BY DORIS OVERBY
On a stroll down a stretch of emerging 38th Street businesses this August, I stepped into Courageous heARTS, a youth-led nonprofit art studio at 2235 E. 38th St., and discovered teen artists selling their work during their organization’s summer “Show and Sell Pop-Up” art sale.
Nothing inspires me more than to be around high school art students like Andrew who turned 10 pounds of used clothing (purchased for just $1!) into his own redesigned looks—painted and trademarked with the word cloud written in French.
Inspired by his imagination, I bought a pair of shorts for $40, and it was worth the investment!
Another multi-media artist I met, Aria, was showing her paintings and sculptures of cats and mermaids, as well as found object wands she created at the studio.
One of Courageous heARTS’ Youth Advisory Board members, Mia, sold stickers and prints of her digital art. Of the event, she said, “It was a fun way to meet other artists in the neighborhood and city and get my work out there.” These are just three of the many Minneapolis youth who have opportunities to express themselves at Courageous heARTS.
This Pop-Up Sale is one of the ways heARTS seeks to fulfill its mission to illuminate youth as leaders while inspiring creativity, courage and collaboration throughout the Twin Cities. There are regular opportunities for all ages to get creative at their studio located at 2235 E. 38th St. in Minneapolis. They offer a range of experiences from unstructured Open Studio hours when you can drop in and create whatever you want, as well as more formal learning through artist-led Creative Labs. This fall’s artist-in-residence is Anne Sawyer, a puppeteer and writer from Powderhorn offering a variety of labs designed for ages 6-106 through December.
Courageous heARTS is a non-profit 501c3 that opened its doors to the neighborhood in 2013. I was introduced to the organization at that time while volunteering with the Standish Ericsson Neighborhood Association (SENA), my neighborhood organization that has been important to my neighbors and me for 25-plus years! The heARTS’ founder and executive director, Lindsay Walz, lives just blocks from the studio and has made it her mission to bring the transformative power of art and community to her neighborhood. A youth development professional with two decades of experience working in schools and residential programs, Lindsay learned firsthand the power of art while recovering emotionally from the 35W bridge collapse, of which she is a survivor. She knew that her experience healing through the arts would be equally beneficial with youth who also need positive forms of self-expression, healing, stress-reduction and support.
In addition to the opportunities available at their studio, Courageous heARTS has partnered with Roosevelt High School to develop a space in the school called the RestART Room. This room will provide a space for students to learn ways to manage stress that may impede their learning process. In collaboration with the Health Careers program at the high school, students will have the opportunity to practice self-care and build resilience through creative expression, mindfulness practices and community connections.
Nonprofit organizations as important as Courageous heARTS need all the financial support that our community is able to provide. As Give to the Max Day nears, on Nov. 14, I hope you will consider a donation to this neighborhood resource. For more information on the good work that Courageous heARTS is doing with youth for the whole community, please check out their website: courageous-hearts.org.