MISSION & HISTORY
Heard is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster creativity, confidence, self-worth, and life skills to adults, families, and youth in need who are marginalized, underserved, unknown, and unheard by offering them artistic expression through experiential instruction and participation.
We accomplish this by contracting with local artists to meet the needs of program partner nonprofits and local government organizations in the Alexandria area. We teach creativity and life skills through art to adults, families, and youth in need who may be in recovery, survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault, LGBTQA, older adults, immigrant, incarcerated, or transitioning from incarceration or homelessness.
Heard initially began as a writing program for Alexandria’s adults in need, and the initial planning started in May of 2016 when the executive director met with three local professional writers. Initially called “Sharing Our Stories”, Heard’s first program was held in the basement at Christ Church with participants from local nonprofits ALIVE, Friends of Guest House, and Together We Bake among others. Feedback from the participants was strong and supportive, but attendance was low. That taught us to bring the program to the client. Heard began to create partnerships with local nonprofits and government organizations that work with the populations we wished to support, and we created arts programs for them that gave their clients expression, creativity, and life skills, and helped support our partner organizations’ missions.
Today Heard partners with 15 nonprofit and government organizations to bring life skills to their clients through art.