Tools for any trade | HeARTworks feature in ChildArt Magazine
June 3, 2017
Walking into the Art with a Heart store and workshop space is like opening up the windows for the first time afer a long winter. The airy, light-filled former police stable is decorated from floor to ceiling with handmade crafts and works of art. Dozens of mirrored mosaics bounce bright colors from wall to wall. It’s easy to see how the time spent here can be so restorative. Art with a Heart is more than a place to learn art and crafting skills, though its 11,000 community classes are certainly popular. It’s a place where many young people come to make a major change.
“Antonio and me, we’re woe,” said Ashley Knofski, a recent graduate of Art with a Heart’s jobs program, using a slang term for “best friend.” “He wants this as much as I do.” What is “this?” I ask. “A life,” she says.
Ashley is 21 years old and experiencing homelessness. She and Antonio know each other through their connection to Youth Empowered Society (YES), a nonprofit that provides youth experiencing homelessness with a comprehensive set of health, education, housing and employment services. Art with a Heart works with groups like YES, providing jobs and training to their clients.