Expressing Feelings…Through Your Art

Feb 26, 2017

Pasadena’s nonprofit Light Bringer Project may be better know for producing the marvelously fun, crazy, and creative Doo Dah Parade or the incredibly successful and ever-growing Chalk Festival, but Light Bringer focuses a substantial amount of its time on the arts and children.

LA Futures brings a group of students in to work with major creative companies, such as David & Goliath, TBWA/Chiat/Day, and Saatchi & Saatchi, to watch, learn, and participate—from concept to completion—in order to understand the expectations and demands of a “real world” workplace.

Room 13 began in Caol, Scotland in 1994 and now has spread around the world. Through its “four pillars” of learning, “philosophical inquiry, creative expression, reciprocal learning, and business enterprise,” Room 13 creates a non-judgmental, safe place to create while also teaching children responsibility and practicality, as Room 13s are to be as self-sustaining as possible. In 2008, Light Bringer brought the first Room 13 to North America with the a studio at the Foshay Learning Center in South LA. Since then, Light Bringer has established studios at Eliot Middle School (now Eliot Arts) in Altadena and John Muir High School and San Rafael Elementary School in Pasadena.

High school can be a bear, difficult for any child, some more than others. For the past 35 years, Expressing Feelings Through Art (EFTA) has helped teenagers engage their feelings and learn how to communicate them through writing and art. LBP works in partnership with Mental Health American of LA County dedicated to helping in mental health recovery. Students, 9th through 12th grades are asked “to create art pieces that tell stories that hold personal meanings for them.”

Topics run the gamut of subject matter and emotional tone and are often as moving as they are original. The students must also engage in an exercise of writing that sheds light on their visual imagery, provoking a thoughtful articulation of the stories they were artistically driven to tell.

A standards-based syllabus and instructional guidebook is also provided to each teacher. The curriculum, itself, is designed to broaden the students’ understanding of traditional and contemporary artmaking techniques, and to help strengthen their creative voices. For many of the students who find artmaking to be cathartic, this mentored self-exploration is very powerful.

At the end of every school year, a jury of artists and writers from within the community, judge the works and present awards and scholarships.

EFTA is a free program; anyone within LA County may participate. This year’s reception will be held May 21 at Art Center College of Design. One of the awards is a Saturday High scholarship to Art Center.

Artwork delivery deadline is Friday, April 21, 2017.

For more details, visit or


Light Bringer Project, P.O. Box 968, Pasadena 91102. Tel: 1.626.590.1134.




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