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Uniting Children's Health with the Arts

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Quotes from Families: 

"We would love to participate in creating awareness for kids and individuals like our child in our community. A portrait to commemorate this time in our lives would be priceless as our family grows and learns how to navigate life with a child who has mobility needs."

“Our portrait is a treasure! We hung it where it is the first thing
I see in the morning, and it gives me the strength to get through
treatments, doctors, bills, and emotions.”

"Our son's syndrome is terminal. Many children don’t survive
past the age of 10. Pictures are all we will have at some point. 
A painting would be that much more special."

"I think it will touch several more hearts and show a different
side of our daughter. It will also get her story out there in the
community and how strong and beautiful she is."

"This will be a reflection for us of the hope, love, and prayers that
we endured to get to this point… a true symbol of hope." 

"We are so touched to be able to participate and think this
awareness is so important to the community and our children!"

"My daughter, is a joy and inspiration to our family. To have a
lasting painting that captures her incredible beauty would be
such a blessing and a reminder of her journey and determination."

"It doesn’t matter how hard of a night you had, when you come downstairs and see that smiling painting it flips on the positive switch.”   

"I think this project is amazing in recognizing the extra challenges that families with special needs children face every day. Our child is a joy, happy and healthy, and works hard at all her therapies to continue to make progress. The biggest contribution of a portrait for us would be in building community support and understanding for intellectual and physical disability."

Portrait by: Brooke Walker-Knoblich
Quotes from Community Members:

Thanks again for this amazing opportunity for these families. I know a beautiful portrait will be a treasure to them.
                                                           ~Nancy Childers, Regional Director, Sparrow Clubs USA
“Through healing portraits, art brings beauty, color, and joy to people recovering from an illness. These portrait paintings lend strength and encouragement to loved ones as well.”
                                                           ~ Brooke Walker-Knoblich, Artist
"The arts - including painting, drawing, ceramics, dance, music, theater, or writing -- are an important method of providing healing, hope, respite, and joy to individuals and families, and they serve to bring communities together through meaningful shared experiences."
                                                          ~ Beth Bienvenu, Accessibility Director, National Endowment for the Arts
“At Children’s Cancer Association, we place tremendous value on providing joy to seriously ill kids, teens, and their families. So many families find joy in art, and all families find joy in their children. Portrait Connection is a fantastic blend of both of those.”
                                                          ~ Kacy Smerke, Senior Program Manager, Children’s Cancer Association

Our Story
Sometimes a special family can plant a seed of goodness that touches the entire world. That is how Portrait Connection came to be. We were inspired by neighbors whose children had special challenges to get through each day, each week, and each month. Our neighbors and friends are a loving family, close to the earth, expert gardeners, lovers of animals, and the first to give to anyone in need. Then, not one, but two diagnoses changed their world. The two children were both diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. The diagnoses meant endless doctors, hospitals, and emotional strain. They had to become a superfamily just to live their lives.

As neighbors, we wanted to help. But how? That's when we looked to our own family to see what we had to give, and we thought of art. With an artist in the family, we arranged for a portrait of the superkids to be painted. We remembered a favorite photograph and used it to create a portrait keepsake for the family. After having it framed, an unexpected package showed up on the family's porch. It contained a treasure. The mother of the family said, "It captures them perfectly, I hung it where it is the first thing I see every morning when I open my eyes. It gives me strength to get through my day."

Our Team

We are a family dedicated to helping other families whose daily routines face much greater challenges than our own. We bring our experience in art and nonprofit management together to manage Portrait Connection in a way that results in consistant benefits to special families and artists.