By Vittoria Woodill

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In an art studio in East Falls, artwork is being scaled larger than life–getting many to look beyond brushstrokes and see through the eyes of children.

When you enter the studio, you find a piece of art that draws your attention and when you look a little closer, you find out the artist was a little kid.

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Fresh Artists is an organization that is on a mission to give little ones,  big voices through art. Curating a collection of children’s art from schools where there is a 70% or more poverty rate, fueling a circular shape of philanthropy.

“We say to kids, we’re going to take your artwork off the fridge and put it to work,” said Barbara Allen, the founder of Fresh Artists. “And we put it to work by raising money that goes right back into the schools, it’s basically the child donating the use of a digital image to us to reproduce. Corporations and some individuals make donations to us and in exchange, we give them reproductions of the children’s artwork. The children get their original work back and that’s how we raise money.”

Seventy-one cents per dollar is donated and goes back to supporting art in schools.

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So more chances for children to marvel at all they can do.

“We actually done that about 12 feet high by 16 feet long as wallpaper at Independence Blue Cross in their conference center as wallpaper,” said Rodger Allen, the creative director at Fresh Artists. “When she [Jade] first saw it, she started crying, and that was absolutely amazing.”

Fresh Artists is an incredible organization and in just 10 years they have surpassed donating $1.5 million in art supplies and funding for art programs, not only in Philadelphia but around the country.


Vittoria Woodill