Free Arts Receives $250,000 Grant

Free Arts Receives $250,000 Grant

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has awarded Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona $250,000 to expand the program's reach and support an additional 1,300 children. The capacity building grant will enable the non-profit, which serves 32 partner agencies at over 115 sites across Maricopa County, to achieve their developmental goals through curriculum enhancements and the appointment of a Program Assistant who will support an additional 100 volunteers.

Providing services specifically to children who live in group homes, residential treatment centers, child crisis centers, and domestic violence and homeless shelters, Free Arts relies heavily on the commitment of volunteers to facilitate the organization's mission. To better connect with partners, volunteers and donors, the grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation will also support the development of communication tools including a user-friendly website.

"Bob and Renee's gift will raise the profile of Free Arts' programs in the community. With more awareness, we will be able to recruit more volunteers and, in turn, serve more of our community's children. The effect of this gift will help Arizona's most vulnerable children for years to come," said Alicia Sutton Campbell, Director of Programs for Free Arts.

To help raise awareness of the much-admired professional artist series, including the theater camp program, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation and Free Arts Board of Directors will host a reception in June at the Herberger Theater Center. The reception, part of the organization's 20th anniversary celebration, will honor the creative works of some of the Valley's most vulnerable youth.

"The board and extraordinary staff at Free Arts are incredibly grateful for the investment Bob and Renee Parsons are making in our kids and organization," said Board President Mike Cohn. "This gift allows our programs to expand significantly, bringing joy and healing to thousands more deserving children living in a volatile system. We look forward to celebrating their generosity with the kids this summer at Theater Camp."

"Art is transformational," said Renee Parsons, co-founder of The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation. "Through the Free Arts program children are finding their voice on paper, canvas or stage; discovering solace and hope in their creative expression. We are delighted for the opportunity to be involved."

In 2013, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation graciously supported a collaborative process between the Free Arts team and RAndy Murray Productions. The result, a short video which creatively depicts the transformational healing Free Arts facilitates; http://vimeo.com/84083501.

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