What We Do

100 Youth
received Therapeutic Arts at little to no cost last year

MISSION

ArtVan is a mobile Art Therapy non profit organization serving under-resourced Youth in the communities where they live.

We bring arts to the people in our colorful painted van to those who have the least amount of social services, after school and summer activities available to them. The art making process provides a tangible means to transform ideas, feelings, and stories. Our work is integral in enabling individuals to make sense of the world around them.

The art making process is a direct way to:

    • Channel Feelings Safely
    • Adjust to new relationships
    • Invite new creative solutions to challenging situations
    • Feel a sense of belonging

    ArtVan is not just about the art. We also build trust, create healthy relationships and encourage healthy risk taking behavior.

    Jamie Silvestri, Art Therapist/Founder

    HOW WE STARTED

    In 2004, Jamie Silvestri, an Art Therapist, and the City of Bath’s Community Development Office collaborated to provide under-resourced Bath neighborhoods with a quality therapeutic arts program to enrich the lives of Youth who did not have access to social services and recreational activities. Encouraged by high attendance levels, enthusiastic participants, and grateful parents, we have continued our services for 15 years with extensive community and foundation support.
     

    By 2007, ArtVan expanded to the “Tree Street” low-income housing neighborhood in Lewiston, two housing developments in Auburn, a subsidized Brunswick Housing Development, and an under-resourced neighborhood of Biddeford, Maine.

    On December 2012, after six years of successful programming through fiscal sponsorships, ArtVan incorporated as a State of Maine non-profit. During this time, ArtVan’s popularity raised community awareness of our mobile services, leading to our development of Community Partnership Programs (CPPs) with organizations that serve a range of populations: seniors with dementia, teens facing homelessness, and adults with life challenges. Lacking Art Therapy components, these programs hire ArtVan to provide services on a one-time or ongoing basis.

    I can draw and paint whatever i feel, because when i try to explain it, no one gets it.

    ArtVan Participant