RAW Art Works

Raw Art Works (RAW) is a youth arts organization, rooted in art therapy. We are a cultural and social anchor in our community, and provide 600 youth annually with free afterschool opportunities to participate in visual and expressive arts groups, film school classes, leadership development, employment and college access/career exploration programming.

Our nationally recognized model uses art to ask kids about “what’s really going on in their lives.” During our programming, young people process diverse life experiences through the creation of honest and often deeply personal art. This uncommon opportunity at RAW helps them gain the artistic and life skills to create in unexpected ways, envision new possibilities, and transform their lives.

A recent study conducted by RAW indicate that a significant portion (84%) of our teens experience at least one category of childhood trauma. Early experiences with prolonged stress and related trauma can undermine children’s ability to learn, form relationships, and function well in a classroom. Each of these affects their chances to create meaningful change in their lives and the world.

Funding from Hestia Fund is helping us offer opportunities for young people to build meaningful, reliable relationships with their peers and RAW staff. These relationships help them navigate the complexities of their lives. 95% of youth last year agreed that through RAW they gained impactful relationships. As one youth noted, “RAW helped me open up to people and to learn how to trust people again. Here, I have gained a whole new family and a place to call home.”

Hestia previously funded RAW Art Works for four years, and this will be the second year of new funding. Hestia’s grant of $30,000 will support their core programming in Lynn.