IFAF artist and board member Hilary White started Made New Arts (MNA) at Ignite Refuge in February of this year. Ignite Refuge in Gainesville, FL provides housing and activities for children who are in foster care. White felt that there was a need for the youth to process their experiences. The shelter provided a space for her to teach art classes, and White created a GoFundMe campaign to purchase art supplies. Creative expression wasn’t her only plan. White is currently prepping for an art show of the work to be held at Gallery Protocol in Gainesville.
Her vision continued to expand when one of the boys at Ignite had to return to Juvenile Detention to complete his sentence. White visited him and she felt led to bring a creative outlet into that environment. It took persistence to get this project off the ground, and she recently began teaching boys at the Alachua County Juvenile Detention Facility. The director of programs has approved a mural project, as well as illustration and painting. Still, White sees more need.
“Now I’m working with some people in the city to get a classroom arrangement for community classes that would serve the boys and girls that get released from the DJJ and want to continue connecting with the MNA program.” This will give them continued access to the program to process their experiences in a healthy way through artwork.
Generous donations made this possible. White is selling her own artwork here to raise funds and the GoFundMe is still active. They are taking donations for “things we have run out of in class, like tape, mixing cups for paint, and paper towels,” as well as frames for the kid’s artwork for the Gallery Protocol show.
To keep up with the program’s progress, visit MNA’s news page. Here are some pictures of the artwork that’s come out of the program so far:
Clay Hot Dog with Fries
White teaching at Ignite Refuge
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