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Loudoun County children channel COVID-19 frustrations into artwork exhibit

LEESBURG, Va. (WDVM) — The Loudoun County Art Advisory Committee (AAC) is featuring artwork created by students of vulnerable families in the community.

The paintings are flying off the walls, and cash into the pockets of young artists like David Mejia-Medina. His artwork hangs on the walls with a total of 19 pieces created by students ages 11 to 16 in an exhibit called “Youth Movement.”

“What inspired me is happiness, and I thought about my family… I just thought about the moments that I share with them,” said Mejia-Medina.

The exhibit features works of students at INMED USA Partnerships for Children, a non-profit organization aiming to build pathways for vulnerable children to achieve self-reliance.

“Sometimes, they’re dealing with things that are very hard for us to imagine. I just hoped that this helped them to stop thinking about survival and just about expressing themselves,” said Jennifer Smith, Director of U.S. Programs at INMED USA.

Enter the Loudoun County Art Advisory Committee who is displaying the exhibit and Lisa Jones from the Loudoun Arts Council. Jones created the program to bolster confidence and constructive creativity in the budding artists.

“Once they stepped back and saw what they did, like David was saying, he was just proud, someone couldn’t believe they could create something so beautiful and these pieces are beautiful,” said Jones.

The pieces are selling between $35-$75 per painting, and half of the artwork has already been sold.

The student’s artwork isn’t the only exhibit on display. Gallery One is also featuring 24 ceramic bowls created by Loudoun potters to benefit Empty Bowls, to raise money for hunger relief in Loudoun County.

The exhibition will be on display until July 2.

https://www.localdvm.com/news/virginia/loudoun-county-children-channel-covid-19-frustrations-into-artwork-exhibit/ 

Loudoun County children channel COVID-19 frustrations into artwork exhibit

Family non-profit receives large donation of baby equipment, supplies

 

While one Leesburg nonprofit has decided to close its doors, another local nonprofit plans to carry on its mission.

It Takes a Village, Baby, an organization that has served families in need for six years, has donated its baby equipment and supplies to INMED Opportunity Center in Sterling.

“It Takes a Village, Baby has been a long-time partner with the INMED Opportunity Center and INMED’s Healthy Families Loudoun program,” said Jennifer Lassiter Smith, Director of U.S. Programs for INMED Partnerships for Children in a prepared statement. “When ITAVB made the hard choice to close, it made sense for INMED USA to carry on the legacy and mission of ensuring babies in our region get a healthy start in life.”

The INMED Opportunity Center serves more than 100 mothers each week, who desperately need car seats, diapers and other essential supplies that the group received as a gift from It Takes a Village, Baby, she said.

INMED’s Opportunity Center has become a county-wide hub of resources, education and services for low-income families struggling to make ends meet.

“We’re serving more families than ever that have lost employment, have limited access to healthcare and are relying on the kindness of their neighbors to help them get back on track,” said Smith.

“While it’s sad to close our doors at It Takes a Village, Baby, we are thankful our remaining resources can continue to help the community,” said Lauren Smith, cofounder of ITAVB. “The generous donations from families in Loudoun and Fairfax counties have allowed us to help thousands of families in need, and now INMED can continue that mission.”

All baby equipment and supplies are free of charge to families in need. For information on how to access these and other resources at the INMED Opportunity Center, contact Rosa Tobar, INMED USA Community Outreach Coordinator, at rtobar@inmed.org.