Laura Baran and Patricia Geremia co-founded Arts & Dreams, an organization whose mission is to expand hope and self-love through creative expression. The creation of Arts & Dreams was inspired by Laura's brother Jeff's suicide, which he attributed to his feelings of hopelessness. Since 2009, Arts & Dreams has been fulfilling its purpose by leading empowering art workshops for hundreds of children, teens, and adults in New York City. For more information and to get involved, you can visit www.ArtsandDreams.org.
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About the Author
Laura Baran is an award-winning professional artist and an art educator. She received her BFA with honors from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Laura has served on the board of directors for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's New York City Chapter. She lives with her husband Matt Green and their son in New York City. More of her work can be seen at www.laurabaran.com.
Patricia Geremia is a professional photographer and blogger at PatriciaG Loves Italy, sharing her love for New York City and Italy. She is the owner of her own line of greeting cards and prints, and is a certified Reiki healer. Patricia has served as a youth mentor since 1995. She lives in New York City with plans to share her time living in Italy. You can visit her website at www.patriciageremia.com.
Rose's Summer of Arts & Dreams offers children a sense of hope and encouragement by inspiring them to love who they are through art making.
Author illustrations by Laura Baran
Read an Excerpt
Rose's Summer of Arts & Dreams
By Laura Baran, Patricia Geremia
Balboa PressCopyright © 2016 Laura Baran and Patricia Geremia
All rights reserved.
Rose dreamed about becoming a famous musician. She loved to dance, draw, and dress up. She painted musical notes on the wall in her room in Brooklyn, where she looked out the window at her neighborhood and daydreamed.
She was finishing fourth grade, and lately Rose hadn't felt so good about herself, her drawings, and her dreams about becoming a musician. She often thought, I'm nobody. I'm nothing. No one loves me. I don't even deserve to live.
One morning as Rose was leaving the house her father called out to her, "Your Aunt Olive is coming to stay with us for the summer."
Rose said, "Wow, the whole summer? Aunt O is so cool!" But to herself, she thought, I'm not cool at all. What if she doesn't like me anymore? I have to think of interesting things to say.
It was a really hot summer. On the day after she arrived, Aunt O took Rose to Rockaway Beach. They ate strawberry popsicles on the boardwalk, walked along the beach picking up seashells, and did yoga together.
Aunt O said, "I'm having so much fun with you, Gorgeous-Face!"
Rose stood a little taller and thought, Am I gorgeous?
When the lifeguard whistled at the end of the day, Rose said to Aunt O, "Hey, he's really cute!"
A few days later, Rose found Aunt O in the living room surrounded by canvases and paints. "Hey, Rosie. I'm making an affirmation painting!" Aunt O said.
"Affir-what?" Rose asked.
"An affirmation painting," Aunt O explained. "An affirmation is declaring something positive about yourself."
Rose asked, "How do you make it?"
Aunt O continued, "I paint a positive statement."
Rose asked, "What if you can't think of anything positive about yourself?"
Aunt O said, "Honey, you can think of something! We're all special and creative in some way. If you're stuck, take a negative statement and flip it, like 'I'm not good enough' and 'I can't do anything right' into 'I'm amazing' and 'I can do whatever I put my mind to.'"
Rose asked, "Other people think that way, too? I thought it was just me."
Aunt O said, "I think a lot of mean thoughts about myself. That's why I flip them into positive ones and make affirmation paintings. It helps me to love myself and believe in my dreams."
Excerpted from Rose's Summer of Arts & Dreams by Laura Baran, Patricia Geremia. Copyright © 2016 Laura Baran and Patricia Geremia. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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