FreeArt Association is in a process of establishing a long-term art studio education program for street children in the Philippines. The program is free of charge. We started our activity more than two years ago together with the artist Kublai Milan. Our first workshops were with disadvantaged children from Boystown in Davao city. On December 2016 we opened a large exhibition in Manila showing the works of the children from Boystown. We are planning other events and exhibitions with the kids works. Our art workshops with Boystown children will continue as a long term commitment. On April 2018 We are also openning a new cycle of workshops for disadvantaged and street children from Davao city in the amphiteater of Maqsaysay Park. These workshops will take place one saturday every month durin the year. The children will be sent to us inorder to participate in the workshops by the poor communities in Davao city with our control on the choise of children. Every child will get also a package of food for the day. These workshops will be mainly based on creating art works with used materials and garbage collected from the beaches and streets of Davao. Our great ambition is to open an art center under the name of FREEART CREATIVE CENTER in Boystown Davao. In this center of about 500 square meters, we would like to have four-five studios that will be open for about ten hours every day, from 8:00am until 6:00pm. This art center will be open not only for the kids of Boystown but for disadvantaged children from all around Davao. The workshopes will be directed and controled by FreeArt Association. We will also include workshopes in theater, music, danse, singing etc, Two (or more) artists will be teaching and working with approximately 50 students in each studio every day, following our instructions and proposals. We already have an agreement with the art university to include the work with the kids as part of the university art study program. The artists and art students will be paid for their work with the kids We will have a food corner and cafeteria in the FREEART CREATIVE CENTER where drinks and food for the children will be provided for free. We will contact food companies, supermarkets and malls to help us with the food supply. The materials (used cardboard, wood, and other objects) for the artworks will be collected in part from the streets and reused. We will ask factories to help us with professional materials that we will need for work like welding equipment and carpentry tools. Some of materials can be donated, if not we will buy them (papers, paintings, pencils, brushes, tools, etc,). Our pedagogical approach is to teach the children how to use the subconscious as a positive, creative power in their lives. Our idea of education through art is to focus on the artistic realization of the children's dreams. When we asked the kids to dream about what they want to be when they grow up, we got all kinds of answers: One wants to be a pilot, another wants to be a captain of a boat, another a policeman, a doctor, a teacher, or a businessman. We then had them start to realize their dreams by working with paintings and sculptures. The kids painted, sculpted and built their wished dreams; they created actual physical models of their dreams. These models no doubt influence their subconscious; they are typically used as targets, visions that are in front of their young minds, connecting them to their dreams through their subconscious. By developing the creativity of children to build their dreams and to work on their realization, we aim to show them that everything is possible in their imagination and that everything in their imagination can be realized if they work hard enough at it. Our success at the FreeArt Association will be measured by how clearly we can show them that it is possible to pass from dreams to real life, to show them how they can make their "dreams become true". When children see that it is possible to create and realize their dreams through art, something unimaginable to them before, it begins of a new process in their minds: a new window opens up for them, a window of hopes and rich possibilities. Everything becomes possible if you want it and if you are ready to work hard for it. I have come to believe that we can change the destiny of so many children if we open that window for them. Our FreeArt Creative Center for disadvantaged children will be the beginning of "Dream come True" for so many children. The architect Jon Traya is already working on a proposition for our future art center. The budget to build this future art center is estimated about 100,000 Euros (US$117,000). Our estimated budget for keeping one art studio active and open daily for one year, working with 50 kids, is about 17,000 Euros (US$20,000).
Micha Laury, President FreeArt France Honor President FreeArt Davao Philippines