ARMAN Healing Art Project

In 2010 and 2011, Paintbrush Diplomacy and ARMAN (Asylee Refuge Migrant Assistants’ Network)  joined forces to create the ARMAN Healing Art Project, a program with local roots that engaged children from Oakland and Richmond, California, United States in a series of healing art projects.

ARMAN’s goal was to create fun, creative, safe, and nurturing atmospheres through a series of monthly art projects in which the children met in groups facilitated by Paintbrush Diplomacy university interns.  Research and child advocates believe that exposing children to the healing power of the arts can be a powerful way of dealing with trauma.  Our mission for working with children from our local communities was to expose, engage, and empower them with the healing arts, which comes in many forms such as painting, photography, drawing, theater, music, and sculpture.

  1. We believe it is powerful for children to explore global culture through the lens of art.
  2. We believe art can teach children healthy modes of self-expression.
  3. Above all, we believe that children should have fun and fall in love with art – and our activities are a way to do so!
  4. We are proud of our university student interns and volunteers as they serve as role models for children in our local communities.  By interacting with each other and sharing art, we create a sense of community.

See below to learn more about the ARMAN projects.

December 12, 2010

Iranian refugees share art overseas through Skype.

The project: Local Iranian refugees created art to share with Iranian refugees in Turkey through Skype.

Location: Firehouse North Gallery in Berkeley

On a Sunday morning at our Firehouse North location, we gathered ten American children from a local Iranian community to do an art project and share their artwork with Iranian refuges in Turkey. We accomplished this instantaneous exchange by using Skype and projecting the children in Turkey onto a large screen on the wall. One of the adult refugees is an artist and he gave an art lesson to the children in the room in Berkeley. Each child had an opportunity to hold their artwork up in front of the computer in order to explain their drawings. Trauma Psychologist Maryam Alizadeh led this event, and she was able to bring both communities together through the universal language of art.

March 27, 2011

Children from Richmond and Oakland painting ceramics at Brushstrokes in Berkeley.

The project: Children from Richmond and Oakland painted ceramics.

Location: Hosted and donated by Brushstrokes – 745 Page Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

On March 27th, Paintbrush Diplomacy and ARMAN teamed up once again to bring together children from the surrounding area and express themselves through art. The day was full of creativity and positive energy. Thanks to the generous donations of Brushstrokes, the children had a fun-filled afternoon releasing tension and got to take home their lovely ceramic masterpieces.