After 20 years of presentations in schools throughout the country, Lorraine LeMon could see a clear vision of the power of the arts and how they could be used to help young people make better choices both personally and academically. Then in 2003, she along with the help of several other professional community leaders formed Art2heart. Its mission had a 3 prong focus for the youth:
ONE – Help them identify their talents and gifts to establish a sense of self-worth and life purpose.
TWO – Help them identity and establish positive values that would build quality character for making better life choices.
THREE – Help them to take those talents and values and integrate them into living and leading productive lives.
As the program began to grow, Lorraine began to see that poor reading skills had become one of the biggest causes of failure in our schools. She returned back to school and obtained a Master’s Degree in Education so that she could work closely with Educators to develop a comprehensive Reading program , as well as get an academic view of how the Arts could be integrated in the process.
Our Art2heart After School program now consists of three components: Fine and Performing Arts Classes, Leadership and Summer Camps. With about 93% of our participants coming from economically disadvantaged households or working poor, we are able to provide classes that they would normally not be able to afford.
Although we have a very good history of collaborating with other nonprofits and community groups, it was our recent move to the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center in Kerrville that has allowed us to expand our relationships and efforts within the community. The close proximity of these the Arts and artistic venues within this facility not only allows us to work better together, but it also allows us to be more effective in our efforts.
We can proudly say since our beginning in 2003, we have reached hundreds of children through our programs. Many of these students have now graduated high school, attending universities or have become productive young adults in the community.
Our financial support comes from a variety of areas such as; charitable foundations, private donors and our yearly fundraisers. Our Volunteers, which are priceless, come from the local college and high school as well as the retired community and other professionals.
Our reputation in the community by God’s grace has proved itself to be impactful. But what sets Art2heart apart from the usual after-school programs? It is our unique blend of the arts, academics and character building.
This integrated process is where we contrive our motto:
“Using the Arts to Reach the Hearts!”
We Change Lives!