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!



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.



$25,000 Grant to Support Expansion of Honors Program

Art With a Heart is pleased to announce a $25,000 grant from the Glick Fund in support of programming on the far east side of Indianapolis, the funds will support an expansion of our Honors Art program on Saturday in partnership with the Lawrence Art Center as well as the creation of four new after school programs.  We are currently seeking interested art educators from schools located in or serving children from the 46235 zip code to deliver our after school program.  For more information please apply to AWaH Program Director Kait Mariutto at

A Visit From Our Founder – Carol Conrad


Last week we were blessed with the wonderful opportunity to welcome our Founder, Carol Conrad, back to Art With a Heart.  Carol came for a visit to our new office and a visit to the Elizabeth Odle studio presented by Gator. Carol met new staff and learned about the many changes that have taken place over the last four years since she relocated to England with her husband.  Carol and current Executive Director, Andrew Lee are shown catching up while decorating tiles for the backsplash in the studio.  Carol will be attending our pendent party on November 16th (this coming Saturday) at Pottery-By-You and there are several spots still available.  For more information please see our Facebook page or call 317 602 7222 (ext. 5) for Kaitlyn Akin.


The Power of Stories

Stories are under appreciated, they are the most powerful and ubiquitous tools for learning and appreciating our humanity.  They tell us who we are, where we came from and they bind us together for the better functioning of society.  When we decided to make the move to 37 Place I became interested in the history of the building.  It dates from 1927 and was built as a school.  It holds particular meaning for African Americans as the last segregated school in Indianapolis.  But even these are only facts.  They don’t bring to life the history of the people who walked its halls, taught its students and how they lived their lives in the space we now occupy.

There were many community meetings and events as the building moved from dilapidation to demolition to renovation.  At one of these meetings I met Liz Odle, and as we shared a table discussing our aspirations for the future of the facility I learned that she had taught in IPS #37 as it was before.  In fact Elizabeth Odle began her teaching career in the space now occupied by Art With a Heart.  Liz worked with Special Needs students and was a pioneer in proving that inclusive teaching was not only possible but it was better for all students to foster a welcoming, supportive environment for every child regardless of their academic or physical ability.

After 17 years at IPS 37 Liz earned the chance to run her own school and with the encouragement of her Principal left to become the Principal of IPS # 14.  Throughout the rest of her career Liz became one of the most awarded and recognized employees of the Indianapolis public schools for her tireless effort to inspire the kids in her building to be more than they thought they could be.  Following her retirement from IPS Liz went to work at United Way where she is now Director of Bridges to Success and oversees the work of Community School Coordinators in 17 IPS schools.

Although Liz never taught art we found so much in common between our mission and her personal goals.  The strong academic base of our programs also fits well with our new space in a former school.  There is something powerful when so many aspects of life align and so we thought it right to name our new studio after a remarkable woman whose work giving hope and education to underserved youth so closely mirrors ours.  The Elizabeth Odle studio, presented by Gator,  was opened on Friday September 13th with representatives from CICF, IUPUI’s Full Service Community School Coordinator program and the Board of Director of Art With a Heart present to celebrate the achievements of our honoree as well as Mrs. Helen Lewis who was the Principal of IPS #37 when Liz started there.  The ribbon was cut by Liz Odle and Andrew Lee, Executive Director of Art With a Heart.

AWAH Block Party and Charity Yard Sale

You’re invited to our official opening!
Friday September 13th will be the official opening of our new office and studio space here at 37 Place. Guests are welcome from 11:30am and the formal ribbon cutting will take place at Noon.

On Saturday September 14th we’re holding a block party & rummage sale to help raise money to keep improving our studio. The event runs from 7:00am to 3:00pm. We’ll have food and drinks, fun art activities and games courtesy of our new neighbors: Playworks. We’re planning a day that’s fun for all the family.
Look out for more information about the event on Facebook soon and Save The Date!

We’re Moving – Again!

Last August, without a great deal of fanfare we departed the space that had been our office since 2005 on Sunnyside Road in Lawrence Township.  We had a five year lease there followed by a year of month to month until the moment came we couldn’t stay any longer.  Since then we’ve been camped out here in the Circle City Industrial Complex at 10th & Massachusetts.  It’s been fun; we’ve made some great new friends: Wug Laku, Nancy Lee, the folks at The Art Bank, the folks from the Cool Bus (yes, they’re cool as well).  We’ve connected with a new client at IPS #74 and its been a joy to have a teaching studio as part of our space once again.

None-the-less we’ve really been waiting for the renovation of 37 Place to be completed.  Now that it’s ready we’re looking forward to moving to a place we hope to call home for a long time.  There’s a strong philosophical link between our work and the new space: it’s a former school which is consistent with the strong educational foundations of our program.  The idea of 37 Place as the Heartbeat of Martindale Brightwood is reflected in the name and the logo of our organization.

Our current office will close at 5pm on Wednesday July 31st.  We will be re-open in our new location on Tuesday August 6th at 9am.  In-between we will be temporarily without our office phone and have limited access to email.

Our new address will be:

2605 E 25th Street

Suite 301

Indianapolis, IN 46218

Open Registration for Saturday Honors Art Classes!

We are now registering students for our Saturday Honors Art Classes! We have 3 sections available K- 1st, 2nd-4th, and 5th-8th. Students work with a variety of art materials and gain knowledge of many aspects of artists and art history. Our Saturday program has always been a place for those students who show the strongest response to art as a component of their personal development, so when they’re in the studio they’re excited, challenged, focused and sometime frustrated as they try to make sense of becoming better artists. They love to talk to you about it too! Many of our Honors students have been with us for 5 years or more, they come back because they and their parents recognize that our studio is somewhere their child can be comfortable, and tremendously creative. This year our students will have the opportunity to enjoy our brand new studio, at 2605 E. 25th Street, which will be equipped with new and exciting tools which will allow students to explore their creativity even further. For more information or if you would like to get your child involved in this program please contact Kaitlyn at

AWAH Honors Program to Expand this Fall

If you come in to our Saturday Honors Art program as a visitor, expect to be accosted!   Honors Art has always been the place for those students who show the strongest response to art as a component of their personal development, so when they’re in the studio they’re excited, challenged, focused and sometime frustrated as they try to make sense of their latest project.   They love to talk to you about it too!  Many of our Honors students have been with us for 5 years or more, they come back because they and their parents recognize that our studio is somewhere their child can be comfortable, because being an artist and putting your work out there for the world to see can be traumatic as a teenager.  It costs around $500 per student per year to be in Honors and our expansion is always dependent on finding new funding.

So with great delight AWaH announces today that grants from both the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Indiana Arts Commission will be used to expand our Honors Art program this fall.   Lawrence Art Center will become our second program venue.  Located at 4437 N Franklin Road, the center is entering its third year of operation and takes us back to the part of the city where we started, where we had our first office and where we were sad to leave some students behind when our last studio closed in 2009.  The partnership with LAC provides an affordable space and in anticipation of more art programs in Lawrence next year we think this is a great time to offer more students the chance to enter the creative class.

AWaH Junior Board Reports Fundraising Success

One of the core components of the Junior Board’s mission is raising funds to provide our students with additional materials at the end of their summer and afterschool programs.  This is a unique aspect of Art With a Heart and for the last two years the recession has severely limited our funds for this activity.  But over the last 9 months, the current Junior Board raised almost $1500 to provide materials for every child in the 2013 summer program: over 500 students.  In addition the JB was selected by in a national competition to receive a $500 grant to help continue their work.  This grant will be used to help provide materials for students in afterschool programs this Fall.   Look out for a blog post later this summer by some of the JB members describing their experiences with AWaH.

FY2013 Year End Results Reported

We’re saying goodbye to the recession!  It’s official, following two years of deficit spending in 2010 and 2011 then a breakeven situation in fiscal year 2012, Art With a Heart is delighted to announce a $29,000 surplus for the fiscal year 2013 (ended 5/31/13).  Careful cash management and an immense commitment by our staff has generated an operating surplus for the first time since March 2009.  “This is absolutely a team effort; everyone has found a way to help us get back on top” says Executive Director Andrew Lee, “we’re also grateful to our major supporters: Glick Fund, Indianapolis Foundation, Lilly Endowment, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Regions, Benesch, Endangered Species Chocolate and Mark Hill for their trust and support as we’ve recovered.”  With growth in earned income, event revenue and grants helping AWaH out of the recession, the organization is turning its focus to private contributions now that economic growth is becoming tangible, and hopes to make gains there in the short to medium term.

New Kindergarten Program Attracts Funders

Here at AWaH we’ve recently come to realize that there’s a flaw in much of the arts education programming offered to schools. We’d like to see programming that develops the school staff, raises the profile of the arts faculty and minimizes the longer term expense for the school. To that end we’ve restructured our Kindergarten program to do all of those things and we’re rolling it out in IPS this Fall. In late May the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust confirmed that they will support our redesigned program with a $60,000 grant over two years. The money will help AWaH provide Kindergarten programs in four Indianapolis Public Schools locations starting in January 2013. Specifically the funds help cover staff salaries and pay for evaluation of the program in the second year. In addition the Trust’s support, funding for materials in this program has been provided through a grant from the Junior League of Indianapolis; in April JLI presented a check for $10,000 to Art With a Heart to cover materials for the coming school year. The new Kindergarten program is a major strategic investment for the organization and will represent as much as 25% of the organization’s budget in FY2014.

New event to benefit Art With a Heart

Fuel Fed Events of Carmel, IN announced recently that their inaugural event “The Art of Motoring” will take place on Friday August 23rd, 2013 and proceeds will benefit Art With a Heart.  Affiliated with the Carmel Artomobilia car show, Art of Motoring will offer a first class experience for motoring enthusiasts, celebrating 100 years of Aston Martin.