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At SoHo Galleries, ‘Art with Heart’ benefits kids in shelters

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Art With Heart

Mérida, Yucatán – Art and art education is a cause near and dear to the hearts of the owner and directors of SoHo Galleries, Adele Aguirre, Yesenia Lope and Aron Echevaria.

That is why they are teaming up with Yucatán Giving Outreach to help its Art with Heart Program expand to more shelters with much-needed art supplies and art classes.

Children who grow up in orphanages often lack effective communication skills and are encumbered with many of life’s disappointments without a viable outlet of expression. The obstacles rooted in their orphanage experience can stifle their creativity and ability to express themselves in a healing manner, said Aguirre.

“Art is a very healing experience and a safe way for expression. That is why we are so excited about bringing this program to these children,” says Aguirre.

The public is welcome to join SoHo and Yucatan Giving Outreach for the official launch of “Art with Heart”  7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 at SoHo Galleries on Calle 60, Centro (map).

A special exhibit, “Heart & Love,” is inspired by work from artists and children currently in the program, along with special works on exhibit by SoHo Galleries’ artists — JAAR, Kreso, Ihovany, Hortensia Bueno, Laura Bueno, Arjelia Rojas and  Juan Carlos Brecedea — from all over Mexico and Cuba.

The evening will be a celebration of collaborative and creative minds. Refreshments provided by Yucatan Custom Home Builders will be served.

The mission of Yucatan Giving Outreach AC is to assist where they can in the greater Mérida area, reaching those in need at many different levels.

A current program in Caimede DIF, Artscool embraces the artistic needs of children of various ages. Yucatan Giving announced that they are able to assist between 80 and 140 children one Saturday per month. Within this program they reach 19 children, and adults with moderate to severe challenges.

A selection of art projects are offered that include the use of chalk, beads, paints and textiles. There is also an additional advanced program for selected “special artists” who have shown artistic talent and skill along with dedication to learning the craft.

Kimberly Davin-De Graff is the administrator of the Artscool program under the umbrella of Yucatan Giving. The creative director, Cy Bor, is a talented artist with years of experience teaching children in various art classes. In addition, there are trained bilingual volunteers who assist monthly.

After two years running the program, Yucatan Giving announced that they are ready to expand into many other shelters in the greater Mérida area with funding for the year from SoHo Galleries.

Programing will expand to Renacer Soup Kitchen, which serves over 50 children; Oxcum Children’s Soup Kitchen, with 40-50 children in need; and the Crias Boys Home, which shelters 11 young men.

Costs for materials and supplies for each shelter ranges from 2,000 to 5,000 pesos monthly, depending on the size of the shelter and frequency of classes. The money from SoHo Galleries is a restricted gift and will be used only to enhance the new project, Art with Heart.

For more information and volunteer opportunities, contact Yucatan Giving Outreach on Facebook or email info@ygo.com.

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