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ART Town Inspires Youth in the North Florida Community

​​Art, Resources, Training (ART) Town is a Boys Town North Florida program that provides unique, innovative ways to deliver life-changing services to more children and families in the Tallahassee community. This program focuses on restorative care that can assist children and families with personal growth in a welcoming, therapeutic environment.

Academic Resources, therapy services, fine arts, visitations, and foster parent training sessions and parenting classes are some of the services and programs offered at the new facility as part of the ART Town program.

In connection with the fine art portion of the ART Town program, Boys Town North Florida recently held an art project for youth from September 20 -22. The project hosted a total of eight Boys Town youth from North Florida programs and two youth from another local organization that provides shelter to at-risk children. The project was led by Anne Hempel, a local artist who volunteered to share her love for art with the youth throughout the three day creation process.

"I enjoyed teaching the class very much. Each child's painting was so unique and beautiful, just as they are." Hempel said. "All of the students put forth effort towards the project, were inquisitive and eager to learn. I appreciated all the smiles and hugs."

The goal of the project was for the children to create their own rendition of Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" series of paintings while working to restore their sense of self and improve their overall emotional well-being. The process began with a sketch of their flowers and vases, then moved to picking a background color and concluded with adding a rustic glaze over the painting.

One youth, Ashanti, stated that his favorite part of the art project was the "glazing" step. This unique process is part of what makes Hempel's work so distinctive. She repeats this process on all her work which results in the painting taking on a rustic, vintage look.

The new ART Town facility and programs helps Boys Town North Florida serve an additional 50 children each year through academic tutoring and mentoring programs, provides foster parent training that increases the number of children served by foster homes by 30, and provides parent training to families across the community that results in a large spread positive impact.

Thank you to Anne Hempel for leading an inspirational event and congrats to Boys Town North Florida on the success of their new ART Town program!​