ASI Bulletin – April/June 2023


ASI is engaging youth in transforming classrooms with murals. It is wonderful to see places of learning made more inspirational by the youths that use them.

Save the Date

Art Sphere will be hosting an exciting event, Heart, Art and Soul, our ASI 25th Anniversary Celebration with live music on Saturday, March 25th from 1-3 pm at the Bok Building. Look for more details and volunteer opportunities on our social media channels!

How you can make a difference

Art Sphere Inc. continues to be able to provide all of our Classes, Workshops, and online programs FREE of charge to the community. In this day and age, when many people in our community have limited resources, ASI provides a much-needed service by bringing art into the lives of children ages 5-17 as well as young adults. If you know someone who could support our work, please share our mission with others and consider making a donation to help us continue to provide our high-quality art programs for youth in underserved neighborhoods. Donations of $28 will buy art supplies for five children in our classes; $100 will buy materials for four Art Bags for families to take home; $550 will pay for a stipend for one semester for our much-loved teaching interns.

We are thrilled to announce our upcoming musical event on Saturday, March 25th from 1-3 pm at the Bok Auditorium.If you like to listen to the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, or James Brown, you will love this amazing concert featuring Brown Sugar and The Leroy Hawkes Band. 
Come to our event and win amazing raffle prizes including: one year Fort Mifflin Family membership and passes, Historic House Landmark free passes, Home Spa Basket, Easter Basket full of Treats, Candy and Toys Basket, Art Materials Basket and more. We will have free art activities for children. Enjoy snacks at our event thanks to donations from Trader Joes. Doors open at 12:30 pm. Tickets range from $5 – $50 PAY WHAT YOU CAN. Free admission for up to 3 children accompanied by an adult.

We have been Celebrating International Women’s Day and the Month with Books about Women. See our students’ top picks:

We read Her Epic Adventure about 25 daring women, My Fade is Fresh about a girl going to the hairdressers and getting the style she wants and Planting Stories the real-life story of an immigrant from Puerto Rico who becomes a librarian, author and more! We also read Lulu and the Hunger Monster to support youth who are hungry, be empathetic friends, and had a class discussion about how to bravely speak up in the face of shame.

As a recipient of a Book Wish subsidy grant from Read by 4th, First Book, and the William Penn Foundation, Art Sphere Inc has been distributing books to youth to take home. We have also been designing new art projects that relate to the books we are reading aloud to youth while they are creating. Here are ideas on ways you too can make books into interactive arts lessons:

Make an origami (Bokjumoni) bag to celebrate the Korean New Year and read Tomorrow is New Year’s Day.

Write a song about your life and then read Build a House and listen to a recording by Rhiannon Giddens and Yo-yo Ma.

Divide a paper in half and draw a city scape and a country scape on the other side and then read: Nana, Nenek and Nina and learn how Nina bridges several worlds.

Draw a cauldron of creepy crawlers and see how many gross ingredients you can add to it and then read Boo Stew and learn how Curly Locks used her ingenuity and creativity.

Use cutout shapes from old newspapers, phone books and magazines and make a Valentine’s Day collage with a message for someone you love and the read A Walk in the Woods about the challenges of being Dyslexic or a “slow reader” and how to love reading and writing through art.

Plant seeds, draw seedlings and read The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver.

Make rainbow unicorn masks and read a letter and The Little Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu and find appreciation for all the rainbows we have, and ways we can share joy.

Happy St Patrick’s Day: hope this month brings you lots of luck!  

We gave out mini frogs our volunteers made from recycled fabric and students made green frogs on lily pads and students took turns reading frog facts aloud.

Did you know that frogs are the symbol of good luck in Japan, China, Italy, Spain Australia, Bolivia, Panama, Mexico, and Egypt?

Did you know that the largest frog weighs 7 pounds and is 15 inches long, the smallest half an inch? 

Students studied African masks looking at Masks from Black Africans and made their own versions. Students noticed that African masks can be made of many things and come in many styles – not surprising since the continent of Africa is made up of 54 countries each with their own ideas of beauty. 

Did you know masks can be made from woven straw, shells, wood, metal, feathers, fur, string, and are even decorated with nails?   

Students made cartouches translating their names into hieroglyphics using special stamps and students took turns reading aloud about Egypt, Pharaohs, King Tut and the invention of hieroglyphs 5000 years ago. In ancient times, most people did not know how to read or write. Most Egyptians could not read the hieroglyphs on the walls of their  temples. Reading and writing were the skills of a scribe, whose profession was reading and writing just like other peoples’ jobs were carpentry or masonry. 

How would you write about your life to add to history?

Umbrella and Rainbow Art

We made the best of rainy days with umbrella art and drew rain puddles. Looking forward to seeing more rainbows this Spring!

The Lyrid meteor shower is active from April 15 to April 29, 2023, and is best seen from the Northern Hemisphere. While Lyrids are only considered a medium-strength meteor shower (compared to Quadrantids), they will peak on a night when the moon is only nine percent full, making it easier to see the meteors against the dark sky.

Students are making their own constellations and writing stories about them: 
A pair of big tail bunny rabbit constellations find friendship and love watching the meteor shower together.  Help us help them reach for the stars. Donate here

Thank you to our Philadelphia High School for the Creative an Performing Arts (CAPA) students assisting us at our event and working with us in classrooms.  We encourage you to volunteer with us as we start a new semester of programming and also welcome new Drexel Interns who will be assisting us from April – September!

For those who love social media: Learn about how you can be a social media ambassador and help us share our free lesson plan books and literacy through art projects.

You can become a member of our staff to help us in the classroom. Read about the experiences of volunteers with our organization and learn more about how to get involved.

YOU can be a part of Art Sphere’s mission in “Transforming Lives through the Arts.” Art Sphere provides FREE art instruction and supplies to inner-city youth who often have fewer opportunities to take art classes. Here, they learn how to creatively solve problems and express themselves. By donating here to our local Philadelphia organization, your money will go right back into the community. Thank you.

We would like to take a moment to thank our partners, communities and The Presser Foundation, Book Wish a subsidy grant from Read by 4th, First Book, and the William Penn Foundation for supporting Art Sphere Inc.’s mission. We also appreciate our event donors including: Trader Joes, All About Hair, Staples, Giant, Fort Mifflin, and Honeygrow.

. . . and that wraps up this edition of the Art Sphere Bulletin. Thank you so much for reading our update this quarter. Be sure to follow us on social media for more fun activities!

We would be honored for you to share our free arts projects by forwarding this email address to your friends, family and colleagues. Let them know they can receive our newsletter by sending a blank message to: