Gilda’s Club, 03/09/16
We had a great group of 7 kids at Gilda’s Club on Wednesday night! They were ready with some creative robots that I can’t wait to have living in the neighborhood. We made sure to give all the robots good life stories that anyone would be proud of.
These robots included a gardening robot, one that had paint brushes for arms as well as one that made chocolate.
Special thanks to our volunteers who came out: Lisa LaBracio, Stefano Imbert, Oded Naaman, and Ed Steckley. ~Franz Palomares, IWF Director
St. Mary’s Hospital 02/27/16
A HUGE crowd turned out at St. Mary’s Hospital today! Over 40 kids eagerly drew Pokemon, muppets and superheroes with us, we drew caricatures of them, the time flew by and all the sudden it was time to pack it up for the day. The kids all cried,”noooo!” and we didn’t want to go but all were happy in the end.
As a parting gift from us and with the help of Blick Arts, each kid received their own colored-pencil set and eraser so that they could continue to create on their own. We only hope we inspired them as much as they inspired us.
Special thanks to our volunteers that came out from all corners of the metropolitan area: Ray Alma, Todd Broder (new member!), Barbara Garrison, Dayna Gonzalez, Marty Macaluso, Joyce Pedretti, Tim Savage, Nathan Schreiber, Adrian Sinnott, and Joe Vissichelli.
Mount Sinai Hospital 02/17/16
Tonight Elana gave a 30 minute drawing lesson to a group of young kids who were eager to draw along! The theme was a slightly belated Valentine’s Day tribute honoring Mickey and Minnie Mouse. As usual, the time flew by so fast that there was no time for everything we wanted to draw, especially Pepe le Pew, poor guy.
Childhelp Los Angeles 02/13/16
We had a wonderful time making Valentine’s Day cards with our friends at Childhelp in Hollywood today! We had a great group of about 15 kids and all the goods for many many cards, with LOTS of accoutrement to be glued, drawn and bedazzled so each child could personalize their own card. Some had cartoon characters drawn on the front, Some created more of a collage. Colored pencils and felt pens brought the cards to life- thank you Blick Arts! We had a lot of smiling faces by the time our hour and a half was up.
Thank you so much to our trusty volunteers: Michael Daedalus Kenny, Jeanette King, Christian Lignan, Kataneh Vahdani and a huge welcome to new member, Marla Frazee! Thank you also to our W. Coast Director, Joseph Scott, who so deftly captained our love boat.
New Alternatives for Children 02/02/16
For my first event as Director of Ink Well at New Alternatives for Children, we started off with a brief conversation about shapes – which shape is strongest? Then we drew structures – strong structures! Like forts and castles – that used a chosen shape. Then I projected a Science Ninjas comic on the wall that featured an engineering challenge where our heroes needed to build a sturdy bridge with limited resources.
This led directly to our next activity – we gave the kids toothpicks and gumdrops and had them build their own structures. They had some really creative ideas!
Then I passed out some free games and we played a few rounds of Valence! As is typical, they picked it up real fast. One young man liked the game so much he had me sign his copy. It was a great event, and I’m looking forward to doing more of them! -Nathan Schreiber, IWF Director at NAC.
Mount Sinai Hospital 1/20/16
Our Mt. Sinai Director, Elana Amity, was elated to talk with loads of Looney Toons fans tonight. Together they drew the Road Runner and Wile E Coyote on our KidZone TV show. Interesting fun fact about road runners: these speedy birds prey upon poisonous snakes, running them down and body slamming them into the ground like professional wrestlers!
Mount Sinai Hospital 12/23/15
Ellie Rahim and Elana Amity got to draw along with 15 kids today! Elana helped them create an underwater holiday celebration with Sponge Bob Square Pants and friends, and Ellie drew a beautiful snow man all decked out in winter clothes and holiday baubles. Everybody was having such a ball that nobody even noticed when they ran nearly a half hour over our usual show time. We love you kids and wish you a very happy holiday season. xxohohoho
Mount Sinai Hospital 11/18/15
Tonight on our KidZone TV show, our IWF Director of Mount Sinai Events, Elana Amity, gave a lesson on drawing Winnie-the-Pooh and the ever-talented Pedro Delgado created characters built out of colored shapes! We even had a young patient, Ruby, join us in the studio. It was a lively lovely night and we are grateful to these two fab artists and to all the great kids who drew along with us.
Bellevue Hospital 11/17/15
The sincerity and heart these kids always put into their work means so much to us. Tonight they made their own “dream pillows” that showed what they want to imagine as they sleep, what they felt grateful for now and what they dream of doing in the future.
One girl designed a world of fashion and lettered her name with her very own font. Another who wants to go into the military depicted jets racing across the sky and emblems of honor. A very industrious boy created a 24-hour school with aquariums and hot air balloons near the Broadway Junction. And another boy who longed for farmlands drew a beautiful barn with a deer loping through the fields. After they were all done each child gave a presentation of what they made.
Thank you, kids and Bellevue staff, for sharing these unforgettable moments with us, thank you to our Director for Bellevue Events, Jane Archer, for leading the night, and to our devoted volunteers: Elana Amity, Stefano Imbert, Jeanine Henderson, Oded Naaman, Nathan Schreiber, Elizabeth Winter and a warm welcome to new member, Eleanor Rahim!
Ronald McDonald House NYC 11/07/16
Today was comic book day! We brought home-made comics and helped the kids draw their cover page and start to fill them with their own stories and favorite characters.
First the kids showed us how it’s all about this game, “Road Blocks,” now so we watched them play and learned how to draw those blocky blokes. Then Nathan Schreiber whipped up a fierce Goku and Vegeta fusion dance for a Dragon Ball Z fan, Joyce Pedretti blazed across the paper on Starfire with a DC Comics devotee, Elizabeth Winter got to draw with one little darling who just wanted bunnies and princesses and puppies, and all the while everybody got their caricatures done by Joe Vissichelli!
All the kids received their own art kits so that they could continue their comics on their own and keep drawing whatever they dream up whenever they like. Keep at it, kids, and thank you for sharing your day with us!
Gilda’s Club Noogiefest! 10/23/15
It’s our favorite time of year and we were thrilled to get to spend it with the children and families of Gilda’s Club! We fluttered about, making bat puppets, face painting and doing caricatures. Some of the kids drew along with us and others sat patient as mummies as they got their portraits done. The costumes were fantastic: wizards, queens, zombies and even a steam punk girl. Thank you to this wonderful center that provides support to all those going through cancer. Thank you to our Ink Well volunteers: Ray Alma, Scott Brundage, Drew Dernavich
Nina Frenkel, Barbara Garrison, Stefano Imbert, Lisa LaBracio, Marty Macaluso, Oded Naaman, Joyce Pedretti, Tim Savage, Elizabeth Winter and Franz Palomares, our Gilda’s Club events Director who organized this special night. And most of all, thank you, kids for your beautiful energy and creativity!
ChildHelp Los Angeles 10/17/15
We’ve been waiting all year for Halloween and couldn’t hold out any longer so we rounded up the kids at ChildHelp and had ourselves a haunted art party! We beat back the unseasonal heat with our homemade bat puppets, drew spooky scenes, then had a big old face painting party.
Mattel Children’s Hospital 09/22/15
We were grateful to be able to draw with some very talented kids in Los Angeles today! We all sat around a wood table in the sun, drawing classics like Mickey Mouse and modern icons, like SpongeBob and Sonic. We appreciate the chance to draw with you, kids, and thank the Mattel Children’s Hospital staff for introducing us.
Thanks also to our West Coast Director, Joseph Scott, for organizing this event. Joseph has worked on everything from “Rugrats” to “Penn Zero” to “Futurama” and is currently at Disney Animation. And a big welcome to new member, Javier Secaduras! Javier has worked on “Puss in Boots,” “Rugrats,” “Rio” and even teaches other artists how to do animation. Thank you for volunteering, Javier.
St. Mary’s Hospital 09/19/15
Today we got to draw with our dear friends at St. Mary’s Hospital. Together we made everything from Scooby Doo and Shaggy to bouncy race cars to Sonic the Hedgehog
Thank you to the kids and staff of St. Mary’s, Director, Ray Alma, our volunteers: Scott Brundage, Barbara Garrison, Stefano Imbert, Oded Naaman, Joyce Pedretti, Adrian Sinnott and Elizabeth Winter and a warm welcome to new member, Tom Cardone! Tom has worked on all sorts of great movies like Aladin, Beauty and the Beast, Ice Age and the Nightmare Before Christmas.
Mount Sinai Hospital 09/16/15
Today Elana Amity showed the kids, step by rumbling step, how to draw elephants large and small. Then Elizabeth Winter joined in to demonstrate folded drawings, where first you draw the head (don’t let your friends see what you’re drawing) and then fold the paper at the bottom edge of the neck. Then the next person continues from the neck to the waist, folds it, passes it back, and on and on all the way to the shoes. You can even write a story as you go along: let your friend only see a few words of where your story leaves off so they can continue it. When you’re all done, unravel the picture and see what you’ve created! Elana and Elizabeth were cracking each other up with all their loony characters and tales.
Gilda’s Club 09/01/15
Today we bid the summer a fond farewell by helping the kids recreate their favorite summer scenes with colored sand, glue, markers and pencils. One girl showed us how she got to swim with dolphins! She told us all about their glossy skin and smart brains. Another described her summer camp, where her nice, funny coach taught her to play football as a crowd cheered on from the sidelines. One little boy went to the zoo and met a tiger, and then just got to read books under the sun.
Thank you, kids, for sharing your summer adventures, to our Director of GC Events, Franz Palomares, for organizing the evening and to Hillary Barton, Lisa LaBracio, and Elizabeth Winter for volunteering!
Ronald McDonald House 08/22/15
It was such a joy to visit with the families of Ronald McDonald House. We got to sit around tables together on the beautiful outdoor terrace and paint and draw on hats until the stars came out. One little boy made a secret Batman, hidden beneath black paint, another got Big Bird looking out over him, a girl got her portrait drawn atop her own head, there were Spidey hats and SpongeBob caps and even Captain America swooped in to shield our heads from the sun.
Thank you to the House and the loving people inside it and to our trusty Ink Well artists: Ray Alma, Elana Amity, Sergey Aniskov, Joan Chiverton, Sangjun Chon, Drew Dernavich, Stefano Imbert, Abby Merrill, Tim Savage, and Elizabeth Winter.
Mount Sinai 08/19/15
We are so glad to get to draw with all of the kids in the hospital at once via our KidZone TV show. The kids are given art kits to draw along with us and can call in with questions and comments.
IWF Director, Elana Amity, moderated our show today, which was all about friendship in honor of National Friendship Day. Micheline Hess drew an octopus splashing and playing with his pals in the ocean and Elizabeth Winter united a lonely boy and a lonely alien after a wish on a star was granted.
New Alternatives for Children 08/01/15
We had it in the bag on this one. The kids used stencils, fabric markers, tempera, even glow in the dark paint to design their very own totes. One boy focused the entire time on building the perfect Minecraft world, composed of blocks, creepers, zombies and Steve in the middle of it all. NAC staff member, Stuart Davis, made a lush tropical tote, full of hibiscus. A young girl explored nuance and definition by writing the word Darkness and surrounding it with brushes of light color, beautiful concept. Another honored her favorite musicians, The Fresh Beat Band, by drawing each member in brilliant neon costumes.
Thank you so much, kids, for sharing your day, and thank you to our volunteers: Sangjun Chon, Barbara Garrison, Oded Naaman, Tim Savage and Elizabeth Winter!
Mount Sinai Hospital 07/15/15
Elana Amity taught how to make a Minion on our KidZone TV show this week! Kevin, Stuart and Bobs’ single-celled bodies are easy to draw: just think of their parts as basic shapes and build them bit by bit. We were happy to have student intern, Robert, co-host the show with us too!
By drawing on Mount Sinai’s closed-circuit TV channel, we are able to reach all the kids in the hospital at once, including the many children who are confined to their rooms during treatment. The kids are given their own drawing kits so they can draw along with us and they can use their phones to call in and talk to us during our live show. The show is then replayed as a part of their regular TV schedule so it can be enjoyed again and again.
We’d like to say a special thank you and bon voyage to long-time KidZone TV Producer, Mary Geerlof, who is heading off to CBS and a career in the theater! Mary has been truly dedicated to providing a thoughtful, creative environment for the kids. She gave a lot of her heart to this show and we couldn’t have gotten it started without her. We’ll miss you, Mary!
Gilda’s Club 06/04/15
Every character begins with basic shapes. Tonight we showed the Gilda’s Club kids how to begin from a simple circle, square or triangle and embellish, stretch and draw those shapes out to become characters, full of personality and pep. We had pirates, fending off leaping sharks, King Crabs on rocket-powered thrones, chic foxes and cubic t-rexes and dragons galore.
Thank you, kids and staff of Gilda’s Club and Ink Well volunteers: Elana Amity, Pedro Delgado, Stefano Imbert, Elizabeth Winter, and to IWF Director, Franz Palomares, for getting everything into such great shape!
Mt. Sinai Hospital 05/27/15
We had a great show today! Elana Amity taught a lesson in drawing Disney’s dog, Pluto. He’s a lovable, playful character, perfect for springtime.
A Caring Hand 05/21/15
We had a beautiful first event with the kids at A Caring Hand! These children are brought together for support and encouragement while dealing with the loss of a parent or other close family member.
We asked the kids what kinds of things were their superpowers: were they really good at math, could they run really fast, paint, sing, or tell a good story? Then we asked them what other superhero powers they’d like to posses and then we combined all that into a tailor made self portrait. Each child stood up at the end of the night and explained his superhero: we had Freeze Time, a boy who could stop time with his watch so he could stop crimes, we had leaping Spiderman style web spinners, super spellers, Flash fast runners who could even flee from school (but only for just a little while), we had kids who could transform into brilliant dancers and designers and one who called Phantom who was a shadow that could move other shadows at will, and on and on. Such creative brains on these guys!
Thank you kids and volunteers: Scott Brundage, Sangjun Chon, Pedro Delgado, Barbara Garrison, Oded Naaman, Franz Palomares, and Elizabeth Winter.
Childhelp L.A. 05/16/15
We loved making flip books with the kids at Childhelp this weekend! (We even got to draw along with two moms too.)
We brought hand-made books with pages that flipped in three sections so we could draw characters and switch out their body parts: boots of a cowboy, body of a Mutant Ninja Turtle, head of a giraffe, that kind of thing. There was lots of laughing going on when we changed up the the various characters to make completely new and very whacky characters.
Childhelp is situated within two converted Hollywood mansions (built in the 1920’s) joined together and remodeled into a beautiful facility. Their staff are always well prepared, well organized and welcoming. Kimberly, Hector and one assistant managed everything beautifully this Saturday and provided us all with snacks and beverages. Thank you Childhelp!
A very big thank you also goes out to our incredibly talented artist volunteers: Michael Kenny, Kataneh Vahdani, Mike Wetterhahn, Chris Harmon and Monica Tamova. And Joseph Scott, our West Coast Ink Well Director, you are amazing!!! Thank you so much for putting everything together and rallying such a great crew.
New Alternatives for Children 05/16/15
We are feeling pretty proud of our AMAZING claymation day, yeahhh! We’d never tried this before but the brilliant kids at NAC were able to whip up their own characters and stories so fast and pose them in front of our cameras so expressionately that this project worked like a dream.
We had a snail who wandered the bottom of the ocean, lost in thought: a hungry alien on Mars who ate space flies: a ladybug and fly back on Earth who fell in love: a Hello Kitty hula girl who just wanted to swing her hips: two glob goblins who did a war dance under the stars: a caterpillar who giggled her way across the desert: and a puppy and bunny who nibbled their bones and carrots under the setting Serengeti sun.
Thank you to Stuart and the staff of NAC for letting us take over your playroom and for always being so supportive. Thank you kids for coming up with these fantastic ideas and throwing yourselves completely into your art. And thank you dear volunteers for your laughter, talent and reliability: Elana Amity, Sangun Chon, Pedro Delgado, Barbara Garrison, Oded Naaman, Tim Savage, Elizabeth Winter and a very big welcome to first timer, Stefano Imbert!
Bellevue Hospital 05/12/15
We had a blast on the rooftop with Science Ninja, Nathan Schreiber! Nathan taught us all about what makes rockets go, what air would look like if we could see it and why, and how chemical reactions can be explosively cool.
We got into some great conversations while we experimented and the kids shared their own extensive knowledge with us: one boy explained that water’s symbol is H2O, that Oxygen’s O2 and that both these molecules may be contained within other molecules and how they can be released in explosions. One boy described how air moves from higher to lower densities to ease pressure and another predicted what would happen when we mixed Alka Seltzer with water and put it in film canisters. Pow!
Thank you to Nathan Schreiber and our Director of Bellevue Events, Jane Archer, for putting together such an active, engaging experience. Thank you to the staff of Bellevue for being cool enough to let us try outlandish activities with the kids 🙂 And thank you to our fantastic, enthusiastic lab partner volunteers: Joan Chiverton, Sangjun Chon, and Elizabeth Winter.
St. Mary’s Hospital 04/18/15
These beautiful kids were kind enough to let us take over their Saturday for a big drawing fest in the sun. We got to draw inside and outside and even under the tables! We drew opera singers, butterflies, superheroes, lollipops and much more.
Thank you to the incredible staff of St. Mary’s, to IWF Director, Ray Alma for being so in charge, and to our beloved volunteers: Ray Alma, Scott Brundage, Sangjun Chon, Pedro Delgado, Drew Dernavich, Marty Macaluso, Joyce Pedretti, Tim Savage, Erin Shigaki and Elizabeth Winter.
Ronald McDonald House of Los Angeles 04/16/15
We were honored to bring artists from Scooby Doo, American Dad, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Penn Zero and G.I. Joe together with the Ronald McDonald House kids this week! We drew characters into scenes, commemorating next week’s Earth day, and talked about all the ways we can help protect our shared planet.
Thank you to our West Coast Director, Joseph Scott, and to our volunteers: Jeanette Moreno King, Christian Lignan, Monica Tomova and a big welcome to first time volunteer, Chris Harmon!
Mount Sinai Hospital 4/15/15
We were so happy to have the very gifted stop motion artist, Hillary Barton, on our live call in “KidZone TV” show at Mount Sinai Hospital!
Hillary honored the upcoming Earth Day using claymation to create a model of our planet and to animate characters rallying around it. Along the way she gave the kids step-by-step instructions on how to create their own props, sets and finished claymations. One young artist called in 6 times so we had a ball talking with her. 🙂
Thank you, Elana Amity, our IWF Director of Mount Sinai events, for setting it all up and thank you, Hillary Barton for sharing your time and talent with the kids.
This week, Jane Archer and Jeanine Henderson led us in making tailor-made name plates that the kids at Bellevue Hospital could use to decorate their rooms or hang on their doors. These signs used imagery that the kids said made them feel strong and proud and lettering that they designed themselves!
Thank you volunteers: Jane Archer, Jeanine Henderson, Sergei Aniskov, Hillary Barton, Barbara Garrison, Nathan Schreiber, Elana Amity and Elizabeth Winter.
Mount Sinai Hospital 03/18/15
We feel very lucky to have IWF Director, Elana Amity, running the show at Mount Sinai Hospital! She hosted our live call-in TV program last night with Ink Wellers, Bil Donovan, showing the kids how to draw a leprechaun/frog morpho creature and Scott Brundage demonstrating how to make a happy balloon-holding leprechaun with a golden pot of chocolate candy!
Our live program reaches all children in their rooms, where they are given their own art kits and can draw along with us and call in as we go. It’s a great way to create together while allowing the kids to remain in the comfort of their beds.
Thanks, everyone, for sharing your time and see you again in a few weeks!
Gilda’s Club 02/24/15
We spun a whole lot of fun, creating thaumatropes together at Gilda’s Club in SoHo! Thaumatropes are disks with a drawing on each side that you spin to create one drawing. It’s one of the most basic forms of animation and the kids loved learning about how easy it can be to make an image “move.”
One little girl drew a flower that grew, another drew a guy eating pizza, there was a flying bird, a horse eating a carrot, one of the girls drew a singing, dancing self-portrait, another a fish swimming in his bowl. All in all we drew about 60 thaumatropes! So much fun.
Thank you, Gilda’s Club kids, for your amazing energy and to our volunteers: Lisa LaBracio (first timer!), Oded Naaman, Franz Palomares (IWF Director- Gilda’s Club), Nathan Schreiber and Elizabeth Winter.
Mount Sinai Hospital 02/18/15
Elana Amity drew Olaf and Frosty the Snowman for the kids tonight! Several kids, especially a few who love the movie, “Frozen,” were enthusiastically drawing in their rooms to our winter time theme.
New Alternatives for Children 01/31/15
What a beautiful day with the New Alternatives for Children kids. We made sock puppets of all sorts including a cheeky cheerleading Cheetah Girl, a couple of adorable giraffes, several big fanged sharks with lots of food in their mouths, a Pikachu with a lightning tail, and one girl even made a beautiful portrait of her mom as a sock puppet. We loved spending this special time with you kids. Thank you to our volunteers: Elana Amity, Joan Chiverton, Jeanine Henderson, Abby Merrill, Joyce Pedretti, Tim Savage and Elizabeth Winter.
Mount Sinai Hospital, 01/21/15
Tonight’s KidZone TV Show was tons of fun! Peter de Séve taught how to draw his character, Sid, from the Ice Age movies and Sangjun Chon gave a lesson on how to create monsters from fruit. Elana Amity starred as the host of the show and moderated the proceedings like a pro.
We were happy to get calls from the kids, and also just loved joking around with each other in the studio as we made our characters come to life.
Childhelp, Los Angeles 01/17/15
It was our first visit to Childhelp and we were blown away by the kids there! They hit the ground running: EVERYONE was drawing, feeding off of one another’s ideas, coming up with their own characters and sharing tips as they learned them. Pokemon was the choice of the day for established characters, followed by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and some Simpsons characters. So lucky for us, our volunteers consisted of the brilliant Joseph Scott (IWF L.A. Director), Kataneh Vahdani and David Shair from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Michael Kenny and Jeanette Moreno-King from Wild Canary, and Monica Tomova from Nickelodeon! Thank you, everyone, for a wonderful time. We can’t wait to draw together again with these amazing kids soon.
Mount Sinai Hospital 12/16/14
We had another fun show at Mt. Sinai! Micheline Hess gave a lesson on drawing a Christmas cat, Justin Bilicki helped the kids create their own elves, and Elana Amity moderated the show. One kid called in to ask Justin “How do you draw a straight line?” 🙂
Thank you, volunteers and kids for another wonderful time together!
Science Ninjas at Bellevue Hospital, 12/02/14
The kids absolutely burst onto the science scene tonight!
Volunteer, Nathan Schreiber (the brains behind “Science Ninjas,” a program that introduces kids to science using fun, innovative techniques) gave each table different mystery substances, along with the lab sets to test them. After each child invented his own Ninja Scientist character, they dove into experiments to identify the substances, note how they interacted with one another and finally discovering just what makes the biggest bubble bursting blow out mixture ever!
It was an extremely messy, fantastic time. Thank you, Nathan, for preparing and guiding us through such a singular experience! Thanks also to our Director, Jane Archer, for coordinating, and to our trusty lab partner volunteers: Ray Alma, Elana Amity, Sangjun Chon, Rami Efal, Barbara Garrison and Elizabeth Winter.
We are grateful to the Bellevue staff for being awesome enough to give this unusual event a go, and most of all to the wonderful children there, who listened so patiently and leapt into science with amazing energy, ingenuity and curiosity. We love you guys and can’t wait to see you again soon.
St. Mary’s Hospital 11/22/14
Volunteers: Ray Alma, Drew Dernavich, Barbara Garrison, Marty Macaluso, Oded Naaman, Patrick Merrell, Adrian Sinnott, Tim Savage and Elizabeth Winter were grateful to draw Thanksgiving-themed pictures with the beautiful St. Mary’s kids today! We made turkeys, teepees, and a portrait of one of the boys driving a super slick Maybach, just ’cause.