Help us reach our year-end goals!

An hour before arriving at a neighborhood, Jamie Silvestri, ArtVan’s Founder & Art Therapist, received a text from a parent requesting ArtBags for her three children who were quarantined due to COVID.

“My daughter is so upset she will miss ArtVan,” a mother shared.

Although we aren’t preparing ArtBags at the moment, Jamie jumped on the opportunity. “Yes, I’m happy to bring today's art materials over!” she replied.

It was a warm, clear day so ArtVan’s outdoor session welcomed a full group of neighborhood youth. From the start of the program, introductions and art demonstrations were well underway and Jamie wasn’t able to bring the materials over immediately. Near the end of the session, Jamie’s phone buzzed with an update from the mother.

“The kids are all at the window. My daughter shouted, ‘Mom, they’re going to leave!”. As ArtVan began winding down, Jamie texted, “Be right there!” pulling together the ArtBags and arriving at the apartment to see three faces full of anticipation staring out the window. Their dad answered the door, “We really appreciate what you do for our children,” he shared.

With school back in session and holidays right around the corner, ArtVan’s team is remaining flexible and ready to meet both neighborhood and family needs.

"I see myself as an artist!"

For 44 weeks a year, ArtVan sessions are designed to create a safe and creative environment to explore topics that relate to Youth and neighborhood challenges such as ongoing COVID stressors. The goal beyond art-making is to:

  • Develop trusting relationships

  • Decrease anxiety and increase spontaneity

  • Build tools for self-regulating emotion

  • Expand thought to complement extra screen time 

  • Encourage deeper self-expression through art therapy techniques

  • Build connections, sense of belonging, encourage peer interactions

  • Reflect on gratitude and personal victories to build confidence

A Poetic Reunion

Last week we were so excited and grateful to return to the Center for Wisdom’s Women in Lewiston since the start of COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020. We began program with a magnet poetry check-in (banner image at top), a favorite ArtVan activity at the center. Everyone introduces themselves with a poem created from a random handful of poetry magnets. For more stories, visit our website.

Artful Transitions

In July 2021, the Executive Director hat was passed from ArtVan’s Founder, Art Therapist, and only Executive Director Jamie Silvestri to ArtVan’s Director of Development and Communication Shannon Els. 

ArtVan also welcomed this year Therapeutic Arts Assistant, Julianna Nelson, who brings her steady, caring, and artistic nature to both the co-facilitation of programs but also behind-the-scenes with research and writing. Click to dive in more!
The crew celebrating the bright sun, autumn foliage, and a birthday!
Left to right: Jamie S, Julianna N, Jalin C, and Shannon E

New Construction: A Community Effort

Did you catch The Cryer's story? Check out how a conversation between Jamie & Lucy Lloyd transformed into reality because of the generous & skilled support from Brunswick Rotarians, Brunswick Parks & Recreation, Hammond Lumber, property managers, and more!

Thanks to Our 2021 Funders

The Onion Foundation

Maine Women’s Fund

Bath Savings Institute

Davenport Trust

Jane B. Cook 1992 Charitable Trust

The Aldermere Foundation

Alfred M. Senter Fund

First Parish Church, Brunswick

Maine Community Foundation: Donor Advised Fund

Virginia Hodgkins Somers Foundation

LL Bean Charitable Giving

Maine Women's Giving Tree

Bate’s Carignan Community Fund

Langwater Fund

Elmina B. Sewall Foundation

Anonimo Foundation

Jane B. Cook 1992 Charitable Trust


Your support keeps us mobile!

With so many community-focused nonprofits out there, we are extra grateful when you choose to support ArtVan Youth artists!

To explore more ways to support Youth through volunteering, art supply donations, or sponsorships, email

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10 State Road, PMB 272
Bath, ME 04530
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