New Beginnings for Paint Love

Norton Park17

Hello Paint Love Family & Friends!! Julie & Aaron McKevitt here. We wanted to take a few moments and share a little bit about Paint Love, the influence the organization has had, and the hopeful future we see for its mission of connecting artists and non-profits for a positive impact on youth. Since 2013, Paint Love has brought incredible art projects and events to youth throughout metro-Atlanta. We are so honored to be able to parter with such amazing artists and organizations!

The Beginning

In case you are new to the family, the idea of Paint Love began in 2013 as part of Julie Ann McKevitt's art business. She was asked to join a group of volunteer artists who were teaching one Saturday with the girls at Wellspring Living. To Julie, the event demonstrated how art could truly be used as a tool for therapy and love. She wanted to recreate this Saturday over and over again for youth throughout Atlanta. In order to get more artists involved and touch more organizations like Wellspring Living, she set out to make the events as easy as possible, getting supplies donated and planning the logistics.

As Paint Love began to grow quickly, we went to our favorite thinking spot, Papi's Midtown, to plan the next stage. As we both hoped Paint Love would become bigger than just one artist, we wanted to separate it from Julie Ann's business. We both have had a long time passion to serve in the lives of underprivileged and at-risk youth, and it became clear Paint Love had amazing potential to positively impact the lives of hundreds of students in our community.

During our meeting at Papi's we came up with the Paint Love name and decided to make it a stand alone organization. (You can see our thought process for the name in this picture taken at Papi's!) In 2014, Paint Love became a non-profit in the state of Georgia and, later that same year, it became a registered 501(c)(3) organization. We became the first two board members, with Julie working as the Executive Director.

2014: Year in Review

In 2014, Paint Love had 10 incredible volunteer artists join our family; we organized 6 events touching the lives of more than 100 students, as well as several staff members who joined in on our projects. We created splatter paintings with a group of young women in Wellspring Living's ELP program; Kim McGill Stuart and Penny Treese led two wax encaustic art events at Kate's Club; Morgan Corbett created an amazing pop art mural project with the students at Norton Park Elementary, Ashley Hizer taught an abstract art class to the girls living at Wellspring Living, and  Miranda Duncan, Alex Pate, and Audrey Dakin created a portable metal foundry for the teens at Kate's Club! It was a fabulous year for us at Paint Love!

2015: The Future is Now

This year, Paint Love has 14 artists on board so far, and we are on track to provide projects for 450 students (approximately 584 students if you include repeating visits) in over 24 events. We are connecting with new organizations that are serving Atlanta's youth and making plans to revisit all the organizations we served last year as well. One of the biggest additions to Paint Love is our first paid staff member, Madison Beaulieu. Madison, an artist with strong community engagement experience is bringing a wealth of knowledge in nonprofit management to our team. We are thrilled to have her step into the part-time role of Assistant Director. (Stay tuned for a follow up post in the coming weeks about Madison!)

Paint Love's Vision & Growth

Our mission is simple. We want to connect artists and nonprofits for a positive impact on youth. We will continue to seek out great organizations that are working to improve the lives of youth and connect them with incredibly talented artists who have a heart for service.

To continue to grow, we need to bring on additional volunteers who want to help make this mission a reality for more and more students in our community. We also need a group of individuals who are willing to donate financially or through in-kind donations (canvases, paint, brushes, and other supplies). To our amazement, thus far, when we've needed canvases for an event, people have donated. When we've needed paint, people have donated. When we've needed brushes…people have donated. Paint Love has become a reality because people believe in what we are doing. Up to this point we have never taken a salary. In order to healthily continue Paint Love, Inc., we believe we need to hire a staff member. Julie will continue to run Paint Love, Inc. unpaid as the Executive Director. But to support the services and work she is doing, we are hiring a part-time employee. We couldn't be more thrilled about the choice and the direction this is taking Paint Love. This decision brings us to our very first fundraising campaign. We would like to raise $22,000 to support over 450 students, 24+ events, 13+ artists, 6+ nonprofit organizations serving youth, and 1 part-time employee working to coordinate the logistics, marketing, development, design, and community engagement of Paint Love.

We believe Paint Love can impact thousands of students and grow beyond our city of Atlanta, and even the state of Georgia, but we need to ask for your support.

We are kicking off an Indigogo Campaign to raise $22,000 on Saturday, March 21st, at an amazing event after Julie Ann's Art Room Atlanta studio opening. Please join us! The event is free and will have musical guests Thee Acquainted, the Good Food Truck, and lots of great people who love our community. Come out to learn more about what we are doing in Atlanta! More than anything else, we need to spread the word! So come out, bring a friend, take a picture of you dancing to this song, and help paint some love in our community!