A Sense of Belonging

Through art exhibits, events and volunteerism, community leaders can see Youth as positive members of the community and Youth are able to take ownership of their community in a way that is productive, not destructive.

As a result, Youth may develop more positive relationships with authority figures. The growth of these relationships often lead to a deeper mutual understanding between two parties, allowing for better collaboration and communication.

Art as Prevention

The art-making and creative process is rooted in a human’s need to communicate and to know. Through the creative process, we are privileged to discover new meanings and relationships, create a practical path to the unseen, and then bring it to a place of reality with Art Therapy.

Both encourage self-reflection, self-awareness, self-regulation and commitment. Both focus on the development of positive social skills, life skills, good decision-making and resilience. Participating in Art Therapy provides a safe and tangible outlet for underlying thoughts and feelings. Anti-social behaviors, such as theft, drugs, alcohol and risky sexual behavior, are less likely to occur where safe outlets and opportunities for self-expression are available.

Steadfast Support

ArtVan’s team has worked with people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. With a sincere desire to honor all individuals, their commitment to inclusion, creative expression, and diversity guide each interaction and program design. 

New Perspectives

Youth may begin to see themselves, their peers, and their community in a different way. Working to create an image, dance, performance, or poem requires self-discipline and communication. It also requires healthy risk-taking to try something new or extraordinary.

Co-Facilitation in Action

When a Youth laughed at her own drawing, the Teaching Artist invited the Art Therapist to help them explore the disconnect of effect (humor) and subject matter (suicide). Together they supported the Youth’s artistic expression, technique, and difficult feelings that she may have been unable to express without Art as the conduit. The creative process and resulting artwork offer problem-solving opportunities for Youth struggling with internal and external conflicts and isolation, help build acceptance and self-esteem, and promote empowerment.