Helping war-torn children heal with hope, by painting for peace.
Leah O’Bryant has seen the face of real struggle. Poverty, war, and poor hygiene have compromised the lives of many children internationally. Fortunately, like these children, Leah is a fighter. Her weapon of choice? The magic wand that is the paintbrush, and a generous palette of colors to go with it!
As project manager for aptART — Awareness and Prevention Through Art — Leah has seen tragedy turn into triumph personally, from Mozambique to Jordan. The organization partners with ACTED to work with at-risk youth and professional artists daily. The project is also supported by UNICEF and ECHO. Workshops center on themes such as peace, education, and hope, engaging the participants within their communities, allowing them to use street art to share their voices in a constructive, cooperative manner.
After completion, the children’s sprawling work is shared with an international audience via exhibitions, raising awareness of the issues facing their families. So far, aptART has worked with over 3,000 children, seen nearly 100 murals, and held four exhibitions. With plans to expand into neighboring regions, a grant will help them acquire a new computer to manage more projects, while giving these little Basquiats the means to reach all corners of the globe.
Curious to see what colors the aptART artists will cook up next? Visit their homepage, or stop by on Facebook and Twitter. Better yet: check out this short film highlighting some of the awesome murals their group has brought to life. Painting for peace isn’t just a dream; it’s a reality.