Seeing the effect this program has had on the community, we were inspired to create a special volunteer program to help foster artistic ability, entrepreneurial-ship and esteem. ESTEEMed Art is a unique program that has been a huge success with the students over the last few years. In some of our recent sessions we have helped teach the values of cultural identification and emotional recovery.
Like our foundation, for this session we were inspired by the spirit of Louisiana and chose Creole and Cajun foods as our theme. It was a blast to embrace the individuality of our state’s cuisine. Students painted their favorite food as we discussed what it meant to be a part of such a unique culture. By the end of the evening the paintings boasted foods like gumbo, crawfish, crabs, and shrimp, and each student had painted a one of a kind piece of artwork with a one of a kind story.
This program saw our participation in the public art instillation in New Orleans called FLAG (Katrina Remembrance). Massive monuments bearing 32 flags were constructed on Jefferson David Boulevard at Canal Street. We were honored to be invited to participate. To begin our project we asked the students, “What do you remember about Katrina? All of their responses reflected three commonalities: Disaster, Flood, and Hell. The kids chose the themes based off of their memories and experiences. Our one of a kind FLAG bears the memory of the children in commemoration of tragic storm.
Each November, French Quarter Market gets together with ESTEEMed Art to participate in the annual Steak and Stake fundraiser. It is an opportunity for us at FQM to get together with the kids and share a delicious meal. Every year it continues to be an amazing experience for us. We get to spend one on one time with the kids for a few hours and get to know them. Our favorite part of the night is when the kids get the opportunity to post wacky photos on the big screen. It gets the laughter rolling and the ice broken while we get the chance to get to know these kids. Here are some of the photos from this year’s event: