What is Art to Heart?

Art to Heart brings FREE artistic workshops to the homes of our community members, while at the same time supporting local artists.

The Arts in Lancaster face a twofold crisis. COVID-19 has placed Lancaster's artists in a critical situation. They're cut off from their source of livelihood, as venues closed, gatherings are cancelled, and museums and galleries are shuttered, while at the same time Lancastrians of all ages are denied the many arts and arts-learning opportunities that would have taken place in our community's vibrant cultural institutions.

Art to Heart: COVID-19 Relief 2020 is helping to address this situation by paying Lancaster County artists, creative professionals, and arts faculty across a variety of disciplines to create instructional videos made available for families and individuals otherwise disengaged from our community's artistic life due to the pandemic. Each participating artist records a workshop providing the opportunity for community members to develop skills and engage artistic pursuits in their own home.  These FREE online workshops will offer much needed arts experiences for all ages, from young children to senior citizens in our region.

The workshops can be found on a single digital platform, and the first of these are available now, along with an opportunity to donate to the Artist Relief Fund.  More videos will be released in the weeks ahead.

In these times of economic strife, artistic pursuits are often abandoned and networks within creative communities crumble, leaving us that much poorer in time of economic recovery. With orders to remain at home, we have all turned to the arts - poetry, music, literature, film - for solace and survival. We have an obligation to support the arts in turn, and the best way to do that is by supporting artists. This program is an innovative approach to make sure that Lancaster Arts not only survive the COVID-19 crisis, but come back stronger than ever.

How It Serves Our Community

Keeps local artists engaged in their practice while developing their public profile and introducing them to 21st century practices in art education

Compensates these creative professionals for their ongoing work

Provides people of all ages, from students to seniors, with the opportunity to develop new skills and explore new interests, free of charge

Stregthens relationships between Millersville University, local creative professionals, and the Lancaster community at-large

Raises funds to provide direct relief to other creative professionals who may be struggling, with preference for Millersville alumni and members of underrepresented populations

Who is Involved?

Art to Heart is made possible by community partnerships between Millersville University, and South Central PaARTners of the Pennsylvania Council of Arts.

Each of the instructional videos will be created by the artists and curated by the Millersville University Office of Visual & Performing Arts, led by award-winning artists and creative directors in their own right with years of experience in arts education and community programming. The Art to Heart committee includes Marci Nelligan, Director of South Central PaARTners at MU; Ismail Smith Wade-El, community leader and President of the Lancaster City Council; and Barry Kornhauser, Assistant Director of Campus & Community Engagement at MU.

What Your Donations Support

Donations will provide local artists with financial support to create instructional videos making their art practice accessible to the whole community.  It also helps raise awareness of the artists profile by sending their art to the screens of families all over Lancaster County.

Beyond this, the workshops and the artists who created them will be engaged to raise additional funds to provide direct relief to other artists in the community who may also be struggling with the loss of income opportunities. This will allow the program to support creative professionals beyond our capacity to curate the instructional workshops.

While donor funds will be focused on paying artists to create valuable artistic education resources, the long-term vision of the program is to sustain the arts in Lancaster, not as an act of charity, but as an act of solidarity.

For more information on Art to Heart, please contact:

Barry Kornhauser, Assistant Director of Campus and Community Engagement