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Art with Heart Program FAQs

February 6, 2017. By
art with heart program

Are you starting an Art with Heart program at your organization? Or running into some questions as you get your program going? We recommend that you purchase a Leader’s Companion if you don’t have one already, but we also hope that this FAQ can help you move things along. Have a question we haven’t addressed here? Shoot us an email and we’ll add it to this list!



How long should my program last?

Ideally, programs will last a minimum of 10 sessions. This allows time to build rapport and trust between the facilitator and youth, as well between the youth themselves. This can break down in the following format:

Session 1 – Introductions/community-building
Sessions 2-9 – Workbook and art activities (It might work best to split         some activities into 2 sessions, depending on the materials you plan to use and the amount of time you’ve settled on per session. The book builds upon itself, so consult the alignment charts and the corresponding activities in the Leader’s Companion to select 5-8 pages/activities you think would be most beneficial for your specific kids!
Session 10 – Artist showcase

How much time should I allow per session?

Every program is unique to the organization and the youth served. In our experience, an effective session lasts around 90 minutes. If you don’t have 90 minutes, consider splitting activities over two or even three sessions.

If you have a Leader’s Companion, you can find sample timelines in Tab 5.

How long should I spend on the art activity? Workbook time? Discussion?

If you’re running a 90 minute program, a suggested breakdown is as follows:

20 min. Priming/workbook activity
5-10 min. Introduce the art activity and offer a brief demonstration
35 min. Art activity
5-10 min. Clean-up
15-20 min. Sharing/discussion

Do you have suggestions for the first day of my program?

We like to use the first session to build community. This means allowing time for introductions, letting participants open and flip through their new books, creating ‘portfolios or large folders to store artwork, creating table tents with each participant’s name, and setting agreed-upon group guidelines that will be in place throughout the program.

A note on group guidelines: we like to write them on a poster-sized sticky note and then review and display them during each session as a reminder of the community established in each group. Some kids might feel shy on day one, so it’s also good to review and add to the list as needed.

How do you end a program?

We like to allow for the last program session to be a final ‘showcase,’ a celebratory event where artwork is displayed and where friends, family, teachers, etc. can attend and see what each participant has accomplished during the Art with Heart program. Children can display their work and create an artist statement for others to read (only if they want, of course).

Are there any grants or additional resources available to assist with book fees?

The New York Life Foundation has generously underwritten the cost of our Grief Kits, which contain ten copies of Draw It Out, ten memorial frames, and ten certificates of completion. Normally an $80 cost, Grief kits are just $25 when you use coupon code DIOKITNYLF at checkout.

Yes! All Washington State youth-serving nonprofits can apply for the LOEB Grant, which provides one free book or training for each one you buy. More details here.

Can You Help Fund My Program?

Maybe! Get in touch with us at We love to find creative ways to get books into more hands.

If we can’t help, we’ll happily connect you to other potential sources of support.

How do I talk to administration about starting an AWH program?

It’s helpful to approach administration armed with knowledge about the benefits creative expression can bring to the youth you serve. Here is some more information. Feel free to reach out to us for scripts if you are feeling stumped!

You can also find scripts in Tab 5 of your Leader’s Companion.

What book do you recommend for my demographic?

We have created five different books. Oodles of Doodles, available in English and Spanish, is for children who are hospitalized and might need some cheerful distraction and help understanding their experience in the hospital.

Our other four books help children build social emotional learning skills through a blended therapeutic approach. Each page has a specific therapeutic outcome, but you don’t have to be a therapist to facilitate an Art with Heart program.



Magnificent Marvelous Me! helps elementary-aged children facing difficult family challenges or other stressors that inhibit learning.





Draw It Out supports elementary-aged children who are experiencing grief and loss, whether that’s the loss of a parent, divorce, or changing schools.






Ink About It helps tweens and teens managing difficult transitions including social discord, complicated emotions, and increasing independence.





Chill & Spill is a therapeutic activity book that allows teens and opportunity to understand their emotions. This is Art With Heart’s only book that contains blank pages for self-guided reflection.



draw it out leader's companion

Leader’s Companions (DIO, C&S) are step-by-step guides for the use and implementation of our books.



Do you offer bulk pricing?

Yes! Please call us at 206-362-4047 so that we can make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Do you offer additional services for creating a curriculum specific to my demographic/organization?

Yes! Please contact us for more information on our consulting services.