Art has the innate capacity to be a container for our hopes, dreams, fears and heartaches. By creating a space free from judgment— that focuses on the process of art making rather than the quality of the product— we hope to open new worlds of possibility for the youth who walk through our doors.  Our Principles of Process will be an essential element of our arts programming.
Principles of Process | courageous heARTS
Between 1995-97, the Center for Disease Control conducted the first Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study.  This groundbreaking study asked adults to identify adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect and family dysfunction.  The ACE Study shows a statistical link between the prevalence of those experiences and physical/emotional health outcomes later in life.  The original ACE Study found that nearly 64% of adults surveyed had at least one adverse childhood experience-- with nearly 1 in 5 of those, experiencing four or more.

On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health released it's own ACE Study.  It found that 55% of Minnesotan's have had at least one adverse experience in childhood.  Of those, 1 in 4 have experienced four or more.  This data is significant and shows the need for programs like courageous heARTS.  In today's Star Tribune coverage of this study, Dr. David McCollum from the Dept. of Health reported that "the findings do not mean that someone has an unchangeable "destiny" just because of problems in youth.  It does mean the state needs to understand the risk factors and help children and adults cope."

It doesn't matter what you call it-- adverse experiences, trauma, or heart hurts-- the stress is toxic to our minds and our bodies. courageous heARTS wants to help heal these wounds by building courage in our young hearts.
What are courageous hearts?  How do they manifest in the world?  What does it look like? Feel like?
We want to build courageous hearts, so over the course of the next few months we'll share examples of courageous hearts when we find them, through a series of posts called "Courageous hearts...".  Make sure to follow us on social media so you can be the first to know when we've discovered a new heart filled with courage!  We've created a "Courageous hearts..." board on Pinterest where we'll keep an on-going collection of our posts.  Below are the first of many to come.

Students from Newton, CT:  Courageous hearts speak.
Caine: Courageous hearts persist-- against all odds.
Shortly before the New Year, Pinterest asked people to share their plans for 2013 in the way of a pin.  courageous heARTS submitted the picture below, which links to Lindsay's blog post, Building Courage.  Hundreds of people submitted their pins and our's was one of only 42 that were selected for The Pinterest Challenge board!

If that isn't exciting enough, this pin grew exponentially in popularity! 900+ repins and over 200 "likes", make it is clear that we all have a desire to listen to our hearts-- no matter the odds.  Our heads and our hearts often dance, but hearts filled with courage take the lead.  

Give today, and help us build courageous heARTS-- so we can build courage, build community, and build leaders