SchoolArts Magazine

NOV 2012

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 44 of 52

FocUs iN: orgANizATioN UPdATes The Memory Project More than 10,000 high-school artists have participated by creating portraits for children in orphanages around the world. H er name is Beatriz. She is eight years old, though a bit small for her age. If you throw her into the air and catch her in your arms, she laughs. I met Beatriz in February 2007. She stood waiting by the gate of her orphanage in El Salvador as I entered with four large duffel bags, each one full of faces that all the children would recognize. As one can imagine, children in orphanages grow up with few belongings to call their own. Photographs are scarce, and keepsakes minimal. What better way to capture their beauty, innocence, and dignity than in a portrait? In my bags were original portraits for all of the children. They had been made by advanced high-school artists from across the United States, whose photographs were attached. Beatriz was about to receive a work of art from a talented student in Miami, Florida, named Daniela. When I presented her with the portrait on Daniela's behalf, she smiled, giggled, and then read aloud the heartfelt message Daniela had written on the back. Beatriz returned to her dormitory one hour later. From across the bunkhouse, I watched as she found some tape and hung her image on the front of her locker: and friendship from miles apart. the one place in the world containing We are honored to receive such items just for her. As I closed my eyes positive feedback from teachers: and took a breath, I felt a tingle of "This is my favorite project in all the warmth that had passed between my years of teaching!" these two individuals—a girl from El —Jenny Davidson, WA Salvador and a teenager from Miami— who are no longer strangers. "I can truly say this was one of the This is the Memory Project. More highlights of my teaching career." than 10,000 high school artists have —Zita Hudnut, NJ participated by creating portraits for children in orphanages around the "Our students said this was one of world. When the portraits are delivthe most moving experiences they ered, the children are invited to make have ever had, and one that they will drawings for the art students, thus always remember about high school." completing an exchange of kindness —Tom Steward, WI Please visit us at to find out how to get involved. We also have a program called Books of Hope ( that is open to students at levels K–12. Page sponsored by: 42 November 2012 SchoolArts

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