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  • Writer's pictureAmy Shaw

Art for Everyone: Inclusivity in Crafting


Here I stand where it all began, at the original F Street Cubed Gallery, a testament to community, creativity, and connection. Matching the quaint charm of the cottage it adorns, this little gallery is more than a space—it's a conversation.
Here I stand where it all began, at the original F Street Cubed Gallery, a testament to community, creativity, and connection. Matching the quaint charm of the cottage it adorns, this little gallery is more than a space—it's a conversation.

As the granddaughter of immigrants, living and thriving within a community of diverse backgrounds and stories, I've witnessed firsthand the unifying power of creativity. Art, I believe, isn't just a form of expression—it's a tool for life. It instills a creative spark that empowers people to navigate life's challenges with grace and resilience. Creativity nurtures flexibility, forges adaptability, and, importantly, builds confidence.


In the midst of the pandemic, when the world seemed to close in on itself, I sought a way to reach out, to connect, to comfort. That's when the concept of South Florida's very first Free Little Art Gallery was born, right on the front lawn of my cottage. It wasn't just about art; it was about community, about giving people a beacon of hope and activity when the doors to shops and museums were shuttered.


However, it quickly became apparent that the opportunity to create art was a luxury beyond the reach of many, especially the children in my neighborhood, many of whom live below the poverty line. Art supplies, often taken for granted, were scarce. This realization sparked the inception of the world's first craft kit gallery—simple gallon ziplock bags, each holding the seeds of creation for one craft project.


The impact was immediate and profound. Children began to craft, their artworks blossoming in the gallery. Soon, it wasn't just the kids; the gallery became a touchstone for the community—homeless individuals, those battling mental illnesses, the elderly, veterans grappling with PTSD, and many more found solace and expression through these kits.


Then something beautiful happened. Art supplies and pieces began to appear on my stoop, sent from hearts across states—from Wisconsin to Maryland—and even from across the ocean, like the Netherlands. This outpouring of support has been overwhelming and humbling.


Now, my partner and I dedicate countless hours to assembling over a thousand kits annually, free of charge. And this year, we're on track to double that. With every kit we assemble, we're building more than just a craft; we're constructing bridges to creativity for those who need it most.


Our mission is simple: to grow, to reach, to inspire. We envision a world where art is accessible to everyone, a world where creativity isn't a privilege but a given. Join us on this journey, and let's paint a brighter future together—one craft kit at a time.

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