Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation Grants $2.5M to Arts Organization

Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona will be able to double space, fund programs

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has awarded Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona a $2.5 million grant. The funds will enable the organization to double its physical space and provide funding for two of its signature programs. The grant will establish The Bob & Renee Parsons Center for Hope & Healing, expand programming and reach children Free Arts has previously been unable to serve.

Free Arts harnesses the healing powers of art to help abused and homeless children build resiliency and learn to trust and heal. All of the children in Free Arts programs have experienced combinations of family trauma, homelessness and violence. To begin the healing process, Free Arts provides mentoring, a caring community and an opportunity to learn new skills and express themselves.

As part of the funding, Free Arts will be able to purchase the building in which they currently rent space and conduct major renovations to accommodate onsite programming, staff and volunteer growth and create a community center that can be utilized for training, workshops and events. Historically, programs have been limited to children living in foster-care group homes and homeless shelters. This grant will allow the organization to open its doors to children living with foster families.

Artist Frank Thompson with children, Free Arts Camp, 2015
PHOTO BY LISA OLSON

Bob and Renee Parsons have been longtime supporters of Free Arts and through The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation have granted more than $3 million to the organization over the past six years. The two programs specifically supported by this grant are the Free Arts Camp and Professional Artist Series. The organization hopes this gift will inspire others to support Free Arts as they work to raise an additional $700,000 to complete the capital campaign.

PHOTOS COURTESY FREE ARTS FOR ABUSED CHILDREN

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