We have created a continuum of programs that encourages the concept of being “raised at RAW.” Learn more about our programs below or download our program brochure and application.
Connect with other RAW families on a Saturday morning at RAW! Open to the family of a youth who is currently enrolled in a group. Up to four people per family can attend. During the two-hour workshop, your family will work together to create and complete a piece for you to take home and enjoy! RAW Staff: Laura Smith, MA.
Laura is fluent in English and Spanish.
Laura Smith is an Expressive Arts Therapist and a practicing artist. She has worked in academic, clinical, and community settings using different artistic modalities including, music, movement, and art in her work.
Children are welcomed into a creative culture where they learn the VALUE of blending paints and ideas. Our young artists learn that listening with their entire body means you are respectful, exploring new art materials means you are courageous, and staying focused and working very hard on your piece means you are committed. RAW offers a supportive structure where our kids are encouraged to slow down, breathe, make friends and begin to create values to live by. We believe there is a playground of possibilities for our little artists and our staff is committed to discovering the potential that lives in each and every smock.
“Where do I belong?” RAW has answered this question for our middle school artists by creating a culture of real CONNECTION. The diversity of need is deep and wide for this group. Some of our kids are constantly confronting feelings of awkwardness and social isolation. Others are battling feelings of false confidence they have had to develop to survive the violence in their neighborhood, or possibly within their home. The ignition for this kind of honesty is sparked by RAW’s art therapists who inspire the creation of art in order to reveal the artists true self. An example of this exercise of exploration is when they were asked to create a self-portrait by carving in wood. As they dig deeper hoping to describe the difference between who they are on the outside vs. the inside, the group begins to feel a profound shift from Me to We as they talk about Their piece. This is the moment at which they learn the art of empathy. Each artist can hear parts of their story in someone else’s story and realize: “I am not alone.” Through this self- discovery, they continue to listen to middle school music, tell middle school jokes and are deeply committed to keeping it middle school real.
Our teens are challenged and cherished by everyone at RAW. They are a vital example that were are living our mission - every artist is asked to show us his or her COMMITMENT by consistently igniting their desire to create and embracing the confidence to succeed with a deep sense of passion and purpose. Whether a 15 year old is just beginning the film program Real to Reel or a Core artist is getting support to build a strong portfolio in order to apply to art school, it is all about doing it right. Right is a standard set by everyone, in particular their peers. All of our teens strive to achieve their personal goals, which for many is to be the first in their family to attend college. We guide seniors in our program Project Launch by providing them with a volunteer mentor for the entire year. The mentor works diligently to help with the entire application so they can become strong candidates in this competitive process. RAW teens are grounded in the belief that hard work does pay off. They have learned that they need a tremendous amount of support along the way, and are encouraged to both ask for help and say “thank you!”
Our alumni set the tone for our future by coming back and asking, “How can I help?” And they do. They serve on our board, become Launch mentors, and participate in the Door 2 Door program where graduate artists create pieces that are auctioned at our annual Party with a Purpose. They are hired to work in our film program as assistants, or be a project manager in our city mural program, Good 2 Go. Our RAW alums are committed to the greater good and continue to impress us with their undying need and want to say “thank you” to RAW.