Winter News & Creative Collaborations

With temperatures dropping quickly at the end of the year, we shifted back to ArtBag distributions in order to continue offering creative outlets and a safe, open space to check-in with Youth and families. Roughly 600 ArtBags have been distributed since the new year. Thanks to additional grants, we’ve been able to consistently offer two rounds each month. Whoa! Double the fun with infinite possibilities to discover.

Each ArtBag is grounded with a theme that inspires healthy reflection, self-expression, and communication. We encourage Youth to
look around their house to collect additional items that complement the supplies provided, too. We’re all about re-imagining and recycling!

ArtVan Youth enthusiastically jumped in to assist Devin from News Center Maine’s 207 while he filmed ArtBag distributions. (click to watch the video)

One Hyde Park Youth Artist, Weston, couldn’t wait to get inside on a brisky, windy afternoon. He opened his ArtBag on his doorstep and started making scratch art right away. Even through the ambiguity and busy family schedules, both art and the ArtVan staff continue to be a steady presence in our core neighborhoods.

Next Tuesday,
"What Do You SEA?" ArtBags are out for delivery!

We’re continuing to publish demo videos for each ArtBag on ArtVan’s YouTube channel. Here Bailey shares tips & tricks for using and caring for some of the unique supplies found within.
For most of our core neighborhoods, the community centers are closed; however, we’ve been able to adapt our sessions safely so that we can join Biddeford Youth weekly. With a small group and limited shared materials, ArtVan offers a safe and consistent space to both create together or to work individually.From check-ins at the beginning to sharing throughout the process and at the end, Youth & Art Therapists practice patience, inquiry, listening, and communication skills. These opportunities offer a chance to hear what’s coming up for each Youth or to simply create side-by-side, open to spontaneity and quiet reflection.
“We were able to make something together today, which we don’t get to do at school right now.”
Mayu, age 9, reflects on what the Biddeford ArtVan session offers, which sheds light on some of the social limitations of remote and distance learning during a pandemic. The latest program to open back up is Perryman Village in Brunswick. We are so grateful when we can safely spend time with our neighborhood friends!


How has your relationship with art and community been impacted this past year? You’re invited to share your insights and take part in local art and businesses that also support ArtVan!
Find inspiration from ArtVan’s Creative Share in The Cryer newspaper with local prizes, and shop local artists who are donating a % of sales to ArtVan, featuring Kharris Brill, a wood & glass artist, or sign-up for “Hats for Sale”, led by Altered Couture’s very own, Christine DeTroy, and make or shop hats to celebrate Spring Kentucky Derby season!

Stay tuned for more about the collaborative February Art Installation with Bath Youth. We teamed up with Union + Co and Main Street to get a chance to safely create together!


What exactly are my donations used for? Just as we directly serve our communities, your donations directly fund all that goes into providing programs. ArtVan’s Expressive Arts Therapist, Bailey Knox, uses her collage skills to capture just how we operate using a Programs & Operations Target Chart.
As we gear up for the spring and start planning our next fundraising appeal, we want to take a moment to thank the special ArtVan family who has generously fueled our steadfast mission to bring therapeutic arts directly to Youth and families in four different counties. Will you join us again to help keep the ArtVan rolling?
Have questions? Interested in connecting? We’d love to hear from you. Email