MISSION & HISTORY
Heard’s mission is to foster creativity, confidence, self-worth and life skills to adults who are marginalized, underserved, unknown, and unheard by offering them artistic expression through experiential instruction and participation. Heard teaches creativity and life skills disguised as art to marginalized adults who may be in recovery, survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault, LGBTQA, immigrant, incarcerated, or transitioning from incarceration or homelessness, through its partnerships with Alexandria and Arlington nonprofit and local government organizations.
Heard initially began as a writing program for Alexandria’s marginalized adults, 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 marginalized 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 10 nonprofit and government organizations to bring life skills to their clients through art.