Free To Be Me Arts is a program under KidSource Kids that embodies it's meaning in the title. This programpresents how powerful, creative, and inspiring central Arkansas's disabled kidsare, highlighting their role as contributing humans to the central Arkansascommunity. Free To Be Me Arts gives a megaphone to their voice expressing whothey are, what they love, and how they see the world.
The program is built ofvolunteers: professional artists who volunteer their time to plan and teachlessons, and therapists who give their time to be a bridge for the kids to theartists. The kids get to dive into a sensory rich experience and come out witha piece for home and an art piece to share with the community each lesson. Thelessons are tailored to fit the developmental level of the child, taking intoconsideration their differences. This program sees a child's special need as adoorway to creativity that gives them a perspective uniquely their own. Thanksto the volunteers and the funding from KidSource kids, central Arkansas gets topeer into these doorways and relish the art of these kids in a Gala. The Galais a collection of the kids artwork open for viewing and buying where thechildren proudly present their art in person.
Our volunteering professionalartists are incredibly talented and have used a multitude of mediums such asvariety of sculptures, acrylic paint, watercolor, paper mache, pastels, andprint ink. The sky is the limit and more mediums and lesson are to come!
If you have a child that is interested in being apart of a lesson or you are an artist who has experienceworking with kids and want to be apart of this joyful program please do nothesitate to contact Kimberly Jacobi at (501) 315-4414.
Denise White is a single mother of two children; Madison, 22 and Owen, 15. She was born and raised in Little Rock, but moved to Dallas at the age of 23 and lived there for 16 years. Denise considers herself a true artist that never stops with just one art form and to her, dancing and creating art is what makes her the happiest.
Denise began taking dance at a young age and continued to teach dance for 35 years both in Little Rock and in the Dallas area. In 2004, when she returned from Dallas, she began working at Pulaski Academy in the Early Childhood Center as an Administrative Assistant and where she created an afterschool dance program. This program not only branched into choreographing routines for school plays but also for children who wanted to be in the annual talent show. In 2008, Denise still had a yearning to return to college and get the degree that she had not received in her younger years and in the fall of 2009, at the age of 44, she registered for classes at UALR. Since she felt getting a dance degree would be difficult at her age, she decided to feed her soul with her other creative talents and graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art.
Since graduation, Denise has worked as an artist with painting portraits of children, homes and pets as commissioned to her by many who love her work. She has created an art page on Facebook, Art by Denise, which has a photo gallery of the many pieces she has painted. You will see from this gallery that Denise uses bright colors and her subjects are abstract, but still very much realistic and feels this is very much a reflection of her personality. Her work has been displayed in the UALR Art Gallery, Argenta Gallery, Mugs Café, and Fellowship Bible Church. Denise currently has an art studio in Pulaski Heights Christian Church and is planning to teach art classes to both children and adults.
Denise has been involved in a Bible Study for the past 8 years and attends Fellowship Bible Church where she serves on the Technology team in The Edge venue. She is currently serving on the committee for the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure and has volunteered for CARTI Festival of Trees, the Ronald McDonald House’s Chocolate Fantasy Ball and the Arkansas Food Bank where her art has also been auctioned off raising money for charity. She loves spending time with family and friends and opening her heart to those in need.
Led by Denise White
This art project was designed for level 2 kids meaning they are able to follow 2-3 step directions and can sit down for several minutes at a time. These kids warmed up learning about collages by putting together a self portrait using small magazine cutouts. They learned that small separate parts can make a whole, like stories make up a big story. The large group collage piece is a direct demonstration of this concept. The kids each contributed their own small circles of stories on the large board to depict their hopes, inspirations, favorite things, and dreams. These collage pieces are glimpses into the hopes and dreams of these children. This project helped teach them anything is possible when you start with small pieces.
Led by Kim Jacobi
This project was specifically designed for our “on the go” level 1 kids. Their creativity is flowing out of them all the time, but it is only able to be bottled for display in rapid snippets. They were encouraged to use their body to press into the soft mold creating mountains and valleys with themselves. Each piece is a 3D image of the child- their foot, finger, elbow, knuckles, and knees. They explored crawling over, rolling on, and squishing the mold in between their fingers.
Luckily, some of our level 4’s were also able to do this project on the side, creating quite the visual contrast to our level 1’s creations. They chose to create more precise lines and patterns.
Led by Marty Justice
This project was created to inspire the love of color. Level 3 and 4 kids were happy to participate and learn about the merriment of contrasting, complementary, and tertiary colors in creation of their pastels. Marty led them through the variety of strokes possible with a pastel. They learned how pushing hard verses gentle can make a different statement, how intersecting details can make surprisingly holistic larger designs, and best of all, how to arrange colors to tell a story and a feeling. The kids were honest in their titles
Torn Paper Collage
Led by Alex Ferrara
This project was designed for level 2 kids who like to sit and play but enjoy breaks. Alex was able to pre paint some boldly textured and colored paper and provide a theme to the kids to jump start them. The kids took the paper and designed their own nature or architecture scene. These collages are an interesting mix of structure and free reign. The titles speak volumes into each piece’s personal meaning to the kids.
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All questions can be directed to our main office and they will guide you to the right person to contact regarding referrals, services, employment or any other questions that arise.
Referrals can be made by calling our administrative office at (501) 315-4414 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org