Art engages creativity, imagination, and self-expression, but it can also be a powerful tool for change and healing. That’s the purpose of MyCanvas.
For children and youth in economically challenged communities who often struggle to manage daily stress and frustration, MyCanvas goes a step beyond other art programs. We nurture self-esteem, self-confidence, and community resiliency through artistic creation and expression, all provided free of charge to participants.
MyCanvas programs are conveniently offered in local neighborhoods, offering art-based opportunities for children and youth to explore and develop their talents, find their voice, and tell their stories with confidence. Our leaders strive to help our young artists know the importance of their place in their community and in the world.
Programs are currently offered in three locations.
An annual art show in October in the local community allows the family of friends of the youth to see their works displayed.
Ted Wilson, Music director
Ted Wilson is the music director at Christ Lutheran Church in Nashville, Tennessee. As a free-lance arranger and composer, he is the co-creator of twelve musicals for children’s choir, and has had several works published for adult choir. He is the arranger of the Christmas Swings series for Sierra Music, and is a contributor to the library of the Nashville Jazz Orchestra. He was an executive producer for two revisions of McGraw-Hill’s music textbooks, and the producer for twelve years of Lifeway’s Children’s Music series and Family Bible series. In addition to his duties with the choir at Christ Lutheran, he is the co-leader of the Nashville Jazz Jam and arranges the music for their monthly Jazz Vespers. Ted additionally implements music workshops and individualized piano lessons with MyCanvas, involving at risk youth.
Some comments from the young artists about their projects and experiences:
“It was hard work at first. When I got used to it—I loved it. I thought in my mind I couldn’t do it but I did it. I tried my best and I felt really good because my friends were there to help me.”
“Art calms me down when I’m feeling mad or depressed.”
“When I grow up I want to be an artist. When I grow up, everyone will buy my paintings. They will like them. I will paint a picture of this building with the people. I have a great time painting.”
“Makes me feel in control and confident.”
“It makes me feel beautiful.”
“It feels good.”
“It expresses yourself.”
LeeAnn Love, ATR-BC, LPC-MHSP, CoFounder,
Art Therapy Program Director
LeeAnn Love, a Board Certified Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor, is Cofounder and Art Therapy Program Director of MyCanvas. In addition to MyCanvas, LeeAnn owns her own private practice and consulting business, Heal with heART, based in Nashville, TN. LeeAnn specializes in serving children, youth, and families with both art therapy and traditional talk therapy techniques. A native Tennessean, LeeAnn studied Mental Health Counseling, Expressive Therapies, and Art Therapy at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2008. Prior to becoming an art therapist, she has spent over 20 years working with children, teens, and families in various educational, pastoral, camp, after school, and artistic environments.
Contact LeeAnn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Murphy Norman, MAAT,
Associate Art Therapy Program Director
Rachel Murphy Norman graduated with her Master of Arts in Art Therapy in March of 2015. She is a native of Nashville, TN and received her Bachelors in Fine Arts in 2006. Rachel has over 15 years experience working in the arts with children and teens. Currently, Rachel serves as the Associate Art Therapy Program Director with MyCanvas. In addition to her work with MyCanvas, Rachel is an Art Therapist at Centennial Hospital’s inpatient behavioral health hospital serving both adult and geriatric patients. Rachel has developed a passion for community arts focusing on promoting wellness, identity, resiliency, and creative expression. Rachel is a member of the Nashville Coalition of Art Therapy, Tennessee Art Therapy Association, and American Art Therapy Association.
Contact Rachel: email@example.com
MyCanvas art workshops are made possible by our many partners including the William N. Rollins Fund for the Arts of the COmmunity Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Wheat Ridge Ministries, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
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