Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Art Feeds Mission?

    Art Feeds believes that all children are curious, imaginative, creative, innovative and our greatest resource.

  • What are Art Feeds Goals?

    Our goal is create a future with creative students who are powerful beyond measure. To reach these goals we aim to:

    • Train school and children’s organization staff to implement Art Feeds programming to enhance their great work
    • Increase creative problem solving skills and self-efficacy in children decrease fear, stress & anxiety
    • Involve community members to invest in children
    • Encourage expression, creativity and art as staples in children’s everyday lives
    • Prioritize creativity as a valuable skill in education
    • Facilitate consistent expression for children’s mental and emotional health
    • Foster healing through art for children who have experienced trauma or face obstacles
    • Produce community art with children
    • Provide curriculum and programming to reach students where they are, regardless of their diverse needs and backgrounds
  • Why are creativity and expression important in schools and children’s organizations?

    Creativity and expression are some of the most valuable skills in our growing and diverse world. With the world changing at such a rapid pace, the best tool we can equip students with, for jobs that don’t yet exist, is their creativity. Creativity finds solutions, sparks innovations and imagines a better world. Through expression, we encourage mental and emotional wellness to address the needs of the whole child. We encourage confidence building, communication, community connections, original thinking, and esteem building. These skills are critical to our student’s future as they problem solve in every subject, realize there are many solutions to one problem and address the whole child in education, which will in turn create a community built on students who are powerful beyond measure.

  • Why are children important?

    We remain innovative due to our deeply rooted belief that all children are curious, imaginative, innovative, creative and our greatest resource. We know that children have these skills in abundance and it is our duty to fuel these skills. For that reason, we do not believe that we are giving children anything, but rather creating an environment for children’s existing skills to thrive. We do this with all forms of art integration- drawing, painting, dancing, music making, animation, storytelling, community art making, public art creating and so much more. The curriculum and the delivery of curriculum via the Art Feeds Method is designed in a way that empowers children.

  • How did Art Feeds start?

    You can take a look at our about page here. Art Feeds began in one classroom with one child- a little boy who wasn’t being fed at home and who was not only lethargic & struggling with academics but also had incredibly low self-esteem. Art Feeds Founder, Meg Bourne, found herself in this classroom in 2009. She had a point of reference for what art did for her as a child- she struggled with severe social anxiety and was an extreme introvert, art helped her express herself. Meg decided to try various forms or art with him. The more time she spent with him she realized he wasn't being fed at home. Meg addressed his nutritional and food insecurity through school programming, she knew mentally and emotionally his experiences ran deeper and he needed more support. Meg continued to do art lessons with him, he showed tremendous progress through expression; art was feeding him in a way that was just as essential as food.

    The art lessons quickly grew from just him to more classrooms and more children. So in order to fund the supplies needed, Meg printed and sold shirts that featured “Art Feeds” and a blank written by that original little boy, paired with his handprint, which ended up with a heart in the middle and later became the Art Feeds logo. The blank was open for the buyer to fill in with whatever “Art Feeds” for them. The simple t-shirt project grew far beyond expectations and the story of this little boy spread as did the impact and reach of Art Feeds programs. The story of this little boy is now the story of thousands of Art Feeds students who have together had the realization, “What I’m creating has worth, therefore I have worth.”

    The programming grew from that one classroom by request of other teachers, working with primarily behavioral disorder, special needs, at risk, and marginalized students using free therapeutic art and creative education to allow the whole child to thrive. In 2011, an EF5 tornado ravaged Joplin, Missouri where Art Feeds began. Meg and the Art Feeds staff quickly realized that the programming would now be valuable for every child to cope with the trauma they were facing. Art Feeds shifted from small focus groups to all-inclusive school wide programming. By reaching every child in the student body, the staff understood the need for expression and creativity with every student in education, trauma affected and otherwise, because every Joplin student struggled with various forms of trauma and obstacles prior to the disaster, which were then amplified. Now, Art Feeds programming is made available to all communities, schools and children’s organizations that wish to become a member through Art Feeds online or by applying to Art Feeds Community Assist Program

  • Is it Art Therapy?

    Certified Art Therapists are who conduct Art therapy, we are not certified Art Therapists. We term space we create in the classrooms and within the lessons an expressive space or as a lesson meant for expression. Our curriculum is created by a certified teacher, and consulted on by a certified and licensed art therapist as well as a child trauma specialist. Although an Art Therapist consults on our lessons, the delivery of each lesson is by the school or children’s organization staff that become members of Art Feeds Online or are a Community Assist partner, these people are not trained Art Therapists. Our Art Feeds Method aims to teach partners and members to be facilitators of expression but to not act as certified counselors for the students. Instead, we provide a consistent positive adult influence and create a space where expression and creativity thrive.

  • What is Community Assist?

    Our Community Assist Program allows schools and children’s organizations that find that funding is an obstacle to start Art Feeds programming to apply to receive training, curriculum and art supplies free of cost. Art Feeds fundraises to provide for 6,000-10,000 children per year through Community Assist. You can learn more about Community Assist and the application process here.

  • What is Art Feeds Online?

    Become a member to Art Feeds Online where you will have monthly access to Art Feeds Method online training, lessons, teaching videos, lesson resources, printables and more. With Art Feeds online, we do the heavy lifting to help you create an environment where students feel free and safe to express themselves and grow social and emotional skills in your organization or classroom. Learn more about it here.

  • How is the curriculum made?

    Art Feeds lessons promote expression and creativity to provide intervention and facilitate best practices as students face barriers in their daily lives. We fuse the fun and play of art and creativity with a space for students to feel their emotions and have a space to feel seen, known and to belong. Too many students undergo adverse childhood experiences in their lives, including chronic poverty and undernourishment, displacement, language barriers, discrimination, ablism, chronic traumas, cultural differences and many more. Others are confronted with more everyday frustrations such as not making a team or disagreements with friends. Whatever the challenge, big or small, they can bring on feelings of unworthiness; and those feelings of self-doubt sometimes show up as acting out in class, withdrawing, underachievement, sadness, unkindness, or anger.

    Art Feeds uses vetted curriculum and every lesson has been implemented in the Art Feeds classroom and reviewed by Educators to ensure effectiveness. Our curriculum has been perfected through feedback from educators, pre and post testing with students and in person practices in the classroom. Each lesson uses all forms of art to create an environment where student’s expression thrives, social emotional skills flourish and creative capacities grow.

    Click here to learn more.

  • What is the purpose of the curriculum?

    Art Feeds lessons promote expression and creativity to provide intervention and facilitate best practices as students face barriers in their daily lives. We fuse the fun and play of art and creativity with a space for students to feel their emotions and have a space to feel seen, known and to belong. Too many students undergo adverse childhood experiences in their lives, including chronic poverty and undernourishment, displacement, language barriers, discrimination, ablism, chronic traumas, cultural differences and many more. Others are confronted with more everyday frustrations such as not making a team or disagreements with friends. Whatever the challenge, big or small, they can bring on feelings of unworthiness; and those feelings of self-doubt sometimes show up as acting out in class, withdrawing, underachievement, sadness, unkindness, or anger.

    Art Feeds uses vetted curriculum and every lesson has been implemented in the Art Feeds classroom and reviewed by Educators to ensure effectiveness. Our curriculum has been perfected through feedback from educators, pre and post testing with students and in person practices in the classroom. Each lesson uses all forms of art to create an environment where student’s expression thrives, social emotional skills flourish and creative capacities grow.

    Click here to learn more.

  • What are curriculum “buckets”?

    Think paint bucket. We term the way we organize our lessons into buckets. With a monthly Art Feeds Online membership, you receive access to 4 core elementary buckets. We worked to create various buckets outside of the 4 Core Elementary buckets to fit the diverse needs of student populations. Additional buckets and their purpose can be found here

  • What is the Art Feeds Method?

    The curriculum and the delivery of lessons is designed in a way that empowers children. We do this with the principles of the Art Feeds Method, which are aimed toward the development of social and emotional skills in students. The principles of the Art Feeds Method are designed to teach the facilitators of Art Feeds curriculum how to create an environment where students are free and safe to express themselves, get curious, take risks, explore ideas, grow their imaginations, and become more innovative. The Art Feeds Method provides a clear breakdown of classroom expectations and energy, as well as training and tools to equip the facilitator to reach students where they are in their creative and expressive processing. The online training includes training videos, descriptive text, explorative activities, and additional resources. The Art Feeds Method training can be accessed through Art Feeds Online or you can organize an immersive in person Art Feeds Method training with your staff or group conducted by an Art Feeds staff member

  • What is the International Curriculum Bucket Used for?

    This bucket of curriculum was created for children in countries outside the U.S. This bucket is organized into various mediums of drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media, performance and art journaling. Of these 6 mediums, there are 4 lessons at varying skill levels. This bucket is designed in simple and succinct language so that it can be used by domestic staff at international organizations, or by those traveling on projects such as international development or international missions. The lessons can be organized into workshops, camps, or lessons over the long term. There are both lessons with a focus on basic skills as well as an emphasis on expression and creativity. Our international curriculum has been used in Ghana, Honduras, Cambodia, Thailand, Haiti and Nepal. Become a member to Art Feeds Online to access the International curriculum bucket.

  • Does Art Feeds build International Art Centers?

    Art Feeds has partnered with Touch A Life and Kim Lewis Designs to contribute our curriculum, training, expertise, support and supplies to the construction of Art Centers in Ghana on the grounds of the Touch A Life Care Center, in Battambang and Siem Reap Cambodia on the grounds of Rapha House Care Centers, and in Thailand on the grounds of a Rapha House Care Center. These care centers are safe spaces for trafficked and exploited children, Art Feeds has contributed to these projects by lending knowledge throughout the building process in terms of how the Art Centers will be used long term. Post build, Art Feeds has contributed and training, curriculum, data collection and support for the on the ground staff to use art as a means of expression and as a tool for healing process. Art Feeds did not fund the construction of the Art Centers, but is rather a proud partner in the use of art centers in the long term.

  • What is the mural curriculum?

    Art Feeds student-produced mural is created during four 30 to 60 minute sessions over the course of 4 lessons. The curriculum puts the design and decision-making in students’ hands and the end result becomes a great equalizer and team builder for all students. When a mural is finished and placed on a school wall and in the community, it not only brightens a space, it encourages pride and instills ownership in each student who contributed their creativity and ideas to produce a meaningful piece of art for their school and community.

  • How do I get a mural at my school or children’s organization?

    There are two ways to receive the mural curriculum and mural. To learn more about our murals and get a quote on the cost of a mural for your school or children’s organization you can contact us (link to contact page) and if funding is an obstacle, you can apply for a mural free of cost through our Community Assist Program