New Alternatives for Children 12/07/17
We had a joyous night, making pop-up snowflake cards with the New Alternatives kids! The kids came up with beautiful designs and messages to share with their loved ones and we helped them make a big confetti, gluey mess! (We helped clean up after too).
Thank you to our Director at NAC, Lisa LaBracio, for leading this merry night, and to volunteers: Howard Beckerman, Stefano Imbert, Abby Merrill, Elizabeth Winter, Pedro Delgado and Dennis Calero, and most of all to the great kids and staff at NAC!
ChildHelp of LA 10/28/17
We face painted, bat puppeted, and scary drawinged the heck out of ChildHelp LA this weekend! The kids came up with the greatest scenes of ghouls and goblins and haunted pumpkins while we drew their caricatures and had some cackling laughs with all the wonderful care takers there.
Before we left we made sure each child received their very own colored pencil set, sketchpad and eraser. AND a few lucky devils even got a designer Ink Well t-shirt!
Thank you, parents, guardians, kids and staff at ChildHelp for welcoming us. We love being a part of your village! Thank you Ink Well Volunteers: Jeremy Arambulo, Chris Harmon, Christian Lignan, Joseph Scott (West Coast Director), Ashley Simpson, and Monica Tomova.
Gilda’s Club 10/27/17
We were thrilled to spend Halloween with the children and families of Gilda’s Club! We fluttered about, making bat puppets, while face painting and doing caricatures of all the fantastic little ghouls and boys.
Thank you to our Ink Well volunteers: Dayna Gonzalez, Jane Archer, Stefano Imbert, Ellie Rahim and to Franz Palomares, our fearless Gilda’s Club Events Director!
Mount Sinai Hospital 10/11/17
Hooray for our version of Hollywood! Master illustrators, Dennis Calero and Pedro Delgado put on a terrific KidZone TV show with the children being treated at Mount Sinai Hospital. They all worked together to create BatMan, Mario and owls that hoot hoot!
Bellevue Hospital 10/06/17
Check out the fantastic stop motion shorts, dreamed up by the beautiful Bellevue kids! They all collaborated on three story ideas: one space adventure, one underwater scene, where three lonely mermaids meet and become friends and one where three explorers meet in the desert during a rain storm and one gets whisked away by an eagle! The kids designed each character and prop and quickly learned how to make them animate. We are so proud of these kids for their patient attention and ability to create so much in just an hour and a half’s time!
Thank you, volunteers: Sergei Aniskov, Drew Dernavich, Corey Pandoloh (welcome first timer!) and Elizabeth Winter and to our lovely co-hosts Jane Archer and Lisa LaBracio for making this such a productive, special evening.
Mount Sinai Hospital 09/20/17
A million thanks to our guest host, Dennis Calero, who made up wild characters with the wonderful kids at Mount Sinai this week!
Mount Sinai is one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the United States and it provides continuous activities and programs for the kids in its child-life program.
New Alternatives for Children 09/16/17
The kids at New Alternatives created the most daring, inventive animated shorts this weekend! They learned the entire process, designed characters, created stories and made them animate all in the space of an hour and a half. Our respect for these talented kids is boundless.
Thank you to our NAC Event Director, Lisa LaBracio, for bringing her TED Ed animatin’ expertise to the table and to our volunteers Ray Alma, Drew Dernavich, Stefano Imbert and Tim Savage for sharing their time and mad skills and to the wonderful staff and families of NAC for being the supportive village we all need.
New Alternatives for Children provides health and social services to children with disabilities and chronic illnesses. It focuses on children in foster care and adoptive homes.
Gilda’s Club 08/31/17
We made up stories and creatures from head to toe by folding paper and passing it around with the great Gilda’s Club kids tonight! Thank you so much to our volunteers who made this evening possible: Elana Amity, Justin Bilicki, Barbara Garrison, Stefano Imbert and to our Event Director, Franz Palomares, for setting the whole thing up.
Mount Sinai Hospital 08/16/17
We held court with two regal young artists at Mount Sinai tonight! The girls, ages 5 and 7, donned paper crowns and joined us on stage for our KidZone TV show, where Elana Amity and Dennis Calero taught how to draw owls and Smurfs and Super Woman. Thank you, noble ladies, for helping make this show such a special one!
Mount Sinai Hospital 07/20/17
Tonight we celebrated National Lollipop Day on our KidZone TV show! The lollipop was patented in 1931 by George Smith, who named the sweet after his favorite racehorse, Lolly Pop. So we drew horses and lollies and at the request of the kids, we also drew lots of unicorns!
Thank you, kids, for drawing with us, to the staff of Mount Sinai for always helping make sure that the show goes on, and to our Event Director, Elana Amity, who lovingly coordinates and hosts every one of our shows.
St. Mary’s Hospital 07/09/17
It was our great joy to draw with the kids at St. Mary’s Hospital this past weekend. Despite dealing with severe, life-limiting challenges from burns to cerebral palsy, these kids always reach out to us with warmth and enormous enthusiasm as we create together. Art truly can form a beautiful bond and we are grateful to these children for sharing that connection with us.
On this lovely day the kids helped us make super psyched super heroes, grumpy Tweety birds and great big gruff gorillas. Many of the children also got their caricatures drawn, thanks to new Ink Well member, Fred Fassberger. So happy to have you along, Fred!
Thanks to the rest of our trusty Ink Well gang: Pedro Delgado, Joyce Pedretti, Tim Savage, Joe Vissichelli and our dear Event Director, Ray Alma, for making it all possible. Thanks also to the ever reliable and kind St. Mary’s staff, and most of all to these wonderful, brave kids. Keep drawing, friends.
New Alternatives for Children 06/24/17
What a joy to make characters dance and flip and dive into our animation event with the New Alternatives kids! We made 3 sets: a theater stage, an underwater world and a sky then the kids added their own buildings, super heroes and super stars that danced, swam and flew through the scenes.
Our favorite moment of the night was when the shyest, quietest boy in the bunch pulled us aside to say, “you made me really happy today.” Many kids also asked us how they could make animations at home so we are thrilled that they caught the animation bug too and will continue to create on their own.
Thank you, kids, for your boundless imagination and energy, to the NAC staff and our Event Director, Lisa LaBracio, for organizing such an amazing time and to our trusty and beloved volunteers: Elana Amity, Pedro Delgado, Barbara Garrison, Marty Macaluso, and Tim Savage..
Mount Sinai Hospital, 06/21/17
Tonight we drew sunny beach scenes to celebrate the first day of summer!
Event Director, Elana Amity, started with beach-going SpongeBob, Snoopy and friends. Then a little girl named, Abby, called in to help volunteer, Pedro Delgado, draw a dolphin and unicorn sharing some ice-cream!
Thanks, kids, for the great collaborations. We’ll see you again next month on our KidZone TV Show!
The NY Foundling, 05/31/17
We are truly impressed by the resilient, talented teens we met at NY Foundling’s career fair. Many of these young adults have spent their whole lives in foster care, but their eyes are on the future: they spoke with us earnestly and with open minds about how they may explore their passions as they move into the working world. We discussed careers spanning from advertising and graphic art to fine art, teaching and animation. It was a joy to see our life’s work spark an interest in this next generation.
Thank you, NY Foundling teens and staff for having us and to our volunteers who brought their wide range of expertise to the table: Jane Archer, Todd Broder, Joan Chiverton, Stefano Imbert and Lisa LaBracio.
Mount Sinai Hospital, 05/17/17
Did you know that strawberries are one of the first fruits of springtime? We celebrated their return by drawing some very happy critters feasting upon them! Event Director, Elana Amity, taught how to draw hedgehogs, parakeets, and snails, all devouring delicious berry delights. One nine year-old girl called in, asking for her own personalized drawing lesson, which we were happy to provide. 🙂 We are grateful to all the kids who tuned in to our KidZone TV show today and are wishing them love, creativity and healing strength.
Covenant House of CA, 04/26/2017
Tonight was a hilarious parade of Wolverine-headed chicken horse dinosaurs, and coffee-stirring Sideshow Bob yetis sinking into quick sand as we made “collaborative drawings” at the Covenant House of California! That’s where one person starts a character from its head down to the neck, folds the paper so no one can see what he’s drawn, passes it to the next person, who draws the neck down to the hips, passes it along on and on until the character is complete.
Our artists, who hail from shows like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Scooby Doo, Penn Zero, 101 Dalmations and Phineas and Ferb, combined with the bursting talent of the young artists at the Covenant House created the most stupifyingly hilarious characters and we can’t wait to come back here and do it all again!
Thank you to everyone at the Covenant House, to our West Coast Director, Joseph Scott and our trusty band of volunteers: Jeremy Arambulo, Joseph Garcia, Christian Lignan, and Ashley Simpson.
Mount Sinai Hospital 04/19/17
Tonight was all about Earth Day! We celebrated the importance and beauty of our ocean by first learning basic fish anatomy then applying that to the forms of whales, dolphins, clown fish, angel fish, and more. We also drew realistic turtles, snails, starfish, octopus, stingrays and coral and then transformed our creatures into cartoons!
I was very happy to interact with the kids, who called in with questions about my experience with seeing fish and finding references. I also got 2 text-requests to draw unicorn and helicopter fish, which resulted in some whacky drawings on my part. It was a real interaction with the kids and the 30 minutes flew by like a flying fish! ~Elana Amity, Event Director.
Bellevue Hospital 04/05/2017
Creative kid energy zapped all over the room tonight as we made movable self-portraits in dynamic backgrounds!
Our Event Director, Jane Archer, began with a calming meditation and visualization of where the kids imagined their “happy places” to be. Is it near water, crunching through leaves on a wilderness hike, or flying on the back of a beautiful bird over the rooftops of New York City?
One child, with the help of Ed Steckley, created a goofy Superman who sticks his tongue out; another child collaborated with Ray Alma on a fierce Iron Man with removable mask; Maria Scrivan created a woodland scene with an enthusiastic little girl who was busy making her powerful, colorful self-portrait. One boy created a background right out of SpongeBob, while another drew the Chicago skyline for Superman to fly against. The kids loved coloring in and designing each character’s parts, and the volunteers loved helping to conjure expressions and outfits and worlds. A wonderful time was had by all!
Afterward, we were very touched when the kids presented us with a beautiful thank you card they made in gratitude for the theater scene we painted on the wall where they project movies.
We even got a homemade trophy madefrom paper cups! We were very happy to help brighten their rec room with the painting and to be able to give out art kits to every child. Thanks to Blick Art’s support for making that possible. Thanks to our volunteers: Ed Steckley, Stefano Imbert, Maria Scrivan, Todd Broder, Ray Alma, Elana Amity and Scott Brundage, to our Event Director, Jane Archer, Tifara and the Bellevue staff and most of all to these wonderful, creative kids!
Mount Sinai Hospital 03/15/17
We had a very jolly night, drawing St. Patty’s Day characters with the kids at Mount Sinai Hospital over our live “KidZone TV” show. The kids can now text us with their requests as we draw and boy did they ever!
Elana Amity showed how to draw a leprechaun with a pot of gold and the kids instructed her on how to decorate his clothes and even how to magically transform his pot into a pumpkin! Then Pedro Delgado minted the leprechaun’s gold coins with imagery that the kids requested. It was quite touching: one child asked Pedro to draw a hospital, another asked for a mother and child. We held the drawings up close to the camera so the kids could see the details and we let them know that (as always) all the art would be left there for them to keep.
Gilda’s Club 03/09/17
It’s always a mix of laughter and quiet, moving moments when we draw with the children at Gilda’s Club. Many of these kids have recently lost a parent to cancer and you can feel the weight within them, but creating something together brings warmth and connectivity that we hope can help to heal. We want to thank these kids for being brave enough to share their art and time with us.
Thank you to Gilda’s Club NYC for this special, supportive place and to our Ink Well volunteers who helped the kids make the most fantastic character flip books in town: Lisa LaBracio, Elana Amity, Joyce Pedretti, Sergei Aniskov, Pedro Delgado, Ray Alma, Elizabeth Winter, and Peter de Seve, special thanks to our Event Director, Franz Palomares for setting everything up and running the show.
Mount Sinai Hospital, 02/22/17
Tonight’s show was for the birds! Elana Amity taught how to draw realistic bird heads, beaks, and feet and then showed how to transform those features into a cartoon style. Pedro Delgado then made a mini story book by folding paper together to make a natural binding, and filled its pages with the cartoon bird’s adventures!
We couldn’t have had a lovelier time, making Valentine’s Day cards with the ChildHelp kids. We helped them draw roses, puppies, Pikachus and Pooh Bears then decorated the inside of the cards with thoughts of love and togetherness. We are extremely impressed with these kids’ resilient, creative sprits and are happy to encourage them to keep on making art by providing them with their own art sets of colored pencils, sketch pads, erasers and sharpeners.
Thank you to our West Coast Director, Joseph Scott, for setting everything up and to our volunteers: Jeremy Arambulo, Marla Frazee, Chad Frye, Chris Harmon, Michael Kenny, Christian Lignan, Joseph Scott and Elizabeth Winter.
New Alternatives for Children 02/06/17
Our NAC Event Director and superstar TED-Ed animator, Lisa LaBracio, taught us how to make Valentine’s Day pop-up cards tonight! The kids projected their love with beating hearts, hopping bunnies, blooming flowers and wild tigers that leapt from the page. Then they filled their cards with thoughts of togetherness and gratitude, reminding us what this holiday is truly about.
Thank you very much to our volunteer artists: Joan Chiverton, Pedro Delgado, Stefano Imbert and Joyce Pedretti!
Ronald McDonald House NY, 01/24/17
We had a ball making cartoon caps with the families at Ronald McDonald House. The children patiently helped us draw out and color in Hulks, foxes, dinos, lions and more oh my!
Thank you very much to the Ronald McDonald House staff and families and to our volunteers: Ray Alma, Elana Amity, Jane Archer, Barbara Garrison, Dayna Gonzalez, Stefano Imbert, Ellie Rahim and Maria Scrivan.
Mount Sinai Hospital 01/16/17
Happy Winnie the Pooh day! A. A. Milne’s was born on this day so we taught the kids how to draw his classic characters, Winnie, Eyeore, Piglet and Tigger.
Thank you, kids, and thank you, Elana Amity for hosting!
Mount Sinai Hospital 12/21/16
Hai yahh! Our dear friend and former Event Director, Nathan Schreiber, swooped in from Chicago to teach the kids at Mount Sinai Hospital how to draw his Science Ninja characters last night!
Elana Amity hosted our live, call-in TV show and the kids got to draw along with us from the comfort of their hospital beds.
Bellevue Hospital 12/09/16
We were honored to celebrate another year with our beloved kids at Bellevue by making holiday cards together. We are very proud of these children for drawing the many things they are grateful for, even as they feel the difficulty of being away from loved ones during this holiday time.
We got to innovate a little by making window cut outs in the cards, thanks to volunteer, Sangjun Chon’s idea: the kids drew Santa inside chimneys, elves under Christmas trees, and put just the gifts they wanted inside their presents. At the end of the night we gave each child their own sketch book and crayon set so they could continue drawing on their own.
Thank you, kids, for your earnest hard work and for bringing so much warmth to a chilly December evening. Thanks also to our Event Director, Jane Archer, who led our trusty crew of volunteers: Elana Amity, Sergei Aniskov, Sangjun Chon, Dayna Gonzalez, and Elizabeth Winter.
Covenant House 11/16/16
What a joy to meet and make comics with the bright young minds at the Covenant House in Los Angeles! These guys are serious artists and needed little instruction but we taught them a few techniques about perspective, creating pacing over panels and we got to talk shop: discussing careers in animation and illustration. We gave each young artist their own blank comic book to fill and an art set with colored pencils as well as sketch books so they could keep on keeping on with their art.
Thank you to our West Coast Director, Joseph Scott, who put the event together and to our trusty volunteers: Marla Frazee, Michael Kenny, Jeanette Moreno King, Christian Lignan and Monica Tomova.
Mount Sinai Hospital 11/16/16
Gobble gobble gobble! Elana Amity gave a Thanksgiving art class on our KidZone TV Show today! She showed the kids how to draw turkeys, a cornucopia filled with pumpkins, acorns, fruit, flowers, and an owl on a fence, overseeing operations. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful feast with family, friends and hearty, healthy food.
St. Mary’s Hospital 11/05/16
Time flew by as we drew caricatures of the ever-lovable kids at St. Mary’s Hospital and collaborated on superhero and cartoon character drawings with them.
The creativity flurry was surpassed only by the enthusiasm and appreciation of the donation of a vintage pinball machine! Thanks to the son of long-time Ink Well volunteer, Joan Chiverton, Peter Rose, and his Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball.
This was Joan Chiverton, John Stevens and Ellie Rahim’s first visit to St.Mary’s and they were all blown away by the wonderful interaction between artists and kids. As usual, the cry from the St. Mary’s kids as we left was, “when are you guys coming back??” We can’t wait to come back (and play you at pinball!) 🙂
Gilda’s Club Noogiefest 10/21/16
Moohaha! The Ink Well crew got to take over an entire floor at Gilda’s Club for their annual Halloween party today! We made marvelous bat puppets, creepy creature drawings, kooky caricatures and we painted many of the more than 100 faces that showed up this year.
Thank you, Gilda’s Club families for having us and to our volunteers: Elana Amity, Jane Archer, Pedro Delgado, Barbara Garrison, Stefano Imbert and to our Director, Franz Palomares!
Mount Sinai Hospital 10/12/16
Tonight, Pedro Delgado, Joan Chiverton and Elana Amity showed the kids how to spook up their rooms with Halloween art! Pedro explained how to make a big-eyed owl, sharing lots of fun facts about these wise birds as he went along. Joan showed how to create facial expressions on pumpkins, transforming them into jack-o-lanterns, and Elana taught the kids how to make haunted houses, bats and owls based on basic shapes like triangles and rectangles. Thank you, volunteers and kids, for kicking off the Halloween season right!
New Alternatives for Children 09/27/16
Our new Director at NAC, Lisa LaBracio, led us all in making leaf creatures today! Fresh Fall leaves, markers and googly eyes became birds, bears, manta rays, trees, dogs, monsters, and more. We loved imagining all the things a leaf could become, and as one young artist said, “leaves are free, so we can do this ALL THE TIME!” Happy autumn, everyone!
Thanks to volunteers: Elana Amity, Todd Broder, Barbara Garrison and Franz Palomares.
Thanks also to Blick Arts for helping us give each child their own art kit so that they can continue creating on their own.
New Alternatives for Children provides health and social services to children with disabilities and chronic illnesses. It focuses on children in foster care and adoptive homes.
We brought our best from shows like SpongeBob, Futurama, Scooby Doo and more to create characters together with this great big wonderful group of kids. We also got to draw caricatures and do a wee bit of face painting. Huge thanks to volunteers: Jeremy Arambulo, Michael Daedalus Kenny, Dorothea Schoentag (first timer!), Ashley Simpson (first timer!), Monica Tomova and to our fearless West Coast leader, Joseph Scott.
Childhelp exists to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused, neglected, and at-risk children.
Bellevue Hospital 9/14/16
Thank you to this fantastic crew for brightening up this rainy evening with art! Together with the beautiful kids of Bellevue, we created portraits in tiny custom frames of our future selves and all the amazing people and things our sunny futures entail! Big thanks to volunteers Jane Archer, Todd Broder, Stefano Imbert, Ellie Rahim, and Nathan Schreiber.
Mount Sinai Hospital 08/17/16
Nathan Schreiber and Elana Amity had a blast at KidZone TV this evening! There were about 30 kids tuning into the show, all equipped with colored pencils and paper so they could draw along with us.
Elana gave a lesson on drawing dinosaurs (Brontosaurus, T. Rex and Pterodactyl): first a lesson in drawing dinosaur anatomy and then cartoon dinosaurs frolicking at the beach.
Nathan gave a lesson in drawing his Science Ninja characters, explaining how the personality traits of three characters are reflected in their facial features and hair.
08/11/16, Gilda’s Club
We were touched by the several children who shared their stories of losing a parent to cancer or about how it feels to be going through cancer as we drew together tonight. It made us even more grateful for what a special place Gilda’s Club is.
Together we drew in the zoo and lots of portraits too. The kids invented all kinds of creatures and we helped make some of their drawings into stand up 3D character cut-outs. There were lots of birthdays today and we were happy to help make birthday cards too!
After the event, we all got together to bid our beloved Director at New Alternatives, Nathan Schreiber, and long-time volunteer, Oded Naaman, farewell as they move on to Chicago and Israel respectively.
Thank you, kids and volunteers: Ray Alma, Elana Amity, Dayna Gonzales, Stefano Imbert, Lisa LaBracio, Oded Naaman, Franz Palomares (Director of GC Events), Julia Sarcone Roach and Maria Scrivan.