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Arts & Dreams: The book! Showing children how to love themselves and make empowering art. It will be read and shared in our workshops.
59 backers pledged $8,725 to help bring this project to life.

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$8,725

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Our mission is to grow hope and positive self-worth in children through dialogue and art making.

Arts & Dreams workshops offer empowerment and inspiration through creative projects to children in the NYC area. We show people how to love themselves and make art.

We've been sharing Arts & Dreams at schools and events since 2009 (click the links for photos from our workshops). We've also worked with teenagers and adults.

In our Arts & Dreams workshops we've been using wonderful books by authors we love like Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and Louise L. Hay. We read their books to explain the concepts of self-love to children.

Now it's time to make our dream real by creating our very own 32-page, Arts & Dreams illustrated book for children, all about loving who you are and dreaming big dreams.

All illustrations hand painted by me, Laura Baran, and the book will be published by Balboa Press, a division of Hay House.

This is literally our art and our dream!

Arts & Dreams workshops were created and are run by Laura Baran and Patricia Geremia.

Laura Baran is me, an award winning painter and the illustrator of representational, beautiful oil paintings to line the pages of the Arts & Dreams book. Together with Patricia Geremia, a talented photographer and healer, we're going to co-author the book. We'll show exuberance, impart a celebration of life, and uplift and inspire children to love who they are.

Arts & Dreams is our antidote to hopelessness, created to empower children to lead joyful lives of purpose.

Background:

I (Laura) lost my 20 year old amazing brother Jeff in 2000. He took his own life, mostly due to depression and hopelessness. I was suffering from depression as well; I had suicidal thoughts when I was seven. I didn’t wish depression on Jeff; I believed that he was incredibly kind, brilliant, inspiring and worthy of an amazing, joyful life. He wished the same for me. And yet it was hard to wish those things for ourselves.

I loved to draw and I loved to write. From as early as I can remember, drawing and writing in my journal soothed me and gave me comfort and courage. A month before Jeff died I started to go to therapy, taking action for myself to work with doctors in an effort to heal. With a lot of hard work and support, I continued treatment for the mental and emotional aspects of my illness and in time felt ready to treat the spiritual aspect.

In 2006 my former boss – the best boss I ever had who had also become my good friend – Patricia Geremia held a small women’s group in her home to read a book by Louise Hay called “You Can Heal Your Life.” I was ready to read that book and absorb, with enthusiasm and determination, the healing possibilities that resounded in me.

I learned how to love and accept myself exactly as I was. I started to use the art that I always loved making in a new, healing way.

“You Can Heal Your Life” was the manual. I experienced the healing of my depression through self-love. It sparked the vision for empowering art workshops that I named Arts & Dreams.

Arts & Dreams are a series of two-hour creative workshops, designed by Patricia and me, to expand self-love in children. In the Affirmation Paintings workshop Patricia and I share about the power of affirmations – positive statements, sentences that feel good. The participants dream up their own affirmations to generate feelings of abundance, fun and love for themselves. Then they create paintings based on their affirmations. The purpose of the art making is to experience the joy of painting and to bless and affirm who we are and what we want more of in our lives. The participants bring their beautiful art home so they can look at it every day.

We all have thoughts like "I'm not good enough." The Arts & Dreams book is all of our stories. It will be a healing for all of us.

The Arts & Dreams book will be a fun and beautiful summary of all that we do with the kids and all that we learned about loving ourselves using our natural creativity. The Arts & Dreams book will give children practical tools and ideas for creative activities that will help them to love and believe in themselves. It will inspire them to live fun, successful lives. It will be a joyful, beautiful and imaginative creation.

You are an important part of our dream to empower children to love themselves! Thank you so very much for supporting us!

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You get to feel fantastic for helping uplift kids' spirits. We send our gratitude to you.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Your name will be listed on the Arts & Dreams website's list of Generous Book Donors.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You will receive a copy of the Arts & Dreams book, signed by Laura Baran and Patricia Geremia, plus your name listed on our website.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You'll get a signed copy of the book and a thank you on our website. You'll also get a signed 5 inches x 7 inches color print of one of the illustrations in the book by Laura Baran, shipping costs on us.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You'll get a signed copy of the book. You'll be listed on our website. You'll also receive a signed, framed, 8 inches x 10 inches photographic print by Patricia Geremia, of your choosing, from her PatriciaG photo line, shipping on us.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    You will get 2 signed copies of the book and your name listed on our website. You will also receive your very own Arts & Dreams: Affirmation Painting Kit - complete with everything you need to make your own affirmation painting. The kit includes supplies for 2 people to each make an affirmation painting. Mailed to your door, shipping on us.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    You get 2 signed copies of the book and your name listed on our website. your very own Arts & Dreams: Affirmation Painting Kit - complete with everything you need to make your own affirmation painting. The kit includes supplies for 4 people to each make an affirmation painting. Mailed to your door, shipping on us.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You get 3 signed copies of the book and a listing on our website. You will be thanked by name in the book. We will ALSO feature your face or the face of a loved one of your choosing (pets count) in one of the illustrations in the book. You'll email Laura Baran a color, hi-res JPEG and she'll use it as reference for the illustration.

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    Pledge $850 or more About $850

    You'll get 3 signed copies of the book, your name listed on our website and in the book, PLUS an original affirmation painting of the subject of your choice, painted just for you by Laura Baran (oil on canvas, 10 inches x 10 inches). PLUS 2 photographic prints by Patricia Geremia, of your choosing, from her PatriciaG line (signed, framed, 8 inches x 10 inches each). You'll provide Laura with your favorite affirmation for the painting.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You'll get 3 signed copies of the book, your name listed in the book's credit page and on our website, PLUS an original portrait painting of the subject of your choice by Laura Baran, (oil on canvas, 10 inches x 10 inches). You will send Laura a hi-res JPEG via email to use as reference for your painting.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    You'll get 4 signed copies of the book, your name listed in the book's credit page and on our website, PLUS an original portrait painting of the subject of your choice by Laura Baran, (oil on canvas, 14 inches x 14 inches), PLUS a free Arts & Dreams workshop at your home, event, or school in the NYC area, for up to 10 people. If you're outside the NYC area, you'll be mailed an Arts & Dreams: Affirmation Painting Kit for 10 people to each make an affirmation painting.

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    Pledge $4,500 or more About $4,500

    You'll get 6 signed copies of the book, your name listed in the book's credit page and on our website, PLUS an original portrait painting of the subject of your choice by Laura Baran, (oil on canvas, 24 inches x 24 inches), PLUS a free Arts & Dreams workshop at your home, event, or school in the NYC area, for up to 15 people. If you're outside the NYC area, you'll be mailed an Arts & Dreams: Affirmation Painting Kit for 15 people to each make an affirmation painting.

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Funding period

- (35 days)