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The President Presents the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal

When presenting the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities in July, President Obama remarked: “The arts and humanities aren’t there to be consumed when we have a free moment. We need them like medicine. They help us live.” We couldn’t agree more!

I Remember Better When I Paint

Editor’s Note: As an advocate for the arts, it’s important to me that the power of the arts for healing gets the attention it deserves. I have not seen this documentary (though it is not newly released), but it was recommended to me by a fan of one of my clients. The reviews are so impressive, and the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s is such a concern for so many, that I wanted to share it with you.

I Remember Better When I Paint, narrated by Olivia de Havilland, is the first international documentary about the positive impact of art and other creative therapies on people with Alzheimer’s and how these approaches can change the way we look at the disease. A film by Eric Ellena and Berna Huebner, presented by French Connection Films and the Hilgos Foundation. Among those who are featured are noted doctors and Yasmin Aga Khan, president of Alzheimer’s Disease International and daughter of Rita Hayworth, who had Alzheimer’s.

The Hilgos Foundation’s mission is to support and encourage the ongoing process of artistic creation with people who have memory problems and/or Alzheimer’s and who require assistance in creating art that is meaningful and enriching. The Hilgos Foundation was created in memory of Hilda Gorenstein, an accomplished painter whose career spanned 75 years. She died at age 93 and left behind her the legacy of an inspired artistic life. Choosing to call herself Hilgos, Ms. Gorenstein was known for her beautiful marine paintings, which are now in collections all over the world. She was such a skillful painter of water vessels she was chosen to paint an enormous mural depicting the history of the U.S. Navy for Chicago’s Century of Progress celebration in 1933. She completed hundreds of paintings in the last three years of her life, while she struggled with profound memory loss. The vestiges of her early, masterful renderings of waves, birds, and boats remain, but have been transformed into a new system of spontaneous, personal gestures, bordering on the abstract. The sophisticated color choices and compositions of these late works reveal how sharp her artistic eye remained up until the very end of her life.

The Hilgos Award provides student funding at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to support and encourage the ongoing process of artistic creation. The award was established by family and friends in memory of the artist Hilgos, who studied at the Chicago Art Institute as a young woman, graduated in the 1920s, and became a well respected painter and sculptor, specializing in marine themes. Hilgos painted well into her 90’s. She returned to painting with several Art Institute students even after suffering memory loss, which almost forced her to stop painting. An award has been created in her spirit and memory at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

See a gallery of Hilgos’ watercolors at the Hilgos Foundation website for inspiration and hope for those who struggle with, or who are caring for a loved one who struggles with, Alzheimer’s and/or memory loss.

The website has a link to an article with fascinating insights on the connection between art and a brain failing due to Alzheimer’s, which you can access directly here:

I Remember Better When I Paint has been released as part of a DVD package which includes the documentary as well as a series of short supplemental films that further highlight special programs and flesh out the how-tos of organizing an outing, a creative workshop or recreating social bonds between people with Alzheimer’s and their families.

To buy a copy of the DVD package:

Learn more and read reviews and comments on the film’s website:

Be sure to check out the blog – this film is still touring 4 years after its initial release, and most screenings are free!

Carole Karemera – healing social trauma through the arts

Carole Karemera – healing social trauma through the arts


“It’s a fantastic experimental place to live…”

“It was a hard wake-up call…!”

“We need to educate all of us…”

“We need to keep Rwanda as a laboratory…”

“We need to play the role of the bridge…”

I caught up with Carole Karemera during the “hellwach” (bright-awake) 6th International Theatre Festival for young audiences at the Helios Theater in Hamm, later also witnessed one of their performances of “Little Hill”, a theatre play for people from 4 years old, and recorded the after-performance talk with Carole and her team. Carol pursued a successful career as a saxophone player, film and theatre actress and contemporary dancer. She is the director and founding member of the Ishyo Art Centre in Kigale.

link to playlist 1 of interview and further intro

The main part of our conversation is dedicated to Carole’s description of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and especially, the role that women played in the genocide. Carole then recounts for us the courageous journey of women in the arts in Rwanda, who picked up the task of listening carefully to the needs of their society and the daunting process of reworking their historical “heritage”, the social trauma of genocide together with perpetrators and victims and the new generations.

link to playlist 2 of interview and further intro

In 2005, together with eight other women, they founded a cultural initiative to respond to the needs of their country and society through arts and creative projects, beginning with storytelling in schools, later in bars. The initiative became “Ishyo Art Centre”, a vibrant cultural centre in Kigale. The centre offers space and opportunities for artists to develop and produce new work as well as a varied programme of events and workshops, which seeks to make arts and culture available for everyone.

Carole emphasizes the heightened awareness of women in the arts in Rwanda for the troubles and needs of societies elsewhere on the continent and their wish, hope and willingness to share their valuable experiences widely, and especially with their sistaz in Africa.

link to playlist of clips from Carole’s interview

link to playlist of the after-performance talk with the team of Ishyo Art Centre Kigali

imageWith this post, we are opening a new additional page of Contributions “from the far sides of the Zambezi” in our audio-library of the stories of African women. The posts will be on the blog for 10 days, then they will move to the special page of contributions with a small reference and link remaining on the front page.


Carole Karemera on the All Africa Sound Map. Contribute your recordings and place African arts and culture on the global map!

MOther's Day News from the Children's Healing Art Project


Children’s Healing Art Project
brings the healing power of art to children in crisis and their families. 
At CHAP children are known for the creative ingenuity,
not by disability, disease or diagnosis. 
(left-right) Amara, Dayle & Hania at the CHAP Studio in SE Portland
This spring CHAP joins you honoring moms.
(did you know that Mother’s Day is only 13 days away?!)
We are grateful to all the moms of the child artists we serve, grateful to the moms who teach art in the hospitals, moms who serve on our board, moms who volunteer, and moms who donate and support CHAP’s mission.
We celebrate moms like Dayle and the many amazing moms whose lives are touched by our work. Please give now in honor of Dayle and all the moms who CHAP serves.
Your donations mean that moms like Dayle, who are fighting (and beating!) cancer, can use art to play and bond with their families while in the hospital, both bedside, in family rooms and waiting rooms. 
You can provide kids like Amara and Hania beads, paint, glitter, clay, feathers, sequins, crayons and art supplies galore so they can come to Art Club, be kids, express themselves, have fun, and be a part of our community.  
CHAP would like to extend a special appreciation 
to the following funders who make our programs possible: 
Autzen Foundation * Equity Group Foundation 
Henry Lea Hillman, Jr. Foundation *Oregon Arts Commission
Oregon Jewish Community Foundation * Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund
PGE Foundation * Regional Arts & Culture Council * Reser Family Foundation
Spirit Mountain Community Fund * Work for Art
Children’s Healing Art Project
infoatchapdotname  (infoatchapdotname)  
1910 SE 11th
Portland, OR 97214
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LifeTrack Youth Center and Art Gallery Opens Tomorrow!!


LifeTrack Youth Center and Art Gallery March 1 2014 Grand Opening Announcement

CHAPpy Valentines Day!

The Children’s Healing Art Project works in southern Oregon, too! Please help support this important service, which puts art to work on behalf of hurting and dying children!

Looking for another way to help CHAP share the love and the
healing power of art?
It’s as simple as shopping at Fred Meyer.
Link your rewards card to CHAP (id # 84984) and we will receive a donation every time you shop.
 Easy as pie!

We are also excited to announce that we are the beneficiary of the
Winter Blues Festival  on February 22nd-23rd for a 3rd year in a row!!!  We are SO grateful to coordinator LeeAnn Gibbons and her team for their continued support of CHAP.
This is a fantastic music event ranging from old time Blues to contemporary Blues.
To purchase tickets or learn more about the
Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Our first ever


JOIN US & help us make our$2500 goal
Click here for easy and secure online giving.
And click here here for an awesome video we made showcasing many of the hearts and art to be found at CHAP HQ.
Funds raised during this challenge will go to support our TEEN ART CLUB, kicking off this March.
Since we are participating in Global Giving’s Bonus Day all donations TODAY will be matched 30% up to $1000 until the funds are gone.
So give early and spread the word! We can also win a bonus $1000 if we have the most donations and/or most # of donors, so every gift counts.
A gift of any size will help cover the cost of art supplies for Teen Art Club this year. 
 Make a Valentine’s Gift  to CHAP in honor of your someone special and they will receive a tribute card.

So much love and gratitude to all of you!!!!
Roxie, Heather, Wendi, Natalia, Faye, Mary, Maxine, Carolyn, Sharon,Grace and Mike

 Children’s Healing Art Project
1910 SE 11th
Portland, OR 97214

Hope Wine, Dine and Shop Holiday Arts and Craft Sale

Flywer for Wine, Dine and Shop Holiday Event to benefit HOPE Equestrian Center

Wine, Dine and Shop Holiday Event – We hope you will attend this extraordinary art event to benefit HOPE Equestrian Center! There will be at least two members of the Southern Oregon Artists Resource there to share their beautiful art and artisan crafts – Janet Tam London and Judy Elliot

Bohemia Gallery Returns with Exhibition by Breast Cancer Survivor!

postcard-4inx6in-h-frontThe Jazz Series: Watercolors and Drawings by Jeannie Azzopardi

Rogue Frameworks is proud to announce the return of Bohemia Gallery. The gallery occupies an intimate space within Rogue Frameworks and showcases work by exceptional regional artists.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Ashland resident Jeannie Azzopardi has done pen and ink illustration for years, though she never studied art formally. She began painting in March of 2011 after a diagnosis of breast cancer.

"Piano Dancer", pen and watercolor painting by Jeanne Azzopardi

“Piano Dancer” by Jeanne Azzopardi

The Jazz Series came to life following chemotherapy, 9 surgeries, the death of 3 loved ones within a 2 month period, and the end of a four year relationship due to the resulting depression. Although Jeannie holds 2 BS degrees, an MS and MDE, “Education and intelligence is, unfortunately, not a talisman against grief and despair.”

The inspiration she needed came from two Frank Roner prints found at an estate sale. She embraced the freedom and joy in Roner’s Hi-Fi Characters and began the therapeutic journey away from desperate depression.

Sax and Dogs, by Jeannie Azzopardi

Sax and Dogs, by Jeannie Azzopardi

Jeannie’s style exhibits strokes of abandon and delight that charmingly captivate the viewer. As one fan says, “I totally love this art. Your paintings make me nostalgic for a time period I never lived in.”

There will be a reception for the artist on Friday November 1st from 5 – 8 PM. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

For more information visit or call 541-488-5227

CHAPlandia 2013 Benefit for the Children’s Healing Art Project

14Editor’s note: The Children’s Healing Art Project is based in Portland but also operates healing art projects for children with life-threatening and terminal conditions in southern Oregon. If you can’t make this amazing benefit, please consider a donation to this important charity this giving season! Click their logo above to learn about more ways you can contribute to their work.

It’s not often that an autistic DJ sets the beat for a charity event but that’s the kind of healing power of art Children’s Healing Art Project plans to celebrate at our colorful CHAPlandia event 

November 2nd at Sandbox Studio.


CHAPlandia: a celebration of art + healing benefitting the Children’s Healing Art Project will be held November 2 at Sandbox Studio, and we are SO excited to invite you to join us!!

The live and silent auction event will feature “CHAPpy hour” set to beats, libations and treats from DJ Sylvester, Atlas Cider Co, DRY Soda Co, Migration Brewing and Nel Centro. Local culinary wonder, Gregory Gourdet of Departure will create a CHAP-inspired menu and celebrated Portland baker and best-selling cookbook author, Julie Richardson of Baker & Spice continues the tradition of “Carl’s Crazy Cakes”a magical collaboration with CHAP Art Club stars.

To entice you further, auction packages include a stay in a beach front cottage in Belize, a few nights at a bed & breakfast in Peru, original CHAP art signed by the artists themselves, spa treatments and so much more!!!

Last year, CHAPlandia gave us the leg-up we needed to grow the mission:

  •  We added 2 days at existing hospitals (Doernbecher, Knight Cancer Institute and Schnitzer Diabetes Center) and OHSU Pediatric Neurosurgery Clinic joined the line-up.
  • We also increased Art Club offerings for out-of-hospital children and families: open studio Art Club hours and a DSNO (Down Syndrome Network Oregon) Art Club.
  • Our community outreach programs remain in highest demand.

“We know that there is healing power in art because we see it everyday. CHAPlandia reflects our inclusive and colorful view on the world and enables us to continue our programs and extend our reach to the children and families that need it most. Response to our first CHAPlandia event was amazing–it mirrored what we hear about our programming:

‘this is different than anything like this,we want more!’ “


- CHAP Executive Director, Roxie McGovern



Here are some ways you can help make CHAPlandia a success for a second year in a row:

  • If your company/business is able and inclined, buy a table!
  • Gather a group of fun friends to make a table!
  • If you or your company are in a position to become a CHAP partner on a larger scale, please let us know and we can share more details about becoming a CHAP art-program sponsor.
For those of you have received invites in the mail already…we want to let you know that tickets will still be available after October 1.
We cant wait to see you there!!!!!


Your friends at CHAP: Roxie, Mary, Maxine, Nisha, Sharon, Wendi, Carolyn, Heather and Mike!

“The Healing Power of Art’ – Children’s Healing Art Project documentary

CHAP documentary The Healing Power of Art logo

We are excited and honored to announce the world premiere of Mariah Dunn’s “The Healing Power of Art.”

Mariah taught a four-day filmmaking camp to CHAP’s Art Club in September of 2012, and her subsequent documentary follows three families from that camp as children faced with life-altering challenges share their art and reveal how Children’s Healing Art Project has improved their lives.

“The Healing Power of Art” premieres in Portland at 3pm on September 15th, 2013 at the Clinton Street Theater followed by a panel discussion featuring the filmmaker and artists featured in the film.

In her film, Mariah talks about how CHAP is a place where kids can be themselves no matter what challenge they are facing in their lives. At CHAP everyone is facing a challenge and it’s that special bond that brings the kids and their families together. “The Healing Power of Art” takes you on a journey with these three families as you discover the challenges they face and how art has helped as they overcome them. Here is a sneak peak!

What: “The Healing Power of Art”
When: Sunday, September 15th, 2013.
Doors: 3:00, Film: 3:30pm, Panel Discussion + Reception: 4:00pm
Where: Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton Street, Portland, OR 97202
Suggested donation: $5

We would like to say a very special “THANK YOU” to our film premier sponsors:
Clinton St. Theater + NW Documentary + Tiny’s Coffee + Voodoo Doughnuts