The Life-giving Force of Art



“We will serve inner city students by introducing them to world culture through art. We will help them to interact with civilizations from ancient to modern and empower them to see the life-giving force of art, each in his or her own way” – the mission statement of Art Aware.

Art Aware is a spin-off from Art Goes to School of the Delaware Valley which serves over 125,000 elementary school students yearly. Perhaps Art Aware has served only half that many inner city students in it’s 25 years of existence – hardly a drop in the bucket compared to AGTS and to the dedicated art teachers in Philadelphia and Camden.

Art Aware’s mission has expanded to recognizing and celebrating those art teachers who give the life-giving force of art to elementary school children.

The children’s artwork is the best way of showing how art teachers succeed – of how they empower their students through art.

“Drawing makes me feel peaceful and quiet,” said 5th grader, Naquan, to his art teacher, Judy Sassano. He drew the image of the left-handed artist (shown below) for the cover of the 2000 Peace Calendar. Art Aware produced and distributed ten thousand calendars of student art work a year for three years for free to Camden schools and organizations. It was a lot work for our small staff and kept us away from visiting schools with the Art Aware program so we switched to producing yearly posters of “Camden Students at Peace Doing Art” and, thanks to Betty Jean Swartz, expanded our website: The 2010 poster will soon be available.

Artwork initiated by Judy Sassano is included in the 2010 poster and has been included in every Art Aware project from 1999 to the present. How wonderful she is!

How lucky are the children of Camden to have art teachers in their schools!

They are the key for providing a well rounded education and for promoting a love of learning and self-expression in the four R’s: aRt, Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic!

2 Responses to “The Life-giving Force of Art”

  1. Judy Sassano Says:

    Thank you for the comfidence!

  2. margieroses Says:

    loved the left handed artist. I wanted to be left manded

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