July 12, 2017

Today we visit the Los Angeles nonprofit, The Art of Elysium, and talk with Jennifer Howell, the Founder and CEO.  

Artists have always used their talents to express ideas connected to the things they feel passionate about. Consequently, their work has a unique way of reaching people and provoking a strong reaction. This is the great strength of art; it is universal. Visual art forms can transcend all barriers and stimulate a lasting emotional response. As long as oppression, inequalities and injustice exist in the world, art and artists will have a role, even a responsibility, to make a positive change to people’s lives; whether on a global or individual level.

Engaging young people in the arts can help in both transforming individual lives and creating a new generation of artists who may go on to produce important works that raise awareness of the issues they feel passionate about.

The power of art is such that it can reach out to communities throughout the world to transform lives and bring about social reform.

For children who may not be able to articulate thoughts, sensations, emotions or perceptions, the arts is one way to convey what may be difficult to express with words. For those children who have experienced abuse, it is one way to “tell without talking” when they are unable or afraid to speak about specific events or feelings. Art allows children to experience themselves and communicate on multiple levels.

One nonprofit using art to change the community is The Art of Elysium.

The Art of Elysium empowers artists and communities of need to join together and emotionally triumph over their circumstances through art.  @TheArtofElysium

Their “full circle” approach engages emerging artists in inspiring acts of service that forge opportunities for them to share their creativity in diverse and meaningful ways with individuals of need. They support and acknowledge their volunteer artists by providing platforms to showcase their art within the community. 

Their programs cover a wide range of the arts...Fashion and Design, Visual Arts, Theater and Film and Music and Movement.  Elysium Esteem is a program that works with youth faced with acute or chronic illnesses.   These children often contend with a range of emotional challenges. Lengthy hospitalizations can lead to feelings of social isolation, while pain or medically-related limitations can cause severe anxiety, depression and poor self-esteem. To help pediatric patients cope with the many psychosocial challenges, The Art of Elysium offers a special selection of arts-based support programs and resources. These programs are focused on providing youth with positive psychosocial skills to cope with chronic illnesses or physical disfigurements that set them apart from their peers.

Elysium Bandini Studios is the only philanthropic streaming video subscription. They fund, produce and release the work of emerging artists and provide mentorship from prominent industry professionals. Subscribers of their streaming platform support future Elysium Bandini Studio Projects as well as the charitable programming of The Art of Elysium.

Last month, Adrian visited The Art of Elysium to learn the impact this charity is making in the community they serve.  He spoke with Jennifer Howell, the Founder of Art of Elysium.

At a recent Bikes 4 Orphans Foster Event
At a recent Bikes 4 Orphans Foster Event

On today's show, Kimberly brings us the second part of her interview with Sebouh and Shawnt Bazikian, of Bikes4Orphans.  

Sebouh is currently a student at UCLA. He was 16 years old when he decided to combine his passion for cycling with charity when he found out that orphans at a Kenyan orphanage had to walk 2 hours to go to school. He plans to pursue a career in the medical field. When he is not working, he enjoys competitive cycling and spending time with his brother.

Shawnt is currently in school and is primarily in charge of social media and bike delivery logistics. Sebouh and Shawnt organize fundraisers and presentations together. Shawnt spends his free time running a website design and computer repair service called Spark Computer Solutions.