Bob and Renee Parsons

The couple’s Foundation awards $2.5 million to
Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona

text and photos courtesy of Free Arts of Arizona

Bob and Renee Parsons.

Free Arts gives homeless and abused children an opportunity to learn new skills and express themselves.

The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation has awarded Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona a $2.5 million grant. The funds will establish The Bob and Renee Parsons Center for Hope and Healing, enable the organization to double its physical space, expand programming and reach children Free Arts has previously been unable to serve.

Free Arts harnesses the healing powers of art to help abused and homeless children build resiliency and learn to trust and heal. All of the children in Free Arts programs have experienced combinations of family trauma, homelessness and violence.

To begin the healing process, the nonprofit organization provides mentoring, a caring community and gives homeless and abused children an opportunity to learn new skills and express themselves.

As part of the funding, Free Arts now will be able to purchase the building in which they currently rent space and conduct major renovations to accommodate onsite programming, staff and volunteer growth and create a community center that can be utilized for training, workshops and events.

Artist Frank Thompson with children, Free Arts Camp, 2015.

Historically, programs have been limited to children living in foster-care group homes and homeless shelters. This grant will allow the organization to open its doors to children living with foster families.

Bob and Renee Parsons have been longtime supporters of Free Arts and through The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation have granted more than $3 million to the organization over the past six years. The two programs specifically supported by this grant are the Free Arts Camp and Professional Artist Series. The organization hopes this gift will inspire others to support Free Arts as they work to raise an additional $700,000 to complete the capital campaign.

For more information, visit www.freeartsaz.org