The TRACK Community

Posted by Jenna - October 11, 2011 - Uncategorized - 6 Comments

TRACK supporters and readership for this blog include some pretty outstanding individuals: parents, guardians, community leaders,  folks who work at residential treatment facilities, schools, after school programs and KIDS that I’ve worked with or whom take part in current Art Card Workshops.  Collectively, we are an amazing, powerful, diverse group.

In my last blog, I asked you all to participate and become a member of the TRACK community, either virtually or by scheduling a TRACK workshop.  I realized after asking for something so big, I needed to give an example of what community means to me.

As the program coordinator for TRACK, I do a lot of things. The best part of my job, however, is that I get to go to different places and work with a melting pot of energetic kids and dedicated adults.  On Monday afternoons, I run a workshop at a therapeutic after school program in Cambridge, MA.  The people there are great.  The kids are amazing.  The walls are colorful and full of kid art.  There’s a real sense of pride and investment amongst the staff and the director of the program is awesome.

In the month that I’ve been there, the staff and kids have continuously impressed me with their warmth and compassion.  They have welcomed me into their program and I am excited to be an active participant and member of their community.   When I arrive with my supplies in tow, kids pop their heads out of rooms one-by-one, racing to be the first to say hi.  Then they hurriedly eat their snack while I’m setting up so that they can be the first to start drawing their Art Cards. As each kid filters into the Art Card room, their excitement and commitment to their artwork is apparent and is motivating. The more time I spend there, the more I appreciate the collective creative experience as the vehicle that brings people together and fosters a broader, meaningful sense of community.

As the TRACK blog evolves, I invite you to engage and become part of the growing TRACK community!  I look forward to hearing your thoughts, input and suggestions.

Wishing you wellness,



  • Tammy says:

    I could feel the childrens’ excitement as you described how they hurried to finish their snaks so they could get to your room to start their art cards. What a FUN feeling for you!! What an honor to witness something of this magnitude. Sincerely. I am so grateful for you, all the time, for so many reasons.

    • Jenna says:

      There really is something magical about this process. Kids LOVE making art cards. I think there’s a sense of belonging that kids experience in TRACK workshops that is hard to recreate elsewhere. They don’t just show up to draw. They are engaged in the process of working with a real artist to complete a work of their own art. They then have to the power to decide if they want to keep their work or trade it with someone else. The more masterpieces they create, the more they can keep or trade. Their pile of cards just keeps growing. There is something very tangible and concrete about this process that feels good to kids. The sense of community and camaraderie that they build with one another during this process is very special. :)

  • Brenda says:

    Jenna, what you are doing is amazing! I wish every state could have programs like yours. You are leaving such an impression in their minds, also opening minds to the wonderful world of art! With your passion of children and art I am sure they can both feel and see it coming from you… Thank you for doing what you are doing for children of tomorrow…

    • Jenna says:

      Thanks, Brenda! I’m a big believer that we are constantly modeling our beliefs by our behavior when people are and are NOT watching. It is always my hope that the kids I work with feel how important they are to me, even if I only work with them for a moment. I think the opportunities we have to make positive impressions on the lives of young people are endless. I like to capitalize on those moments and celebrate them whenever possible.

      Thank you for your comment. Feel free to share this blog with the people in your life. Word of mouth is great exposure…maybe, with time (and funding!), TRACK will make its mark in other states and get the ball rolling. We’re becoming pretty well known in the greater Boston area already!

  • Maribeth Arena says:

    The Traveling Art Card “movement” has already become a vehicle to creatively engage the children at FASP…often tough customers, they are contained and focused during their weekly workshop with Jenna, and enthusiastic about the process.. Experiencing this project and witnessing the magical charm that surrounds Jenna as she facilitates the work, has enriched our children individually, as a group, and our program as a whole. I am hopeful that we can further integrate Traveling Art Cards into our therapeutic community.

    • Jenna says:

      Thanks, Maribeth! I’m one of your biggest fans! The work you and your staff do with the kids at FASP is super. I think our connection and its timing was fortuitous and I’m looking forward to seeing what the coming months offer as we continue working together. I see BIG things in our future!

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