There’s a good reason so many of us turned to creative endeavors when the COVID lockdown started: Art soothes the soul. But this philosophy is nothing new to those at Color Outside the Lines, a nonprofit that aims to empower and inspire foster and at-risk youth by providing opportunities to create and explore through art, music or movement.

The nonprofit believes that art can transform lives and improve mental health, so in the “before times” they’d pair kids with artists to paint murals around the metro area. Just a few include 24 mini-murals at Southeast 11th Avenue and Burnside Street; a collaboration with David Rice on the Chown Hardware building located at 406 NW 16th Ave.; and murals at the Sunset Swim Park in Beaverton, which were all created by local BIPOC artists along with the Black Student Union. 

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This spring and summer the organization plans to start outdoor, socially distanced mural projects with three Native artists and Native youth, and three more murals on Portland’s east side. But right now, Color Outside the Lines could use monetary donations to get art kits to kids in need of support at home and to produce online art classes for foster kids. Find out more and donate at coloroutsidelines.org.

Denise Castañon
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