Free Arts Minnesota – Art Heals Breakfast!

I was a table host at the 2012 Art Heals Breakfast for Free Arts Minnesota. A group of my biggest supporters and loved ones joined me very early in the morning to get an exclusive look at Free Arts MN programs, statistical outcomes, personal testimonials, and even a live poetry reading by a few of our junior high youth.
Pictured above is my mom and dad, my long time fairy godmother Cheri Kennedy, mock interview judge and back- up-mother Marcia Anderson, Carolina Reyes former Miss Minnesota International, current Mrs. Saint Paul International Andrea Bennett-Xiong and husband Tou Bennett-Xiong, and Nicole Berg my new pageant friend. I was so blessed to have a table full of people who have made such a difference in my life over the past year. I was excited for them to lean about the Free Arts MN programs from someone other than myself, and I am sure they were too! I can talk about the benefits of art for days, but it is a whole different message when it comes from the youth who have experienced our mentoring first hand.
Here is one of the young men who shared how Free Arts made him feel in a spoken word, poetic rap form. He didn’t stop smiling for one second while he was on stage.
The next youth speaker had quite a story to tell. Her father sexually abused her for many years of her life with no outlet or help of any kind.
Here are Tia’s words….
"...I think that Free Arts is an amazing program. It has helped me and changed my life, and I have witnessed it do the same for my peers. It is a great way for me to connect with my peers when we all work on a project together. Some of them struggle with projects, others dive right in, but almost everyone creates something every time. I don’t know what my day treatment or my life would look like without my involvement in Free Arts.
There are many reasons why Free Arts is great. One reason is that I know there are other kids like me who do not have the resources or support they need to create art. There are also kids who have trouble expressing themselves, and Free Arts teaches them to do that. Finally, Free Arts is great because it is made almost entirely of volunteers. It is good to know that they choose to spend their time with us every week. It is good to know that someone thinks we are worth their time, and that they want to share their passion with us.
I know that this program has a deeply profound effect on all those involved. I like to think it is a necessary part of our community. I believe that art is an important part of life, and whether or not someone loves art, it is still important to experience it. Free Arts helps bring art to those who may not have had the opportunity to make it before.
I am forever grateful to Free Arts for reigniting my love of art. I think, and hope, that other children get to experience everything I have with Free Arts."
Watch this video for details about Tia and other youth talk about their experience with Free Arts MN.
I always get choked up hearing the kids speak about how their outlook on life has changed because of Free Arts MN. I am so proud to be able to represent an organization I believe in so much! This year was very successful and I can’t wait to see what Free Arts MN has in store for next year! Thank you to my friends and family who attending this event with me. Each one of you is a blessing and I appreciate all you do and your continued encouragement.


Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012


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