shared fundraiser that the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra was doing with AWaH.  I moved when I received a personal thank you note from one of AWaH’s Honors Class students that when I retired from the ICO in 2014, AWaH was the first organization that I contacted to do volunteer work,” said Mary.


Volunteer Spotlight – Sobia Shakeel

Volunteer Spotlight Sobia ShakeelSobia is a former teacher from Pakistan. This is her 2nd year volunteering with AWaH at IPS #96. “I’m getting so much out of my volunteer experience. I love seeing the twinkle in a student’s eyes when they are creating art and learning from it,” said Sobia. She describes her time with AWaH as fulfilling, rewarding and most importantly fun.


CKC Program Successes!

How students and teachers are impacted, volunteers’ gushing opinions, and how your donations make it all possible.

Wondering how our Creative Kindergarten Connections programming is going? It couldn’t be better! This year’s evaluation results painted a colorful picture of how the program is enjoyed by students, teachers, volunteers and principals. Results have shown overall growth in students’ creativity, improvement in self-governing behaviors thaCKC pict positively impact reading by 3rd grade and accelerated learning of art skills. The students and teachers who participated in the programming related many endearing stories of the positive learning and teaching environments created during AWaH; demonstrating the value of having in-school-day art programming in our Indianapolis schools.

We were really pleased to know that we avoided ‘initiative fatigue’ among teachers and instead received so much positive feedback from teachers who had completed two years of the program.  Although teachers acknowledged the extra work, they clearly recognized that they grew as teachers and had confidence in the success of their students.  One teacher participating in the program for the second year said, “It allows me to do what I enjoy most about teaching…watching students learn while being creative.” Another teacher told us, “This program allows me to teach the way I was trained to teach and I can see the positive effects with the students.”


Volunteer Spotlight

Two young students are making meaningful connections with AWaH kindergarteners!

Volunteer Spotlight Kendra & RondaKendra and Ronda are both juniors at Damar Charter Academy. They are currently volunteering with us once a week at Center for Inquiry School 2 for our Creative Kindergarten Connections program. While they are relatively new volunteers, you wouldn’t know it because they have already made such an impression on the students and have been equally impacted themselves.


Why Do You Donate?

These teachers donated in memory of a 2nd-grade student who loved art….Image-1

Sofia Komp was a 2nd-grader at Prairie Trace Elementary who passed away unexpectedly on September 21, 2014. She was known by her classmates and teachers for her bright spirit and love of art. She loved God and her family very much and was always happiest when she was surrounded by them. “She wanted to be an artist with a backup career as a magician, fashion designer, or pop star and spent many hours in pursuit of that dream. She expressed herself in colors and words, painting and writing stories,” said her mother, Jessica Komp in a tribute to her daughter.



We’re Growing!

As a supporter you probably realize by now how small the staff is at Art With a Heart.  Just four people manage the delivery of programs to around 2,500 students.  That number is significantly larger than it was even before the recession and it has been achieved thanks to the immense effort of our program director and the program managers who work for her.  With the roll out of our new kindergarten program the demand for our services is increasing even further.  So it’s time for us to establish some support positions that allow our managers to reach a sustainable level of work – we have a great team and we want everyone to be happy, fulfilled and successful in their work!

To that end we’re looking for a small number of people for some key positions in the next 12 months.  The first position we’re filling is volunteer management.  This starts out at about 5-10 hours  a week over summer and we hope to ramp up the schedule to around 20 hours a week in the fall.  We’re looking for someone who wants to help make a difference and earn a little extra money in the process.   There will be significant flexibility in working hours but no benefits.    I would love to hear from anyone interested in talking about the position, call Andrew at 317 966 6920.

Other positions we’re looking to fill include program schedulers which are seasonal (April/May and Aug/Sep) and paid as well as data entry which are volunteer positions.  In each of these cases we would give priority to people with an interest in longer term engagement.  Please encourage potential candidates to contact us through the website or at the number above.