On Sunday, May 21, The Help Group was proud to present Festival of Arts: A Celebration of Young Artists sponsored by the New York based nonprofit Bear Givers for the eighth consecutive year. The show featured two exhibits – Through Our Eyes, a collection of over 150 original paintings with the theme, “My Favorite Things” and The Art of STEM, featuring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math works along with award-winning robotics.

The exhibits were on display at the Santa Monica Art Studios – Arena 1 Gallery, a historic hangar at the Santa Monica Airport that provided a unique gallery setting for students to display their creative offerings.

The afternoon’s festivities was the culmination of the school year’s arts program and STEM projects, and included a special reception in honor of the young artists from Village Glen, Bridgeport and STEM³ Academy Schools. Dr. Barbara Firestone, President & CEO, The Help Group welcomed families and remarked, “Congratulations to each and every one of you – our talented young artists – for all of your hard work. Thank you for sharing your creativity and your love of art with us.”

Bear Givers EmpowerArt program creates opportunities for young artists from around the country to experience the joy of creating art and seeing their art showcased at a special exhibit. Diane Lempert, President of Bear Givers shared congratulatory remarks and addressed student artists saying, “Each time I visit your exhibition, I am invigorated, inspired and uplifted by your artwork – this is the 8th time I’ve seen the world through your eyes, and it’s a beautiful world.”

Dr. Firestone acknowledged Joseph Sprung, Chairman and Founder of Bear Givers, who couldn’t be there from New York, and presented Bear Givers with a special memento for its longstanding commitment to empowering young people through the arts, and for its tremendous philanthropic spirit and caring for young people everywhere. “Bear Givers believes art is a positive way to empower young people to discover all the talent, the beauty and potential that they do have,” she shared.

Dr. Firestone expressed The Help Group’s gratitude to faculty who mentor and work with students on an ongoing basis throughout the year, including Dr. Ellis Crasnow, Dr. Kelly Kotowski, Tia Bruno, Jenn Slade, Frank Morales, Melinda Salazar, Erica Luis, Alijae Hendricks and Carla Vilamil – who each received a special acknowledgment for providing their invaluable mentorship in the arts and in STEM.

At the close of the afternoon a parent of a Help Group student, shared, “It’s wonderful to see our children take pride in their creations and in their abilities, and the Festival of Arts show provides a powerful outlet for self-expression and self-discovery.”

Our congratulations to each of the young artists for such a terrific exhibition!