AVPA Memory Project Gets CCEF Grant

The Academy of Visual and Performing Arts Visual Art students, along with art students in Kristine Hatanaka’s drawing and painting classes, have received a CCUSD Education Foundation Grant to help create artwork for orphans in Honduras through a program called, “The Memory Project.”

Established in 2004, The Memory Project is a unique initiative in which art students create portraits in any medium for children and teens around the world that have been orphaned, neglected, or disadvantaged. The goal of The Memory Project is to inspire caring, global friendship, and a positive sense of self. The purpose of the portraits is to provide the orphans with a special memory of their youth, to honor their heritage and identity, and to help them build a positive self-image.

The Memory Project, Founder and Director, Ben Schumaker was thrilled when Kristine Hatanaka, AVPA Creative Director of Visual Art, contacted him to create 50 portraits. Saying most schools request approximately 14 portraits, his initial reaction was, “that’s incredible.”

“Each school year, I accept the challenge of creating new projects and programs for my students,” said Kristina Hatanaka. “This school year, I would like to begin a tradition I will hope to continue for generations-the gift of giving those in need a chance to be given a gift of creativity by my talented students from Culver City High School. In turn, I want my art students to learn to give something of themselves through their art making. I think it’s critically important for all students to learn to be generous and give of themselves to those in need, especially to children. I know the power of art and how it can change and transform lives. This opportunity would begin a tradition in my arts program to allow my students to provide a unique gift to others something uniquely personal through their art.”

The project begins by receiving and distributing the portraits. Each art student will then create the portraits using any medium of their choice. The students are asked to make the portrait an exact likeness as seen in their photograph. However, some liberties of creativity are allowed in the individual’s expression of the medium or in the backgrounds of the pictures. Upon completion, the AVPA art students are planning to display their completed portraits at a location in the community of Culver City before sending them to the orphanage. Each orphan will also receive descriptions of the student artists and information they will share with them directly. Once received in Honduras, photo documentation will be sent back to the student artists of the portraits being given to the ones they created.

For more information about The Memory Project, please contact Ben Schumaker at (608) 467-5706 or [email protected]


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