helping children

ART MAKES YOU ART CAMP. First one in Riga, Latvia.

Hello friends!

This is it – the culmination of our hard work; together we believed, and now we’re making it a reality!

A few months ago, we shared our vision about our art camps – special programs where children could go and be exposed to various forms of art in a safe and welcoming environment. A place where they could be free to escape the challenges in their lives, and for a brief moment, explore their creativity without any walls – emotional, mental, or financial.

We’re delighted to announce that the first Art Makes You art camp is going live – in beautiful Riga, Latvia!

Thirty children (twenty more than our original plan!) will be participating in a two-day art program coached and mentored by ten amazing artists at the beautiful Latvian National Library. The program will cover different forms of art like photography, crafts, and much more (full list below), giving our children insights into these fields and providing the foundations they need to follow their interests. The children will also learn about the library itself, a prominent symbol of education and the arts, enjoy dinner on the top floor, and be treated to a play at the Latvian National Theater. We couldn’t be more excited!

Photo by Indriķis Stūrmanis

Photo by Indriķis Stūrmanis

All of this couldn’t have happened without a team of friends believing in our vision and making this a reality. Our heartfelt thanks goes to:

·      Antra Savlevica for her organizational skills

·      The Latvian National Library for providing accommodations

·      Our talented artist volunteers making a difference in the lives of thirty young teenagers: 

Latvian Artists

o   Andris Bulis (Acting)

o   Agnese Rakovska (Music)

o   Anna Panna (Anna Birmane) (Culinary Arts)

o   Andris and Inguss Reizenbergi (Beverage Crafts)

o   Miks Dukurs (Music)

o   Evita Staģīte (Fashion Design)

o   Līga Liberte (Dance)

o   Andrejs Zavadskis (Photography)

o   Lindards Augusts (Fashion Arts)

We’re also exploring how we can support the children beyond the art camps in the field of art that they choose. We’ll keep you updated!

Thank you for your generous support – we’re making this vision a reality.

 We hope you’re as excited about this as we are – our next stop for art-camps: Bellevue, Washington in November 7 & 8th working with Atlantic Street Teens!    And Kharkiv, Ukraine December 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th, where we have invited children from families of fallen soldiers and refugees. 

Thank You All! 

Art Makes You


Getting To Work

Sveiki visiem/Привіт всім! (Hello Everyone!)

 What a journey it’s been since we saw each other at our 2nd Annual Art Makes You event!  We exceeded our fundraising goals, raised the adoption funds for Ingus & the Boothby family (including a VERY generous match from a special supporter) & gained a new set of friends! Words can’t express how grateful Eva and I are for your support. Thank you so much!

 Getting to Work

 After the event, we got to work right away.  We split up our tasks: I (Inese) would head to Latvia and visit some of the sites during a scheduled vacation. Eva would reach out to the families of the fallen soldiers.

Here are our stories!

 Calling the Ukrainian families – Eva

 I was excited to call the families and share that we successfully raised the funds they needed. At the same time, I knew it was going to be difficult. Why? I realized just how fortunate I have been to have my loved ones around me, and that the people I was going to be talking with recently lost someone they loved.  I breathed deeply, and picked up the phone.

 I spoke with all the three of the wives. Words can’t express just how emotionally overwhelming the calls were. These women - so broken, so emotionally and physically exhausted, were so incredibly touched by the generosity and attention we shared with them. I was deeply moved as I heard their responses to our gifts, thoughts, and prayers. It was simple, but powerful:

“Я отримала гроші. Хочу висловити Вам подяку в такий важкий для нас час. Дай Бог Вам здоровя за вашу доброту.”

“I received the money. I would like to express our gratitude for your help during such difficult times. May you be blessed for your kindness.”

One of the families in Ukraine sent us a thank you photo. 

One of the families in Ukraine sent us a thank you photo. 

 I am keeping in touch with the families through texts and phone calls. What you all did for them is immeasurable – and they are incredibly grateful!

 Going Home, Touching Hearts – Inese

 During my recent trip to Latvia, I met with Amanda Grase from the Labdaribas Lapa charity organization, a special group that helps families with children during difficult times. We shared our stories and passion for serving children (what a great time we had!) and agreed that the best way to help is to organize experiences, rather than supply gifts. Our brainstorming led to an “Art Camp” idea, an experience spread across our three countries - Latvia, Ukraine, and the USA. We talked about giving children art supplies, connecting them with artists and teachers, and helping them learn more about visual and performing arts.  By providing them with the resources they need to create – we give their creativity wings…and who knows how high they will fly? That’s what Art Makes You is all about! I’ll keep you updated on the Art Camp planning – we’re working on doing this before Christmas!

 Keeping our promise

 Eva and I are determined to keep our commitment to you – that every dollar raised goes to helping serve the children and families in need. We’ve maintained that commitment from the beginning and will continue to do so. We’re humbled to be in a position to help others and to have earned your trust.  On behalf of the families we serve and from the bottom of our hearts – thank you. 

What’s next?

We’ve started planning for our next event in September. With so many talented artists, designers, and creative friends among us, we’re exploring putting on a unique fashion show – something out of the ordinary that brings together our artistic talent in a fun way! We’re also working on an internationally coordinated Art Camp across Seattle, Ukraine, and Latvia. We can’t wait to share more with you!

 Make sure you follow us on Facebook, as well as on this blog to learn about all the latest crazy ideas we come up with. We’d love to hear your ideas on how we can make these events even greater! 

Talk with you soon!


Inese & Eva

 Photos from the event taken by Mallory MacDonald. For more info visit: