In mid 2010, Angel Foundation received a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council for Teen Outreach participants to create a piece of public art under the direction of local glass artist, Malcom Potek. Over the course of five weeks, 10 teens worked with Malcom to develop the “Big Idea”, translate the “Big Idea” into a meaningful design and finally construct the piece. The results are amazing.

Studies show that the arts can cultivate a healing and positive environment contributing to reduced stress, anxiety, and sense of isolation. Research also indicates that the arts can benefit patients and caregivers (in this case the teens) by aiding their physical, mental, and emotional recovery, and provide a respiteeven for a short periodfrom the adult caregiver role that they have likely assumed.

At a time when teens are trying to distance themselves from their parents and become more independent, a parent’s cancer diagnosis can derail them from their normal developmental track putting them at risk for long term negative outcomes. This project is one valuable way to keep them connected with their peers and keep them on track.

As one teen summed it up: “This piece represents the beauty and love Angel Foundation provides for us and our families.” We agree.