Painting the Future was conceived by the work of American humanitarians and Ukrainians that were volunteering in Ukraine due to Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine. Painting the Future was established to provide displaced children with art workshops as an opportunity for children to express themselves and find solace through their creativity. Our mission is to give displaced children art materials, guidance and encouragement to find joy in colors and light despite their hardship and to empower local artists to lead these workshops.
As we spent more time with internally displaced children in Ukraine, we realized that art could provide them with a powerful outlet to express themselves in an uplifting and positive light. We recognized the power of art as a phenomenal therapeutic tool. Engaging in the creation process enables one to connect fully with oneself and the present moment. It allows the processing of thoughts and feelings. It provides creative freedom to imagine and transform. We knew that we wanted to provide that for kids who have been through unimaginable hardship.
We started organized art programs led by experienced Ukrainian artists and teachers that could guide these children through art activities like painting, drawing, and sketching. We saw how artmaking was able to transport these children from their trauma-filled lives and provide them with moments of hope, peace, and happiness despite their traumatic circumstances. After a few months of hosting these art workshops for displaced children in Ukraine, we decided to form an official US 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Painting the Future, Inc. to further support this endeavor. Our intention is to give children a way of processing their experiences – beyond words – and provide hope for brighter days ahead.
Proceeds raised from the art exhibitions or auctions will be put towards the continuation of art workshops and tangible items that we can purchase for children’s essential needs at shelters, hospitals, or orphanages. We have found that the needs of children can fall through the cracks so we want to be able to assist with essential items that we identify while conducting our art workshops. Some of the children have donated their own artwork to help further this cause. The response is heartwarming to see so many children that have already gone through so much beam with joy at the thought of helping other children.
In 2022, we were able to conduct 10 art workshops that reached 184 displaced children in Ukraine. Our hope is to continue our mission abroad in Ukraine as well as to bring it back home in 2023 to help displaced children in the U.S.