Arts Consortium project empowers CASA kids through art

(Rigo Moran)

VISALIA – The My Voice Media Center (MVMC) is giving children in the CASA program an opportunity to “create the day away” through therapeutic art projects.

VISALIA – The My Voice Media Center (MVMC) is giving children in the CASA program an opportunity to “create the day away” through therapeutic art projects.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Tulare County and the MVMC have teamed up to create a monthly art night for kids involved in the CASA program. On Nov. 29 at 4 p.m., the MVMC will host the kids of CASA for its routine monthly art projects to help the children build confidence as well as relax and grow their artistic abilities.

“The art projects are really fun,” Arts Consortium project manager Halonnah Hope Kay said. “It’s open-ended projects that focus on the creative process, and how art can help inspire them and help them with their mental health.”

According to the MVMC website, childhood experiences are best maintained by making sure kids have activities that help them relax and enjoy the things in life. Art is one way that MVMC brings resilience to the mental health of our participants. The creative mind is a great tool to help solve problems and develop skills that help us concentrate.

Some projects done at the CASA art nights include having the kids create personalized album covers, as if they were in a band themselves. It also includes painting in monochrome colors, painting pine cone monsters, painting with the color lime-green for Mental Health Awareness Month in May as well as making snow globes and ornaments for Christmas in December.

“I always include a quote from an artist or someone that is related to the project we’re doing,” Kay said. “It provides a little bit of inspirational thoughts and mental health awareness.”

MVMC is a collaboration between the Arts Consortium and Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency – Mental Health, the City of Visalia and the California Arts Council, with the support of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors. The collaboration was created to provide art lessons for people in order to support those who have lived and experienced struggles with mental health.

The MVMC offers lessons from accomplished professional artists to facilitate the creative ambitions of participants, offering weekly courses in printmaking, photography, videography, painting, drawing, poetry, guitar lessons and much more. The facilitators act as guides, empowering artists to use digital tools to realize their creative visions.

Anyone who has questions about the program can contact the CASA of Tulare County to learn how to become involved in the “Art Night” every month. For more information visit www.casatulareco.org/about-us.

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