From Parents, Artists, and Volunteers

Earlier this month, fourteen youth from Kids & Art came to The Crucible to participate in clay and metal workshops in our Ceramics and Jewelry Departments. As a non-profit industrial art school, it is our mission to provide individuals of all backgrounds, ages, and skill-levels access to a one of a kind, hands-on industrial arts education.

Initially, we had been concerned the health issues of the students might make it difficult to run our workshops with the amount of staff normally on hand. But as soon as Kids & Art arrived, our anxieties disappeared. They were well-staffed with volunteers and parents and with their assistance, Crucible instructors were able to give the students a sincerely joyful, educational experience.

As the students settled into their workshops and began creating, it was sad knowing how much these children have already faced in their lives. But it was clear that all of the participants truly enjoyed their workshops and the pieces of art they walked away with. To know that The Crucible was able to bring some joy into their world, under such difficult conditions, was quite gratifying, and the entire experience proved to be very rewarding and memorable for me, and the participating Crucible staff and faculty.

The Kids & Arts philosophy of healing through the arts is a tenet of The Crucible. We strive to value and appreciate varied life experiences, perspectives and abilities, and know that one of the most meaningful ways to learn from one another is to work together in a shared creative endeavor.

So, Kids & Art fit right in here. Thank you for coming and creating with us.

Daniel Stauber, Workshops Manager, The Crucible

The San Francisco Arts Education Project was thrilled to host an event for Kids & Art, an organization that, like ours, values the power of hands-on arts experiences for young people. We always want to support great arts programs any way we can, and with our new space at the Minnesota Street Project, we have an art studio-classroom that we want to keep activated as much as possible. There's not better way to activate the space than with kids creating, and that's what a Kids & Art event is all about. Our work takes us into the San Francisco public schools, and through collaborations with groups like Kids & Art, we are able to extend our reach beyond those schools. In the case of Kids & Art, it's to kids and their families who are dealing with treatment for cancer – and how incredible it is for an organization to make exciting, accessible arts experiences for that particular group of people. The collaboration itself was a dream. The Kids & Art staff and volunteers took care of all the details and made all the participants feel right at home with everything they could possibly need. Set-up and clean-up was easy, and everyone was lovely to work with. It was inspiring, well-run event and left us with even more enthusiasm to collaborate with Kids & Art on future events.

Chad Jones | Executive Director, SFArtsED

A big thanks to Kids & Art for having this venue for our kids and their families.

Attending the destination workshops while our son was in treatment was a great opportunity for our son - he got to do art - something he loved and also helped him relax. He always looks forward to K&A workshops, is excited to go to fun places like Pixar, Google and just do art!

As for parents, it was helpful too:

  1. We had another place we could go to (other than hospital & close friends place) and not worry about informing everyone about his low immunity, etc. - at Kids & Art everyone understood that and was considerate about it.
  2. As parents, we also met many families going thru treatment - we could speak heart-to-heart and exactly understood what each of us was going through. We also met families whose kids had survived and were doing great! Actually seeing those kids & families gave us hope & showed us there is light at the end of the tunnel - kids do survive and lead a normal happy life.

Thank you for doing this Kids & Art. We appreciate all that you do and fully support your mission.

Kiran. (Parent of Teghbir Singh - survivor of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia)

Thanks so much for an amazing afternoon today. I can see the joy in Mahek's heart when she is fully engrossed in the wonderful artistic opportunities that are provided at every Kids and Art workshop. To her it doesn't matter if it's at Google or the Redwood city studios or any other place. Her spirit just knows how to let loose and forget everything and just feel so happy doing something that she loves to do. Thanks so much for all that you are doing. Will always try to bring Mahek for the workshops whenever possible and she's excited at the idea of volunteering as well.

Sheetal (Parent of Mahek - survivor of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia)

I wanted to express my heartfelt thanks for an absolutely wonderful time on Sunday. My kids, Timmy and Ellie Panos had a blast!! For my daughter, I knew it would be a hit, as she has spent many days in the hospital doing art, but for her twin brother I wasn't sure. However, your artists were so engaging, and there were so many different types of art, he did art for the whole 2 hours! Thank you so very much to your organization for a wonderful Sunday afternoon.

Polly Hey Panos, parent

It was OUR genuine pleasure to help you spread your message and share the amazing art of such fabulous kids. You warm my heart and soul when I think of what you have accomplished under such challenging circumstances.

Lori Luna, VP of Event Operations, BlogHer

Hannah and Tess had a blast. They want to come to the next one to finish their piece. Also Pam said that when Hannah went home she pulled out some of her own materials and went back to work. Thank you! Tess also likes to spend time with Miranda's friends. Sorry we had to rush off.

Tammie, Bereaved family created with us at Redwood City Art Center

It was wonderful to work alongside all of you and the families that came to create artwork and poetry. Helping and watching the artist paint and write, was amazing--each piece beautiful. It inspired me to do some painting! I have some pictures that I will email to you Purvi.

Thank you for asking me to be a part of Kids & Art, looking forward to working with you again in December.

Patty (has been our artist since 2008)

Rinat Goren, worked with Kanishka at our art workshop at Pixar. Here is Rinat talking about her experience -

I was deeply affected by working with Kanishka on his art piece. I was so impressed and humbled by his ability to focus and pay attention. It was extremely important to him to produce good art despite the fact that at the time he was so sick and obviously did not feel well. He was very particular, asking so many questions, conflicting between accepting my advice and making his own decisions. It was an intense experience. Kanishka passed away shortly after his art piece was completed. I find myself thinking of him often. He inspired me to focus on what’s important and to squeeze as much as possible from each of my art works. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with him.

Rinat Goren, Artist www.rinatart.com

I chose to volunteer with Kids and Art at first because my mother volunteers as an artist during workshops. During the workshop at Google, I was truly moved when I saw how the kids’ faces lit up when they saw the tables filled with art supplies for them to use. I really enjoyed interacting with the families who were all so happy to be a part of the Kids and Art community. I continued to volunteer with Kids and Art, making a promotional video to spread the word about their purpose and how they were helping so many parents and kids. This program is just amazing. It provides comfort and relief to so many people going through such difficult times.

Shani Rosenthal, Volunteer

Kate Mayer, along with her son who was undergoing treatment, has participated in several of our art workshops.

Kate wrote: "Kids & Art presents wonderful programs for children affected by cancer. There's a way that cancer attacks the whole family. Our children suffered through cancer: one got the treatments, the other became isolated. At workshops they were able to work with artists to express themselves wordlessly and respond from their hearts. Later, they went to an auction and their work raised money for the cause. The whole experience was very empowering and healing. Thank you so much for creating this place for kids affected by cancer to shape their world."

Kate Mayer, parent

Jylian worked with Miranda at our art workshop at DreamWorks. Miranda passed away in 2010 after 3 years of battling cancer.

“Miranda was a beautiful little girl, I remember her as being shy at first, but once we got going with the artwork her face would light up and her smile was magical.”

Jylian Gustlin, Artist www.jyliangustlin.com

The unimaginable, the unfathomable happened. My daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Yet, there were many gifts from that moment on in our life's journey. Kids & Art is/was a treasured gift, sanctuary, and community. In my daughters fight as well as in her legacy - my family treasures the gift of creating art with family, friends, and a special community.

Tammie Medeiros Bosley Mom of Dexter, Miranda, and Tess

Ever since Kanishka had the honor of working with Rinat through Kids and Art he gained tremendous amount of confidence in his artistic abilities and also his nature photography. ( I remember, Kanishka had mentioned to us that he was bringing his nature photographs to his first Kids and Art workshop to do a collage with them as he was not comfortable painting, when Rinat and even other artists had commented about how striking his photographs were and did not want him to cut them up and do a collage with them.) And I believe Rinat not only got him painting, but also was one of the people who inspired him to start a blog for his photographs. (10 days before he passed he created his own blog.)

Kanishka never wanted to set the paint brush down since Kids and Art. He painted at home. He painted for other friends. He loved doing art at the hospital school. He even managed to sell one of his art pieces and said that he felt like a "professional "

Kanishka had a very fulfilling and rewarding experience with Kids and Art and as Kanishka's mother, I am very thankful for that.

Vino Porage, parent

I had the honor of working with Kids & Art for one year during its inception. I collaborated with Purvi Shah on many facets. We researched local artists and paired them with the children. We sought out venues for the art making events that would be inspiring for both the artists and the children, such as Pixar Studios and DreamWorks Studios.

It was very touching seeing the artists and children work so closely together. They shared a creative connection that produced unique pieces of artwork. The children and artists equally inspired each other. Their symbiotic friendships were depicted in the outcome their art pieces.

I saw the children enjoying themselves, as their minds were preoccupied with creating. Some of the children were so surprised that they had an artistic talent. They were proud with their finished pieces and were encouraged to continue creating art in their future. It truly was inspiring for everyone involved. I had my children come to help as well. Everyone connected with Kids & Art felt such a deep reverence for the organization, and it was very satisfying to see the end result at the first auction at Bonhams. It was a great success. It continues to be an avenue for children with cancer to create their own conception of masterpieces.

Caroline Low, volunteer, patron, friend of Kids & Art