Handmade Arcade is excited to share with the community a new project we are working on with the Artsmiths of Pittsburgh.
What began with a conversation between Tricia Brancolini-Foley (Handmade Arcade executive director) and Kate McGrady (Artsmiths of Pittsburgh executive director) has become a fun and creative way to get art into childrens’s hands and homes and inspire making during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Feeling a deep sense of loss in their creative worlds as social distancing, closed businesses and schools, and canceled events became the new normal, Kate and Tricia decided to start the Art4All Pittsburgh movement where volunteers can create craft kits which will be distributed through organizations that are serving lunches or working with kids.
Together, Kate and Tricia designed craft kits and safety procedures that can be easily be replicated, created and distributed by others in the community.
- On April 15, the first 190 kits were distributed to families in Carnegie, PA through the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
- On May 4, more than 100 journal kits were distributed during lunch pickup to elementary school students in the Brentwood Borough School District.
And now YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! Art4All Pittsburgh has a goal of working with community partners LIKE YOU to create and distribute easily replicated kits.
Through donations of materials and time and a safe handling process, Art4All Pittsburgh hopes to encourage creativity through making art. Art4All craft kit making and distribution will continue after life returns to “normal,” with the goal of inspiring creativity through art and making.
What is a Craft Kit?
Kits contain ONE complete project with materials and instructions in a bag. Some of the materials may be reusable (markers, crayons, pencils, glue, etc.) and can be used to create other things.
The themed kits cover 4 areas — self-expression, nature and the environment, art and celebrations. Projects will include family trees, self-portraits, yarn butterflies, mosaics and more.
At this time, Art4All Pittsburgh is looking for volunteers and donations to help us create and distribute as many kits as possible. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
There are THREE ways for you to help.
2. Donate materials for kits! Click here for a list of needed materials.
3. Make a financial donation. Money received will go toward the creation of craft kits. Contact email@example.com for details.
Staying Creative is Vital
Art plays an important role in the lives of children and, unfortunately, it is often one of the first things to be underfunded or neglected in times of crisis. Art4All believes that the power of creative thinking and imaginative play can help people of any age to manage times of stress and uncertainty. Creating craft kits for children is an easy solution to keep their minds active and engaged while having fun and developing creativity.
Download coloring pages from Handmade Arcade’s “Things Making Things: A DIY Coloring Book”
Visit Art4All Pittsburgh’s Resources page for activity ideas, learn to draw videos and more!